Most often the Avelignese is also called Haflinger. The country of origin is Austria and Northern Italy. The name of the breed comes from the town, Hafling in Italy, where the first foal of this breed was born. Compared to its size, it`s considered as a small horse breed and only chestnut coat color is accepted in the breeds associations.
Another distinctive characteristic is their gaits, which is energetic but smooth. The ancestries of the Haflinger are dating from the period the Middle Ages 5th- 15th century but as a distinct breed, it was developed in the 19th century. The main goal for founding this hardy breed was navigating through mountain terrains. All traces follow to 249 Folie that was born in 1874 and foaled from Shagya Arab and a native Tyrolean mare.
He`s considered as the foundation sire and as we can see the Arabians and Tyroleans bloodlines influenced the current conformation and appearance. To save the breed from extinction and adjust it for certain uses, as pack horses in the military, during the World War I and World War II, they were crossed with lower-quality animals and thus had an influence to the breed. But since 1946 a closed stud book was created where any other outside bloodlines are not accepted and only pure breed Halfingers are allowed to be registered. Today there are around 250,000 members of the breed existing all over the world.
The Austrian government supports the breeding programs since 1899 in order to keep and promote the quality of the breed. Horses that didn`t meet the quality standards were used as packhorses. The World Haflinger Federation is made up of 22 national registries and was established in 1976 and contains a strict system of inspection by meeting high standards for only good quality stock. Haflinger mares must certain inspection standards, so as the foals, which can be registered after six months of birth.
The accepted Haflingers are branded with a firebrand in the shape of a mountain flower edelweiss. The Austrian Haflingers have the letter H- in the center of the brand, while Italians the letters HI-. The first exports of the Haflingers from Austria were in 1958 and since then they are spread all over the world. The breed has a refined, well-shaped head that shows Arabian influence.
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