Today we would like to tell you about one of the breeds of native animals around here: “Los Asturcones”.
Within the native asturian breeds, it is perhaps the best known. They are small horses, but strong and sturdy, and very hairy in winter.
Although there are representations of horses in these land since the Paleolithic, it seems that the Asturcones began to come here around the VIII-VI centuries a.C. There are several theories that make them related to other ponies or small Celtic horses, although with origin in the Caspian pony. In fact, these theories indicate that they have common ties with other ponies in areas as long away as Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and Germany. On the peninsula, they are family of Galician Facos, Basque Pottoka or Portuguese Garranos. You know, then we think that we travel a lot…
Like many other indigenous races, the modern and above all contemporary age did not sit well with them. Being small animals and “less productive” than other foreign breeds, their breeding became a jam. But the hardest time was the time between the 1930s and 1970s. The Asturcon was no longer valued for meat or draft animals, and was on the verge of its disappearance.
In the 70s it starts a revival, thanks to conservative associations and the Ponis Breeders of the Asturcón race Association.
Today the Asturcon is not only a horse of ancestral roots, but represents purity, nobility and freedom. Don’t forget that it lives free on the mountain, and has a lot of resistance to adapt to harsh climates and rugged terrain.
Since 1980, in August, the “Fiesta del Asturcón” is celebrated, dedicated to exhibiting, taming and marking these horses.
Next time somebody tells you something’s small and “it’s worthless,” think of the Asturcon.
Oh, if It could talk…
Sources used: A. ALVAREZ SEVILLA. Les races autoctones del Principáu d’Asturies
Photo: La Cerecina (web www.asturcones.com)
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