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First Posted June 24,2009
Feb 7, 2015

Campolina Horse - A Gaited Breed

Country of Origin: Brazil

The Campolina breed was formed in Entre Rios de Minas, Minas Gerais in Brazil. The breed was developed by Cassiano Campolina on his farm Fazenda Tamque. Mr. Campolina began his horse operation in 1857, however, most people agree that the real development of the breed is 1870 when he received a black mare named "Medéia" from a friend. This mare was Brazilian (Barb Blood) and was bred by a pure Andalusian stallion belonging to Mariano Procópio who had received it as a present of the emperor Dom Pedro II. Medéia gave birth to a beautiful dark gray colt, a half blood Andalusian, named "Monarca" considered the founder of the Campolina breed. He served during 25 years in the herd of "Fazenda Tanque." Since the beginning, Cassiano Campolina concentrated his work of selection and genetic improvement in obtaining animals of great brio and smooth gait. Not only Monarca but several other stallions of other breeds have also influenced significantly in the formation of the Campolina breed:

Menelike (Anglo-Normand Breed). Golias (1/4 Clydesdale Breed), Teffer (Holsteiner Breed), Yanke Prince (American Saddle Horse), Rio Verde (Mangalarga Machador Breed)

The Mangalarga Marchador breed was used with the purpose of bringing better refinement to the Campolina. In 1934 the herdbook was closed and the introduction of outside breeds was no longer accepted. The Breed Standard was created at this time and the standard was updated in 1975. The Campolina is one of the larger Brazilian breeds, and may be found in any color. They are a gaited breed, with an ambling gait. The Campolina horses are used mainly for leisure riding and driving and are increasingly used for dressage within Brazil.

Breed Characteristics

  • Height: 15-16.2 hh
  • Color: Silver-gray, dun, bay, buckskin, "pampa" or pinto, any color
  • Can have facial markings and leg markings, dorsal stripes, pale guard hairs on either side of the maine, transverse shoulder strips, and leg striping called "zippers"
  • Hyperconvex noses
  • rapaezoidal shaped head
  • Flat forehead
  • Soft, rounded muzzle
  • Full lips
  • Large nostrils
  • Expressive eyes
  • Arched, muscular and well-proportioned neck
  • Deep and wide chest
  • Mane and tail hair is silky
  • Strong legs with good bone
  • Strong joints andwell-defined tendons
  • Round, solid, dark and hard hooves
  • Low set tail
  • Docile
  • Intelligent
  • Willing
  • Traditional Colors

Neck and Body

"In addition to the prominent curvature of the profile, the shape of the crest is also an important feature of the Campolina silhouette. In the relaxed forward pose, the ventral line of the neck from the caudal most point of the cheek to the top of the chest is quite straight. However, the dorsal surface of the neck should have a clear arch. This prominent crest accentuates the arch formed between the head and neck when the horse is flexed during riding. In a relaxed state, the balance of the face and neck from the side view can be evaluated by drawing a tangent from the points of maximal curvature. In the case of balanced conformation, the tangents should intersect roughly one inch in front of the ears (in the forward alert position).

The weight range for Campolina stallions and geldings is 550 to 600 kilograms (1,210 to 1,320 lb) and 350 to 450 kilograms (770 to 990 lb) for mares. In well-bred, well-conditioned animals, the chest is well developed. One symptom of poor breeding is a narrow chest with inadequate musculature between the front legs. This is a particular concern with the crossbred 'Mangolina' (Mangalarga Marchador x Campolina) Visually, however, the breeding practice frequently results in animals that are heavy in the rear end and look weak and unbalanced in rostro-caudal plane when viewed for the animal's full length....

...The underline of the Campolina should appear well fleshed but not overly rounded. There should be a good inverse symmetry in silhouette or side profile between the curvature of the underline and the fully outstretched neck and head. This conformation has been difficult to achieve in many animals, with many horses having the appearance of a short neck due to the curvature of the crest. The back of the Campolina should be a bit 'long'. When evaluating the animal's side profile, special attention should be paid to overall anatomical balance, which in this breed can err in overdevelopment of either the withers or the croup. Unbalanced horses tend to produce a rough ride and are referred to as having a 'hard' gait. Specifically, the withers should be well-developed but not appear exaggerated or considerably higher than the highest point of the croup. In evaluating the hindquarters of the Campolina, the croup should be quite full, though not overly muscular except in stallions. In those animals used for Dressage however, the preferred build goes against the breed standard. Dressage horses are preferred to have an 'uphill build' where the croup slightly lower than the withers. The tail of this breed should exit the rump at around the 1 o'clock position. Tails are typically mid to mid-low set. Very low tail sets often indicate mixed bloodlines with a likely influence of the Mangalarga Paulista in the genetic make-up of the animal under observation, but can be accounted for by a number of other breeds....

Gait and Movement

The Campolina is a gaited horse breed with a smooth, four-beat ambling gait. It is the largest of the three gaited Brazilian breeds, due to the influence of heavier breeds from Northern Europe. The gait is called the true marcha or marcha verdadeira. As one of the newer breeds, the standards for this animal have changed in recent generations. The provided images show the successive removal of the squaredness around the torso and shoulders and the nasal bones when viewed in profile. Historically, breeding schemes emphasized structure idealized for stereotyped, smooth and even paced gait. The newer examples of this breed display refinement in the torso, the nasal bones and around the mouth. These morphological changes confer increased degrees of freedom in joint movement and by extension, increased versatility generally in range and types of motion.

Projected Evolution of Breed Standard

The Campolina breed is a young breed relative to other established horse lines (Akhal Teke, Arabian, Lippizan) and breed standards are still evolving. Current trends have suggested a move away from the square mouth and retilineo or straight region of the nasal bones...In the new ideal, male nasal bones are prominent, retain the height of the earlier ideals but are now expected to generate a smooth 'curved and continuous' appearance...The ideal for the profile of the female head is more dynamic with a narrowing between the nasal bones to refine the lower face. The curvature of the nasal bones should appear to extend naturally from the intersection of the orbit and maxillary and lead gently into the muzzle. Both male and female head profile ideals are moving towards refined, narrow curvature in the lips, especially the upper lip. In the case of the female Campolina, certain breeders now seek to develop the curvature of the croup and buttocks to balance the nasal profile (i.e. an 'egua' (female horse) with a strongly curved profile must present a full, developed curvature of the rear)." Campolina

For More Information:

Campolina Horse Breed
International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds


Horse Breeds
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