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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Aug 3, 2009
Sep 26, 2010

Salerno Horse

Salerno Horse


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Country of Origin: Italy

The Salerno Horse is now quite rare.


The Salerno was originally from Salerno, in Italy. There was no fixed breeding system for these horses until the 1780's. At that time, people began to selectively breed at the Persano Stud. The solid foundation base stock was made up of Neopolitan, Spanish, and Oriental blood. This breed was promoted by King Charles III, who was the King of Naples, and Spain.


At the Persano Stud, a combination of the local stock and Lipizzaners were introduced to the Salerno breed. There were three stallions that were influential on Salernos at the stud. Their names were Pluto, Conversano, and Napoletano. They are known as the foundation sires. Because these horses were originally bred at Persano, they were known as Persano horses at first. The breed developed into a good quality riding horse that was similar to its Spanish ancestors. The Persano Stud was closed in 1864, and people stopped breeding Persano horses there. Andalusian Horses influenced the Salerno horse.

20th Century Influences

During the 20th Century Hackney and Thoroughbred bloods were introduced. These new bloodlines helped the breed by making its size increase, and by refining it. The newly built Morese Stud became one of the most influential studs on the breed. It also was located close to the original Persano Stud.

Physical Description

Salerno horses usually have a light and well set head. They also have a long muscular neck. Their backs are generally well proportioned. These horses have sloping shoulders, muscular quarters, and strong, slender legs. The main colors found, today, are bay, black, or chestnut. They have long manes and tails. Salernos stand from between 16 hands to 17 hands high.


The Salerno has become a first-class riding horse, and a cavalry mount. They also make superb sport horses, and have a good and natural jump.

Notes of Interest

Two of the most famous Salerno horses are Merano and Posillipo. They were both ridden by Raimondo d'Inzeo. Raimondo rode Merano at the 1956 World Showjumping Championships, and led the team to victory. Posillipo led d'Inzeo to the gold at the 1960 Summer Olympics.