Italian Heavy Draft breed information
Italian Heavy Draft horse general information
COLORThe most common color of the Italian Draft is liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, but some are roan or bay. White markings are commonly seen on the face and legs.
SIZEThe Italian Heavy Draft stands 15 to 16 hands high.
WEIGHTItalian Draft horses can weigh from 1250lbs to 1550lbs (570-700kg).
ORIGINThe Italian Heavy Draft horse originates in the northern regions of Italy and is very popular throughout the country. The breed began with rather experimental beginnings - native horses were crossed with the Brabant, the Percheron, and the Boulonnais, with airly unsuccessful results. Finally, the Breton horse was crossed with Italian mares. This provided the base for the Italian Heavy Draft.
USESItalian Heavy Draft is mainly used in the meat industry, but can also be used as a work horse, because it has large tractive power.
TEMPRERAMENTThe Italian Heavy Draft is kind, docile and has energetic action.
Italian Heavy Draft description
In appearance, the Italian Draft is a highly attractive, cobby-type horse with a quality head for a horse of its weight. They are of medium size, standing at between 15 and 16 hh, and have a compact, muscular body with well-sprung ribs and a strong back. The shoulders are generally good and very powerful, they are deep through the girth and have rounded, muscular quarters. They tend to have a short neck, which is often very thick through the jowl, and is thickset and very powerful. The legs can have rather poor conformation, being light in bone compared to their size, and having small joints. They also have a tendency toward boxy feet, which is an undesirable feature. Down the back of the legs there is some feathering, which is not seen in either the Avelignese or the Breton.
Italian Heavy Draft history
The Cavallo Agricolo Italiano da Tiro Pesante Rapido (CAITPR) or Italian Heavy Draft is the only draft breed of Italy. Origin of the breed dates to 1860 when the Deposito Stalloni of Ferrara began crossbreeding. This breed comes from the northern part of Italy, with some breeding also being carried on in central Italy. However, the principal area is in the region of Venetia, in the plain enclosed by the Dolomites and Julian Alps to the north and Slovenia to the east.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian breeders sought to improve their local stock by importing first the massive Belgian Draft or Brabant, then the Percheron and the Boulonnais, and finally the Breton. Crossed with the common Italian mares, the Breton produced an ideal type for agricultural and draft horse purposes as well as for transport of artillery and engineers for the army. Some Italian Heavy Heavy draft mares were also used to produce the heavy mules required by the army. The official stud book was started in 1926.
Until the fifties and sixties this breed was a popular draft horse. Mechanization of the army and agriculture reduced the importance of the Italian Heavy Draft.
In the seventies an extensive selection effect was begun with the goal of improving the meat production characteristics of the breed.
Italian Heavy Draft fun facts
Italian Heavy Draft matures quickly, which is an advantage both for the meat market and for working. It's also called the Rapid Heavy Draft because of it's quickness.