Prepared from information supplied by the Andalusian Horse Association of Australasia
The first Andalusian horses were imported to Australia by the late Ray Williams, and arrived at his El Caballo complex near Perth in 1973. The Australian Andalusian Association, later the Andalusian Horse Association of Australasia, was formed soon after and now has branches in all states.
Originating on the Iberian Peninsula, the Andalusian has a long history. The name Andalusian' comes from Andalucia in southern Spain.
Ancient cave paintings in Spain show the sub-convex profile, high trotting action and close coupled body that is typical of the breed. Although predominantly grey; black, bay and cremello are all acceptable colours in the studbook, with chestnut a recent addition.
Andalusian gaits are powerful, rounded and lively. Recognised for having excellent trotting ability and energetic forward going hock action, the Andalusian can accelerate over a given distance, and then collect and gather into a position of extreme balance. This athletic control over a compact frame has led to success as a performer, as a fighting horse and as a mount for the aristocracy of Europe.
Of noble proportions, and combining beauty and function, the overall Andalusian profile is rounded with the legs set 'under'. Andalusians have gained international recognition as dressage horses. They are also suited to working with bulls and cattle and are versatile, comfortable riding horses.
Andalusians are gentle, calm and obedient horses, making them easy to train. They also have courage and build strong relationships of trust and fidelity with their owners.
For many years the Western Australian mounted police rode partbred Andalusians. Two partbred Andalusians qualified for the Australian Seoul Olympic equestrian team. Dr Rod Ryan's combined driving team of partbred Andalusians won championships across eastern Australia.
Today, pure and partbred Andalusians are bred and used across Australia. They are found at dressage, eventing, showjumping, harness and pony club events. They are also used for stock work and as pleasure mounts.