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The Falabella Miniature Horse

February 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

The Falabella is a rare Argentine breed of Miniature Horse that has been kept pure by breeding only pure Falabellas to other pure Falabellas for countless generations. It is known as the first and original Miniature Horse breed, yet the miniature size is secondary to their pure heritage. It is a true pure breed due to their unique and historic ancestry, which is one of its greatest attributes. The other is the fact that the Falabella name is known and recognized all over the world. Breed ancestry has been kept pure by the Falabella Farm and by small groups of dedicated breeders who want to preserve their precious heritage. The Falabella is an exquisitely unique horse that has always been rare due to the limited number within its pure ancestry gene pool. Estimates indicate that only a few thousand Falabellas exist in the entire world. The most desirable feature of the Falabella and its primary value is that of its rarity and pure Falabella ancestry. Falabellas are very pretigious to own and are highy prized by those who have them.

FALABELLA HISTORY Many historic facts and fables have been told of the famous Falabella in books, magazines and equine articles. It was said that the original Argentine little horses were decendants of Andalusian and Spanish Barb horses brought to Argentina by the Spaniards when they first arrived in the 15th century with the intent to conquer Argentina. They were defeated and the horses were left to roam free. Over several more centuries the harsh environment and inbreeding caused a reduction in size and produced naturally smalhorses. Back in the 1840s, these small equines were seen within herds near the southern Buenos Aires area by Patrick Newell and he started to build his herd with the smallest he could find. It was from this point that selective breeding was started to develop a true small horse. This was over 150 years ago. Patrick Newell worked with the small horses and his knowledge was passed to his son-in-law, Juan Falabella, who shared his knowledge with his son Emilio, who passed it on to his son, Julio Falabella. As Julio worked with his father through his younger years, he gained all the knowledge his father had learned throughout his lifetime.

Over many years they used a variety of equines including the native Argentine Criollo horse and equines with Pinto and Appaloosa markings to breed down in size, continually keeping the smallest and best quality in each generation. By the 1950s, Julio took over his fathers Falabella Farm. He had created tiny sized Falabellas in every color including Pintos and some very rare and colorful Appaloosas which were his favorites. The greatest development and perfection of the Falabella breed was done by Julio when he created his tiny horses in many colors. With his dedication and knowledge, he was able to produce perfect little horses that were some of the smallest in the world. Once the tiny sizes in all the colors were attained, a century of natural heritage and breed development was completed, Julio set out to show his Falabella Miniature Horses to the world!

In the 1960s Julio Falabella sent his Falabella Miniature Horses to the USA and other Countries. Several articles about the Falabella Miniature Horse were written in Western Horseman Magazine and National Geographic Magazine, as well as other Horse Magazines. The news spread like wildfire about this little Miniature Horse breed that was Centuries in the making from natural and selective breeding over many generations. Julio and his Falabella Miniature Horses became famous as he continued to export them to all parts of the world. Some of the richest and most famous people bought them. Among them were kings, princes, presidents and movie stars. It was not unusual to pay astronomical prices for some of Julio's smallest and best Falabellas. Through the 1970's the Falabellas were being imported in small groups. By this time, Julio had a large number of Falabellas on his huge Ranch in sizes as small as 28 inches with perfect conformation in all colors. Some of Julio's very best and most colorful stallions and mares were sent to the USA and other countries all over the world. It was during these years that the Falabella Miniature Horse became a registered breed through the Falabella Miniature Horse Association.

When Julio passed away in 1980, the Falabella Farm and his lifes work was continued in Argentina by his wife, Maria Luisa de Falabella and their son Julio and daughter, Maria Angelica Falabella. Angelica then later moved to the USA in 1995 and brought her very best Falabellas with her, including he smallest and most colorful Pintos and Appaloosas. Both Falabella Farms continued to be a primary producer and exporter of Falabella Miniature Horses all over the world until Maria Angelica Falabellas retirement in 2006.

Currently, Falabellas are still at the Falabella Farm in Argentina and others are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and a number of other Countries.

FAMOUS FALABELLAS The most famous Falabella to be imported to the United States was Chianti, a beautiful black Leopard Appaloosa stallion born in 1964, which was imported with Falabella mares sent to the Regina Winery in California in the 1960s. Chianti became an immediate sensation and has since been written about in many equine news articles. Chianti and his mares produced some of the first Falabellas foals born in America and some of the very first Appaloosas within the Miniature breed. One of the best known and finest sires in the USA was Toyland Zodiac, a 31 inch top quality, black Leopard Appaloosa Falabella stallion born in 1976. Toyland Zodiac is the leading sire and grandsire of more show quality and top winning offspring than any other Falabella stallion in the USA. Some of the most beautiful and finest quality Falabellas have Toyland Zodiac in their ancestry.

SPECIALIZING IN FALABELLAS Specializing in Falabellas is a popular choice for those who are looking for something unique and different. A growing number of Miniature breeders and other horse breeds are adding Falabellas to their farm as they see the many advantages in breeding these rare little horses. They are available in every color, giving a wide variety of choices. They can be registered and shown in competition in all Miniature Horse shows, and in all Miniature Horse Registries in the World. Most important, they have their own FMHA Registration certificate to authenticate their historic ancestry. With many top farm names coming and going over the years, the Falabella name has withstood the test of time and has retained its status. Falabellas are known and shown world wide and the name creates its own market which is a unique advertising and promotional advantage available to Falabella breeders. Some Falabellas can be expensive and carry premium prices, however, most can be acquired at affordable prices. Foals are especially desirable and can cost less than adults. They are a good choice forthose who want a few or are looking to acquire future breeding stock or show prospects.

There are less than 1,700 Falabellas registered in the FMHA since its incorporation in 1973. Only small herds are known to exist in the USA and most other countries, and their number is estimated to be only several thousand in the entire world. There is a strong demand and limited supply due to the small number in existence. There are distinct differences between Falabellas compared to American Miniature Horses. The rarity and purebred Falabella ancestry of every Falabella is what primarily sets it apart from all other Miniature Horses.

ARGENTINA ACCF FALABELLA REGISTRY All Falabellas originally came from the Falabella farm in Argentina and they still continue to breed and export their Falabellas around the World. The Falabella Farm in Argentina has developed its own Association de Criadores de Caballos Falaballa (ACCF) Registry, in which they record the original ancestry of their Sires, Dams and offspring born on the Falabella Farm. When a Falabella is imported from Argentina, they have an ACCF registration document which authenticates their Falabella Farm heritage.

FALABELLA MINIATURE HORSE ASSOCIATION The Falabella Miniature Horse Association (FMHA), was incorporated in 1973 as the first Falabella Miniature Horse Registry in the World. By this time, Falabellas were already becoming very popular and a number of breeders were importing them to the USA and other parts of the world. With continued importations of Falabellas and additional offspring being born, there was a need for a Registry to record and authenticate their pure Falabela ancestry, thus the beginning of the Falabella Miniature Horse Association. The Argentina ancestral Pedigrees were recorded and FMHA registration certificates were issued to all pure Falabellas and their offspring. Today, FMHA continues as an International Falabella Registry for Falabellas all over the World.

FMHA REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS Only pure Falabellas are accepted for Registration in FMHA. They must have an FMHA registered Sire and Dam or must have documented proof of every ancestor tracing their original ancestry to the Falabela Farm in Argentina. FMHA honors all pure Falabellas with Regisration certificates from imported Falabellas with ACCF registrations from the Argentina Falabella Farm and from other Falabella Registries in other Countries. The Falabella Registry, American Registries and other Miniature Horse Registries. An additional and important plus is that most Falabellas in the USA are also registered in the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) and/or the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) and Falabella offspring can be triple registered in AMHA, AMHR and FMHA. This gives owners the opportunity to register, breed and show their Falabellas in the Registries of their choice and still maintain a pure Falabella breeding program.

The American Miniature Horse is extremely popular and has become one of the top choice Equine breeds. Proof of their popularity is shown as the count of AMHA and AMHR Registrations are over 200,000 since their inception. In comparison, there are less than 1,700 Falbellas registered in FMHA since its inception in 1973, attesting to their rarity. Pure Falabellas make up only a tiny part of the growing number of other Miniature Horses, however, they are a big attraction for Miniature horse breeders and Falabella Fanciers. SHOWING FALABELLAS Winners Ribbons, trophies and special awards can bring show titles, recognition and added value to your Falabellas. Falabellas can compete side by side with other Miniatures for winners ribbons and National titles, and some have taken top awards on an International basis.

DISPOSITION Falabellas are sweet natured and enjoy being with children, adults and seniors. Their small size makes them easy to handle. They are easy to train to drive and fun to show. They can also provide family enjoyment as a beloved pet or companion for anyone, from tots to teens and adults, foals are especially adorable and affectionate making for a very unique and precious equine. They are versatile in many ways and can do all the things that any Miniature Horse can do. Most can be ridden by small children. They are quite intelligent and can be trained to do so many thing. They are strong for their size and driving them is very popular, especially in shows and parades.

QUALITY The quality of a Falabella is most important, having an overall appearance of a well balanced horse with a pleasing look, good legs, a good bite and good conformation, the same as required to show. Falabellas with the finest show quality are highly desirable.

BREED TYPE All breed types are acceptable for the Falabella. As development of the Falabella evolved, selective breeding has created a variety of types. Some of the most popular Breed types seen in Falabellas are the Arabian, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Pinto and Appaloosa, but the most important factor will always be their pure Falabella ancestry. Emphasis has been toward breeding for refinement, well balanced conformation and the look of a true horse in the breed type they resemble.

SIZE Birth heights can be as small as 12 inches and up to 22 inches or more, and mature heights are usually attained at 3 years of age. Since they are naturally a small equine breed, mature heights can be 25 inches to 34 inches and over but most Falabellas mature in the 30 to 34 inch height range. All sizes are accepted for registration in FMHA. In essence, size does not take away from their pure ancestry or their value. The Falabellas pure heritage has always been the first and foremost reason to acquire them. Once a pure Falbella is accepted for registration, they remain registered in FMHA for life.

COLORS The Falabella comes in all solid colors and a wide variety of colorful Pinto and Appaloosa patterns. Rare Pintaloosa patterns can also occur, showing both Pinto and Appaloosa markings. Some of the most colorful are in strong demand but limited in number.

FALABELLA BREEDER INCENTIVES Because of their rarity, the primary reason to have Falabellas is to protect and preserve the breed through dedicated breeding and keeping the bloodlines pure, but secondly, specializing in the Falabella bloodline gives a great marketing advantage since there are a small number of Falabella breeders but a large number of potential buyers who have Miniature Horses.

In a business sense, Falabellas can be acquired to start a small horse farm which can generate a yearly income in addition to your own job or business. It also offers farm tax benefits and can give a higher, safer and longer term return than some other investments. Foals have good value and are adorable and fun to raise. Additionally, foals will increase herd value if kept, or can generate income each year through sales. Feed costs are low and returns are high! A one time investment for each Falabella can give returns through foal sales for 20 years or more. The Falabella is truly a special breed to consider.

By Laurie Stevens

Laurie Stevens Author, and well renowned Pure Falabella Miniature horse breeder of 31 years has produced some of the finest Falabellas in the world. Please visit our Website at

Source: EzineArticles
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