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Horse Breeds
First Posted July 24, 2009
Dec 20, 2014

Dongola, Dongolowi Cameroonian Foulbés Horse Breed

Picture from the book "Mensch und Pferd" from Fulvio Cinquini

3-D Flags
Countries of Origin: Cameroon and Sudan

Image: CopyrightLWH
Dongola Parade

Image: CopyrightLWH
Housa Horsemen in a parade in Niger.

It is thought that the Dongola breed origined in the Sudan in the Dongola Province, Egypt and Eritrea. It is also thought that the breed descended from the Iberian horses that were taken to Egypt from Numedia, in the 13th century. (Numidia (202 BC-46 BC) was an Ancient Berber kingdom in what is now Algeria and a smaller part of western Tunisia, in North Africa. Numidia was originally divided between Massylii in the east and Masaesyli in the west. During the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), Massinissa, king of the Massylii, defeated Syphax of the Masaesyli to unify Numidia into one kingdom. The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later alternated between being a Roman province and being a Roman client state. It was bordered by the kingdoms of Mauretania (modern-day Morocco) to the west, the Roman province of Africa (modern-day Tunisia) to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Sahara Desert to the south. It is considered to be the first major state in the history of Algeria and the Berber world.) There is historical evidence that the Dongola horse predominates from Cameroon. It is associated with the Foulbés people who were from the Upper Nile. They are now a very rare breed. The mares are not very fertile and the stallions are not of good quality. The breed has degenerated in quality.

"The horses collectively termed West African Dongola are descended from the Dongola breed and the name applies to several strains found in West African countris and known as Fulana (across North Africa). Bahr-el-Ghazal (in Chad), Hausa and Bornu (in Nigeria) and Bandiagara , Djerma, Mossi, Songhai, and Yagha (all in Niger Bend). These horses are sometimes referred to as the West African Barb." International Horse Breeds Encyclopedia/page 158. They were mostly a riding horse.

Physical Characteristics

The Dongola Horse is taller than the Arab, but related. It has a firey temperament like the Arab and lots of spirit. They have large, long heads which tend to be narrow, a convex profile, flat croups, poorly attached loins, and thin legs. The chest is flat and high. In color they are deep reddish bay, black and chestnut with white markings on the face, lower legs and tail. They tend to be 15-15.2 hands high. Much of this is from poor breeding management. Some of the Dongola are nicely conformed, have endurance and vitality. An effort is being made to bring back the breed and imporve it by the Institute of Animal Research in Garou.

The breed was introduced into Ireland and bred to create faster hunting horses.

For More Information:

Data Base - Dongola
International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds
Dongola Horse

Horse Breeds