By PetMD Editorial on Jan. 3, 2010

The Karakaçan is a rare horse breed that emerged in Turkey as a result of breeding Trakya horses with other horse breeds from Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. It is a light draft horse characterized by a muscular conformation and a lively temperament. Due to an uncontrolled breeding process, however, the number of Karakaçan horses has declined through the years. Today, it is difficult to find purebred Karakaçan horses, even in Turkey.


Physical Characteristics


Most Karakaçan horses are bay in color. They have a massive, convex-shaped head with large, expressive eyes that are set far apart. The head is attached to a muscular neck of average length. They have sloping but muscular shoulders, a short but strong back, pronounced withers, and a sloped and muscular croup.


The Karakaçan’s legs are well-developed; It has strong leg bones, well-built joints and hard hooves.


Personality and Temperament


The Karakaçan is known for its energy and lively temperament. Such active disposition coupled with enormous strength makes the Karakaçan a perfect draft and riding horse.


History and Background


The Karakaçan horse breed is the result of extensive inter-breeding programs involving the Trakya horse and horses coming from Tuna (in Romania), Bosnia (in Hungary) and Kirim (in Bulgaria). The Turks brought these horses to Turkey during the time when these territories were under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Today, there are very few Karakaçan purebreds left because of the incessant inter-breeding with Trakya horses. To ensure their preservation, most of them are reared and bred in stud farms in Turkey. There are some 1,000 known purebreds in Turkey today, and these are at high risk of becoming extinct.

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