The Hispano-Breton breed can be found in the mountainous areas of the province of Leon, mainly in the region of Babia


A little history… During the decade of the 30’s, by the breeding services of the Breed Caballar of the Ministry of Defense, the Breton stallions began to be imported,  they were introduced through the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian Cornice and the mountain areas of Castilla y León. There were races imported previously that did not give the desired result, since, they were apt for the light shot and to mount, but not for the heavy shot that is what was needed. The Breton breed gave a satisfactory result when crossing it with the autochthonous mare and then, it continued incorporating Breton blood for the improvement of the race.

It is from the 60’s when the name Hispano-Breton begins to be used, whose origin, as I mentioned earlier, is Breton crossbreed with native mares, in order to be used for work and meat consumption. So many benefits it reports to our health by containing Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for our health. It is also very rich in iron and vitamin B, which makes it a very advisable diet for children, adults, athletes and people with anemia.

The Hispano-Breton breed can be found in the mountainous areas of the province of Leon, mainly in the region of Babia, where they graze in very different meteorological conditions that can oscillate from temperatures below zero degrees accompanied by great snowfall during the winter, to 30 degrees in the central hours of the day during the summer. Autumn and spring are the most favorable seasons of the year with rains that allow the growth of the pastures.

The Hispano-Breton horses having a muscle mass so developed and so robust adapt to the adversities of the high mountain perfectly, holding on to their pastures despite the snow and being able to find food for themselves, digging until the pasture which is under the snow.
Hispano-Bretón is one of the main races of shot or heavy of the world that has its origin in the French Brittany. It has a great resistance, is very muscular, rustic and very energetic. Its height is between 1.55 and 1.65 m. with a weight between 700 and 900 kg. It has a well-proportioned head, with broad forehead and short ears. The neck is rather short, muscled and arched. Chest and back also wide and well-muscled. Extremities short and powerful, with wide and resistant joints.

La parada de Babia
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Equine breeders

In Spain there is a National Association of Breeders of Equine Breed of Hispano-Breed, of the 500 winners that form this association more than 400 are from Leon, who are betting strongly for the meat of foal taking advantage of the pastures for the feeding of the Equines, which cover 80% of the nutritional needs of a mare’s annual feeding, and giving life and business to the most disadvantaged rural areas. They have more than six thousand heads of cattle distributed by the region of Babia, Laciana, Riaño, Boñar or Lillo. It should be noted that the Hispano-Breton breed is in danger of extinction since 1997 and in Babia is where we can find the best specimens.

The meat can be bought in the San Emiliano cooperative and in the butcher shops of León and Ponferrada. In addition to the fresh meat you can buy sausage, sausage and dried meat.

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Characteristics of the Food of Foal

Foal meat begins to be quite accepted in the market although it is not yet very consumed, in spite of the amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals that it contributes to our diet. It is a very healthy and healthy meat, these are the most remarkable characteristics; foal meat has a low fat content, provides three times more iron than beef, is very tender and ideal for growing children and athletes. The color of the meat is dark red with a sweet taste, pleasant and easy to digest
There is a very valued aspect in the breeding of foal meat for the consumption and is that, its production is very clean since these animals spend the majority of their life grazing in the open air. The great consumption of grasses also contributes to the maintenance of the forests.

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Hispano-Bretón Productivity

The Hispano-Breton horse is encompassed within the so-called heavyweight horses, is an animal suitable for field work, the farmers of the region of Babia use it as a draft animal, mainly the use of this breed is for production Meat, work, cargo, trawling and leisure (rural tourism, fairs and pilgrimages).
Hispano-Breton remains profitable as a working animal for small crops and is suitable for heavy-duty work. Although this breed today also is directed to the production of pony meat, having good acceptance in the Spanish market and also in the export to other countries like France and Italy.
The benefits of pony meat are manifold, as it is a meat with a significant source of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper. And in case it was little its price is smaller than the one of those that we have custom of consuming.

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The pastures of Babia

It should not be forgotten that Babia has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2004 and Place of Community Importance (LIC). Its main wealth and economic activity is cattle breeding (equine, cattle, sheep and very little goat) that grazes the ports of Babia for more than eight centuries, and this “translates into the quality of livestock products of Babia” , To make them known in the year 2010 was created the Environmental Sustainability Brand “Babia, Biosphere Reserve”.
After a study of productivity of high mountain pastures carried out by the Biosphere Reserve, it was deduced that the pasture quality of the region of Babia is higher than that of other pastures of port such as, Pyrenees or Cordillera Cantábrica.
Still today some transhumance posts are occupied by cattle from the south of Castile and Leon.

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