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The modern Murgese dates from the 1920s and takes its name from the Murge
region near Puglia. It is the result of crossing oriental blood with local
The original Murgese trace back five hundred years or more and were
indigenous to the Orfano plain and the hill district near Gravina, but the
breed died out for approximately two hundred years.
Todays Murgese is a light draught or riding horse of no particular type. It
usually stands between 15 to 16 h.h. and is most often chestnut, however
other solid colours do occur. The conformation is variable; it often lacks
quality; the head is usually plain; it has poor hindquarters and a low set
tail. However, it has an amiable temperament and is most suited to light
draught work, though some of the best examples can make good mounts.