The Menorquín

The Menorquín or Catalan: Cavall Menorquí is a breed of horse indigenous to the island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands. Associated with the doma menorquina style of riding. Doma Menorquina is a mix of a combination of Haute Ecole (dressage) ("High School") and Doma Vaquera disciplines.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Photograph by Antonio Sánchez


Research suggests links between the Menorquín and Arab breeds, or a Berber origin, or possibly brought to Menorca from central Europe by King James I of Aragon. The Government of the Balearic Islands states it belongs to the eastern group of indigenous Iberian horses which also included the now extinct Catalan horse.

The Menorquín was officially recognised as an indigenous breed in 1989, and is listed in the Catálogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de España in the group of autochthonous breeds in danger of extinction.[Note autochtonous means native to the soil] The FAO lists it as "endangered". In April 2011 the total population was reported to be 2995, of which fewer than 200 were outside the Balearic Islands. A breeders' association, the Associació de Criadors i Propietaris de Cavalls de Raça Menorquina, was formed in August 1988.

The Menorquín may only be black. Limited white markings are permitted. Minimum permissible height 1.54 m (15.1 hands) for males and 1.51 m (14.3 hands) for females. The profile is slightly convex, the body and limbs long, the eye round and lively. It is strong and energetic, slender, powerful and muscular and suited for saddle or driving use. Its most valued quality is its suitability for the traditional festivals of Menorca, where it is considered irreplaceable and for the elevade and movements of the doma menorquina.