And Man created the horse

Over time, breeders made crosses in order to produce horses that met specific criteria (lighter, sportier, etc.). The French saddle horse, for instance, is thus the result of numerous crosses between regional half-bloods and English thoroughbreds. Officially defined in December 1958, the breed has been continuously improved to meet the demands of equestrian sports. This example illustrates man's control over the evolution of the breeds and the search for effective modifications depending on use. This phenomenon, which dates back to the 17th century with the creation of the National stud farms, continued and grew, especially in the 19th century. The period was marked by the appearance of animal production science (or "zootechnics"), the science of improving domestic animals. The notion of "breeds" was therefore at the heart of the debate. Should crosses be made or should purebreds be fostered? The animal production scientist Raoul Baron (1852-1908) and professor of the Veterinary School of Toulouse Andre Sanson (1826-1902) advocated each theory, respectively. In the second half of the 19th century, the multiplicity of breeds reflected memberships in social groups. Its class had its horse.

Man is not what has always been said, a destroyer of biodiversity, but rather, man also created biodiversity by domesticating animals and creating breeds within species, [he] created biodiversity and that biodiversity is a gene pool that must be conserved.


Jean-Pierre Digard

At present, every breed continues stand out based on its use. And human needs always generate new breeds. Thus, the Henson horse or Somme bay horse appeared in the early 1990s. Useful for outdoor tourism and outdoor riding and in vogue over the past twenty years, this horse is also a new, commanding emblem for the region, a new living heritage.

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