The Andravida is an extinct horse breed, which originated from Greece. This light riding and draft horse breed is found in the region of Ilia in Greece and that`s why it is also called Eleia, Ilia or the Greek. Ilia is a beautiful place in Western Greece that is known about many horses breeding including the Andravida.
Since the 4th-century Andravidas ancestors where used by Athenians as cavalry horses, which were undemanding, intelligent, and brave. These large, strong and powerful horses were used as war mount as well on trade routes to carry goods. Crossed with an Arabian breed, during the 13th to 15th centuries Andravidas ancestors became more likely today`s light draft breed. In the early 20th century Anglo-Norman where crossed with local breeds in Ilia and traditionally after that they where not been bred outside of Greece and rarely outside of the area.
That way the horse is so rare today and is a nearly extinct breed. A legend states that in the Ottoman period, a certain sultan was so pleased from a pair of Andravidas, which were presented by the Turkish governor, that he gave permission the residents of Ilia to breed these horses exclusively. In the early 1990s a great Andravida stallion named Pegasus, sired about 50 healthy colts.
They were sent to breeders and this throughout western Greece and this newest development may save the breed from extinction. In 1995 an official herd book of this nearly extinct breed was established and today the breed is in the top ten rarest horse breeds in the world with only 300 living members left.
This means that the numbers are scarce and chances are very small that the Andravida can pull itself out of extinction. Usually, the Andravida horse breed stands 16 hands, but there are few that stand 14 or 15 hands.
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