Celebrate the Azteca this Cinco de Mayo!

This little known breed might just be one of the most versatile horses on the planet.

The Azteca was first bred in 1972 as a horse for charros, the traditional horsemen of Mexico. The three foundation breeds of the Azteca are the Andalusian, American Quarter Horse, and Mexican Criollo. It comes in all colors, though grey is most common, and is ideally 14.3 to 15.1 hh and 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.

“According to the breed standard of the Mexican registry, Azteca horses cannot have more than 75 percent of their parentage from any one of the foundation breeds (Andalusian, Quarter Horse and Mexican Criollo); Criollo blood may be no more than 50%, and only from unregistered mares within Mexico. Horses are classified in one of six registration categories, designated with letters A through F, depending on their parentage. Only certain crosses between the different classes are permitted. In Mexico, Azteca horses must conform to a strict phenotype standard established by the Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), the Mexican agriculture ministry, which requires inspection of foals at seven months for the issue of a “birth certificate”; a foal that does not meet the breed standards may be denied registration even if both parents are registered Aztecas approved for breeding. Full registration and approval for breeding are subject to a second and more detailed inspection at age three or more, and granted only to those horses that fully satisfy the requirements of the standard.” – Wikipedia.  The American Azteca registry isn’t quite as strict, allowing some Thoroughbred blood in the mix as well.

Don Antonio Ariza Cañadilla was instrumental in naming the breed the “National Horse of Mexico” and with its official recognition by the Mexican Department of Agriculture on November 4, 1982.

Aztecas are known for their athleticism making the breed suitable for western riding events such as reining, cutting, team penning and roping…

as well as polo, dressage…

and even driving.

But what they are most known for is dancing…in full costume…to mariachi music.  You can’t beat that.

Watch the whole video:

Go Riding!


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