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Med imurje horse population in Slovenia

DOI: 10.2478/v10014-011-0027-3

Keywords: horses, breeds, Med imurje horse, history, scoring, genetic diversity, conservation

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Abstract:

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century the Med imurje horse played an important role as a draft and working horse in the river Mura region. Nowadays, this area is split between Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. In the frame of the project "Management of traditional transboundary breeds on example of a nearly forgotten breed the Murinsulaner", we collected data for cold blooded horses similar to the Med imurje horse. Horses of this type do not exist in Austria anymore, in Croatia they were registered as an authothonous breed Medjimurje horse , and in Slovenia and Hungary this horse has a special section in the stud book for cold blooded horses as a Med imurje type of horse. The Slovenian part of the population of the Med imurje horse is quite heterogeneous regarding body measures. With respect to the scoring system used in the above mentioned project, the majority of scored animals were classified as desired or satisfactory . In order to further develop or to preserve this type of horse or to form a consolidated breed we would have to make a breeding program which would prevent mating among related animals and to cooperate with neighbouring countries in the field of breeding and selection. The only hope to preserve this type of horse on the long term in the region is by using it as a tourist attraction for carriage riding and/or as a draft horse in agriculture in marginal regions.

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