The Sanfratellano horse has a long and rich history dating back to the 12th century.

Today, this breed is used for work and pleasure activities.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Sanfratellano, keep reading!

In this article, we’ll cover everything from their physical features to their temperament.

Sanfratellano Horse Breed Info

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

Height (size) 14.9 – 16.0 hands high
Colors Black or bay
Country of Origin Italy
Common Uses Trekking, sport, equine therapy

Sanfratellano Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

Sanfratellani are named after San Fratello, a village in eastern Sicily at the foot of the Nebrodi Mountains.

They’re the closest Sicily has to “wild” horses, and a number of them live in the Nebrodi National Park.

Even though they have been used for work, and even slaughtered for the meat, they are an old breed that has been around for centuries.

The horses evolved and were bred in their natural environment, resulting in a robust, powerful breed famous for their endurance.

It is thought that its ancestors were Sicilian horses (equus sicanus), who were well-known in ancient times and mentioned by the Greeks and Romans.

But a lot of people believe that they descend from the horses that the Lombards left in that area in the 12th century.

They roamed freely in the woods of San Fratello enduring harsh winters and hot summers, which resulted in the survival of only the strongest animals.

Despite receiving infusions of Anglo-Arab, Spanish Anglo-Arab, Salerno, and Nonius blood, the breed has stayed remarkably true to type.

Breeding stock is carefully chosen for reproduction, and the majority of colts are trained as pack horses at an early age.

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

Alternative Names

“San Fratello horse”


Gentle disposition

Physical Characteristics

Head is somewhat heavy with a straight or convex profile.

The neck is short, straight and crested.

Shoulders are muscular, and the back is medium in length.

Their legs are strong and muscular with light feathering, and hooves are strong and solid.

Overall, they are muscular, well-built hardy horses that are easy to care for.

These horses are extremely adaptable and do well in a range of environments and temperatures.

It is similar to another breed native to Italy called the Maremmano.


Black or bay

Height (size)

14.9 – 16.0 hands high






1,100 – 1,300 lbs (500 – 590 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

Trekking, sport, equine therapy



Popular Traits




Country of Origin



Sicilian horse (speculated), the horses that the Lombards left in that area in the 12th century (speculated), later: Anglo-Arab, Spanish Anglo-Arab, Salerno, Nonius