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When we talk about Albino horse we must distinguish in what sense we are meaning it, or if we want to talk about the breed, or about the horse named Albino which has entered history for its exploits but which is not at all white in hair.
If we mean the breed, it's American and it's called American White, indicates a horse with milky white fur and very light blue eyes very sensitive to the sun. Officialized around 1900, this breed is characterized by a docile and meek character and a robust and strong physique just like the progenitor Old King. If we look at the genetics we can say that pure albino horses are very rare to meet and recognize each other because they hold the dominant white gene (W), for the rest they are very often horses that look white but are actually horses gray horses, whose coat has turned white.
Albino horse: origins
We explained what this breed is recently born in America, when the Albino American Association was also founded to define it, because otherwise the albino would simply be the color of a coat. To try to understand a little more we can go and investigate the characteristics of the progenitor, the stallion Old King, which many believe to be of Arab and Morgan blood.
Albino horse: characteristics
As an animal it is mesomorphic, it is characterized by the color of the coat more than anything else which must be milky white or cream colored. As for its measurements, the standard indicates an average height at the withers of about 150 - 158 cm and a weight around 500 kg. If we look at its morphological characteristics we can say that there are different conformations that the Albino can assume, passing from those of the Quarter Horse, or the Morgan, or even the English and Arab thoroughbreds.
The head is usually short and has some muscular jaws and evident, the blue eyes they are very large and rarely can be even black or hazel even if the light color is prevalent. The nostrils are large, the withers are moderately developed, the shoulders are muscular and strong while the croup is quite long and ends with a bushy tail and of medium length. Like all the rest of the body, even the limbs are structured and equipped with very expressed forearms.
Albino horse: attitudes
A horse with these characteristics is extremely versatile but we can point out that the disciplines in which it excels are show jumping, dressage and all western disciplines. It is also an excellent horse when it comes to learning exercises for which it has also been widely used in Hollywood, it is also an exhibition horse and is used in circuses and in dexterity exercises.
Albino horse in history
When Cavallo Albino does not indicate the American breed that we have described so far, then we are referring to the horse with the name Albino, also known as Albino the horse of Italy. This animal does not have much of the breed that we have told because it is clearly a Maremma bay horse that after growing up with the child-owner was requisitioned by the Army for the war and then joined by the grown up boy who enlisted to share his fate in the distant Russian steppes. .
There is also a book that tells the story, dating back to 1958 and also republished in installments on Il Corriere dei Piccoli in 1962 but the true story is more exciting and full of legendary episodes. The Albino horse was born in 1932 and since he was a foal he has been included in the Savoia Cavalleria even if he had vision problems in one eye, problems that did not prevent him from serving in an extremely important way.
This horse followed the Regiment in the note Russian campaign (1941-1943) and played a leading role in Isbuschenskij, because he managed to save the lives of thousands of Italian soldiers in danger when the enemies managed to break through the front. Our Albino was in the 2nd Squadron, mounted by the sergeant major Giuseppe Fantini. He participated with courage in the charge and was wounded, but his master had a worse fate and died on the spot. The horse then managed to return to Italy with the Regiment and experienced the dramatic times after the armistice of 8 September 1943 on the side of the R.S.I., framed in the Autonomous Squadron Army Staff and surrendered to the allied units, with military honors, at the area headquarters in Via Verdi, in Milan.
After this glorious parenthesis, he was sold to a farmer and began a much more peaceful second career, pulling a cart. Until it was seen a Lombard sum by the old commander of the Regiment, Colonel Alessandro Bettoni Cazzago, and by the old commander of his squadron, Captain Francesco Saverio De Leone. Together with other horses it was bought and then transferred from the historic headquarters in Milan to Merano. Here is the third life of Albino who at this point was able to spend peaceful moments surrounded by a lot of attention and with a "little house-box" of his own, among the tanks, with the walls lined with photographs and letters that children wrote to him from various parts of Italy.
The famous horse died on October 21, 1960, after so many reckless adventures, simply of old age. It was embalmed and is now in the department museum.
You may also be interested in our related articles on the following horse breeds:
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