Welcome on the official Castillon
Horses's web :
Issued of ancient wild herdes, as Ariège caves representations testify ; also called "Biros horse" or "Saint Gironnais", the Castillon horse has been imprinted with oriental and even more by iberian blood, wich give its peculiar look. Very endangered by outbreeding with heavy draught horses, loss of traditional outlets (army, carriage, agriculture), and above all native area depopulation, this worthy little horse would have achieved its agony without the intervention of a little group of friends, in the late 1980’s. Legend attributes its origins to Greece, just as Bethmale and Biros high valleys’s folkorical costume. The mark on the left thigh is a sybolised representation of the narrow wooden clog from Bethmale.
Castillon horse or "Castillonais" is a versatile horse, between 1,35 and 1,55 meters high, seal brown, or mealy bay, with a clearer nose tip (fox nose) and fire marks on the flank. Its caracteristics are : a medium and well positionned neck, a lightly jointed head, wide and deep chest, a wide back well supported, well tempered and muscled members. The paces are extented with an intensive engagement of hindlegs.
Area of breeding
Like its famous "cousin", Mérens horse, different from colors, Castillon horse is mainly raised in Ariège (region of Midi-Pyrénées).
To avoid the extinction of the breed, two main issues have been developed:
1. Genetical improvement : Research Laboratory of INRA (National Institute of Agronomical Research) together with the National Studfarm of Tarbes (Haras Nationaux de Tarbes) have developed apropriate steps to avoid consanguinity issues and to maintain precisely the standard.
2. Supporting the breeding stage with the conservation of male youngsters in accordance with the breed standard.
The aim of the breeding program is to double, before 2014, the numbers of good features broodmares.
Race’s numbers : 300 animals on 2005
Castillon horse fits perfectly for leasure horse riding in its varied pattern. Still, as these horses were formely dedicated for army, carriage or agriculture, this ancient outlets developped its skilfullness, frugality, stamina and good temper. Adapted to mountain, the horse fits with the terrain since its very young age.
Not one difficulty, neither steep pathes, nor bad weather threaten him, thus it’s a great pleasure to discover its “area of origins” riding it in complete freedom.
Its ability of bearing and its adaptation to the taugh conditions of mountainside are amazing. However its small size, it has the same capacity as the mule, and its hability of harnessing is still used for the pleasure of the growing numbers of amateurs in this discipline.
Read in the "La Dépêche du Midi" newspaper :
The Castillon Horse roam the
Ariège mountain pastures.
Their colour is seal brown, with the pangare gene characteristics, with fire marks on the flanks and a clearer nosetip, locally called “fox nose”, or they are mealy bay with the similar markings.
The Castillon horse breed merits a closer look and should be encouraged since it is endangered.
In bygone days farm horse or domestic horse, it was used for plowing, as a carriage horse or a packhorse. These are proofs of the horse hardiness, its hability for working and its reputation of good work horse.
Nowadays, it is still a versatile horse, serving two main purposes, either as a harness horse or for mounting.
It also shows itself to be an amazing riding horse for all types of recreational equitation.
The fifteenth Annual Breeders Fair of the Castillon horse will take place at Castillon en Couserans on Saturday 26 of August at 2 pm, the ancient breeding grounds of this rare horses are still pasturing for this summer.
This is a fine opportunity to meet horse breeders and to get to know and appreciate the finnest qualities of our horses.
We can answer any more questions you need (even in english) : Mail