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Horse Breeds
First Posted: June 28, 2009
Feb 21, 2014

Thessalian or Thessaly Horse Breed

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Country of Origin: Greece

The Thessalian is found in the region surrounding Thessaly in Greece. It is a light riding and draft breed improved since 1945 by crossing with Arab, Anglo-Arab and Lipitsa breeds. (Lapitsa - A famous breed of horses used at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Originated from Arab and Andalusian horses at Lipitsa stud in Yugoslavia. Light horses, usually gray, about 15.2 hands high. Foals are born black, gray or brown and change color gradually over a number of years. These horses are surprisingly small and muscular; one expects to see a much taller, more graceful animal. Called also Lipizzaner, Lippizaner and other similar spellings) Its original origins are probably from the Turkmenian Breed. The breed was thought to be extinct, however, it still survives in small numbers, but extremely rare. Alexander the Great's horse Bucephalus, was thought to be a Thessalian Breed.

Physical Characteristics

The colors are bay, brown, chestnut or gray. The Thessalian Breed is of the Oriental type and is intelligent and affectionate. The head is nicely shaped with a nice profile. The conformation is generally good. The legs are slim but strong. Their height is 14-15 hh.


Riding and light draft horse.

Note: Alexander the Great's stallion, Bucephalus, was thought to be a Thessalian. According to Bonnie Hendricks' International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, there are those who think Bucephalus may have been another breed, perhaps the now extinct Turkmenian.

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Horse Breeds