Alter Real Horse
The Alter Real breed comes from Alter de Chao, a small town in the Alentejo province of Portugal, where the flagship stud is still located. Real is the word for ‘royal’ in Portuguese, the Alter Real is the Royal breed of Alter.
The breed began late in the 18th century as carriage horses & their bloodlines have a heavy Andalusian influence. During Napoleonic invasions Arabian, Thoroughbred, Norman & Hanoverian blood was introduced, unfortunately the resulting animals were of poorer quality than the original stock. A later attempt to improve the breed with Arabian blood also failed & it took an influx of Andalusian blood in the 19th century to refine & improve the bloodlines again.
At the start of th 20th century the Alter Real faced extinction when Portugal renounced its monarchy. At that time the government discontinued the breeding programs & gelded their stallions. Luckily, a few of both sexes were saved & bred personally by Dr. Ruy d’Andrade. In 1942 a small, thriving herd was handed back over to the Ministry of Agriculture for safekeeping where the herd continues to thrive.
Average height 15.1 – 16.1 hands
Strong & powerfully built
Impressive high-stepping action
Head is refined
Short, strong neck
Broad, muscular back
Long pasterns & strong hocks
Intelligent & quick to learn
A beautifully elegant, high energy animal