Monterufoli Pony Morphological Characterization and Standard Breed Updating

Roberto Tocci, Andrea Martini, Alessandro Giorgetti, Clara Sargentini


The Monterufoli pony is an endangered Tuscan breed-population, and the aim of this work is the domestic biodiversity conservation.  This pony derives from the province of Pisa and in the past was an appreciated driving equine. It derives from wild extinct equines that lived in central Tuscany and has Maremmano, Tolfetano and Oriental ancestors. The selection and the improvement of this population began in the early 1900. Up to now Braccini published the most complete “standard breed” in 1947.  Since the 60’s the reduction of Monterufoli pony population began and this equine risked extinction. In the 80’s local and state breeders re-introduced this pony in some areas of Tuscany. The standard breed was updated in this study, and a comparison between males and females was performed. The average sizes were: height at withers of 135.0±1.7 and 128.6±1.7, thorax circumference of 162.4±3.7 and 163.5±4.0, front shank circumference of 17.9±0.3 and 16.2±0.4, for males and females, respectively. The measures of adult females were estimated by ANOVA considering three different classes of age (3-4, 5-6 and over 6 years old). Thorax height, Croup length and bi-ischium height were higher in over 6 year old females. All ponies had dark coat. Monterufoli ponies showed the phenotypical features of the breeds that contributed to improve the local population: over 80% of population had convex nose typical of Maremmano and Tolfetano horses. The comparison between the 1947 standard breed and the actual standard breed showed that the “old” Monterufoli pony was more dolicomorphic than the modern pony.


Biometrics, Breed standard, Body Index, Monterufoli Pony, Morphological characteristics

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