Mangalarga Marchador

Mangalarga Marchador horses are one of the most unique horse breeds in the world.

They are known for their smooth gaits, friendly temperament, and beautiful appearance.

If you’re thinking about adding a Mangalarga Marchador to your stable, here is everything you need to know.

Mangalarga Marchador Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Mangalarga Marchador:

Height (size) 14.2 – 16.0 hands high
Colors Most commonly gray, but black, bay, chestnut, buckskin, palomino and pinto coat colors are also seen
Country of Origin Brazil
Common Uses Working cattle, hunting, jumping, endurance, polo, dressage, pleasure riding, and trail riding

Mangalarga Marchador Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Early History of the Breed

The Mangalarga Marchador breed started developing in 1740.

Born Portuguese, João Francisco (1727 – 1819) established his home in Brazil at the ranch Campo Alegre, which is also the place where the Mangalarga Marchador horses originated.

In honor of his hometown, Francisco chose the surname Junqueira for himself and his family.

The expansion and development of the breed are attributed to one of his twelve children, Gabriel Francisco Junqueira, the Baron of Alfenas who started breeding horses at the estate Campo Alegre, where the stock included Andalusians, Jennets, Barbs, and Lusitanos.

The Spanish Jennet in particular was noted for its swift, smooth amble, especially valued on the haciendas where farmers spent a large portion of their day in the saddle!

Fleeing Napoleon’s army in 1809, the Portuguese royal court brought with them the best horses from the royal stud at Alter.

When Dom Pedro I (1798-1834) Emperor of Brazil and son of João IV of Portugal, presented the Baron of Alfenas with an Alter Real stallion by the name of Sublime, the foundations for the Mangalarga Marchador were set.

Sublime was bred with the mares at Campo Alegre, and many of the offspring (known as Sublimes) had extraordinarily smooth gaits, including the flowing, rhythmic gait ‘marcha’.

Origin of the Name of the Breed

A hacienda known as Mangalarga bought some stock from Campo Alegre, and since they were so famous for their horses, people started referring to them as Mangalargas.

Their comfortable, efficient ‘marcha’ was highly regarded, which contributed to the other part of the name: ‘Marchador’.

Since then, the Mangalarga Marchador has undergone over 180 years of selective breeding, with its original characteristics being carefully preserved and its marcha refined into two gaits: the marcha picada and the marcha batida.

Mangalarga Marchador in Modern Times:

The fact that the Mangalarga Marchador is one of the most numerous horses in the world is likely to come as a surprise to many equestrians.

The catch is that the majority of this breed’s population is in its native Brazil – more than 500,000. However, the breed may also be found in other countries.

The once-famous Spanish Jennets are now extinct, and the Marchador is most likely the purest surviving descendent of that breed, and the only breed that can perform the same gaits as the Jennet.

Mangalarga Marchadors in Brazil must pass strict conformation, gait, performance, and endurance criteria in order to be registered.

The Mangalarga Marchador is Brazil’s National Horse and a treasured part of the country’s cultural heritage.

In line with their long history, the Marchadors’ names tell a story about where they came from, and so the farm name where they were bred is a constant component in the compound names of Mangalarga Marchadors.

These quick gaits are undoubtedly the key factor why this breed now holds the Guinness World Record for the longest ride of 8,694 miles (13,910 km) accomplished in 1994, which took one year to finish averaging 24 miles (38 km) per day.

A similar breed to Mangalarga Marchador is called the Mangalarga.

This breed is distinct from the Mangalarga Marchador in that it was produced using a different set of bloodlines and it valued a different set of characteristics.

However, in the beginning, there was only one type of horse – the Mangalarga Horse.

The two breeds are now distinct, with each having its own studbook and breed organizations.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Very docile and is also used as children’s mount

Physical Characteristics

These horses exhibit classic Spanish-Baroque look and charm, and are compact and muscular, but refined and noble at the same time.

Their Barb ancestors gave them a straight head profile and a rounded nose.

The ears point moderately inward.

They have a strong and well-arched neck that is of a medium length, and their thorax is very deep, which gives them a remarkable lung capacity, explaining their extraordinary endurance.

The chest is deep and broad, and the back is fairly long, strong and straight.

The shoulders are long and rounded, and the withers are pronounced.

The loin is short and well-muscled, and the hindquarters are powerful.

The legs are long and muscular with hard and sound hooves.

Their coats are silky and beautiful.

The rhythmic gait called the marcha, after which the breed is named, is a unique gait in the horse world.

The Mangalarga Marchador can walk and canter like other breeds of horses, but it also has two unique gaits that set it apart from other breeds: the marcha batida and the marcha picada.

Both are medium-speed, four-beat gaits that are somewhat ambling.

The gait is rather quick and fluid, but also very smooth for the rider.

The Mangalarga Marchador does not trot or pace, but rather effortlessly transitions from its smooth marching stride to a canter.

Both marcha gaits are characterized by the fact that three feet are simultaneously on the ground at certain moments.

This is known as ‘triple support,’ and it allows for a very pleasant ride.


Most commonly gray, but black, bay, chestnut, buckskin, palomino and pinto coat colors are also seen

Height (size)

14.2 – 16.0 hands high






850 – 1100 lbs (360 – 500 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

Working cattle, hunting, jumping, endurance, polo, dressage, pleasure riding, and trail riding



Popular Traits

A gaited horse with an incredible stamina



Country of Origin



Spanish Jennet, Alter Real, Spanish Barb, Andalusian