The Horses and the Camargue

  • Patrick Duncan
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 87)


The Camargue is a medium-sized horse (1.35–1.45 m at the shoulder, 350–500 kg). It is remarkable for its coat color (uniformly white in adults), its heavy limb bones, and its broad hooves, which are apparently adaptations to the wetlands in which it lives. The historical record suggests that the morphology and color of the Camargue horses today (see photographic plates) are little different from what they were hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago (see Appendix 2). This stability implies that modern husbandry practices have had little effect on the animals, in spite of the intensive crossbreeding practiced in the 19th century to produce horses for the light cavalry. By 1950, most of the introduced characteristics had disappeared, and in 1978, when the breed was officially recognized by the Haras Nationaux (Bideault 1978), the animals were morphologically closely similar to Poulle’s description in 1817, before the crossbreeding began. However the results of blood typing (Kaminski and Duncan 1981) show that the Camargue horses have not the high degree of genetic heterozygosity characteristic of hardy breeds of European ponies such as the New Forest. In this respect, they are intermediate between the ponies and highly selected breeds, such as the Arabians and Thoroughbreds.


Wild Boar Acid Detergent Fiber Herb Layer Green Matter Fallow Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Duncan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueCentre d’Etudes Biologiques de ChizeVilliers-en-BoisFrance

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