Saving the Murinsulaner horse breed
I.Bodó DAGENE, Debrecen University
The history of this breed is ancient and traditional. It goes back to the time of the antic Roman Empire. The name of the region, the whole Alpine territory province was NORICUM. It is the origin, of course, of the name of Noric horses in Austria. It seems that during the centuries in Western part of the region a smaller, faster and lighter type was formed and it is now the Freiberger or Franche Montagne in Switzerland. Nearly the same happened in the Eastern part of the region and it is the Murinsulaner.
According to our teachers from the nineteenth century these types were formed perhaps by the impact of warm blooded horses and became a little bit smaller and faster.
The Mura river side of Noricum belongs now to four countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Hungary.
In Hungary the Murinsulaner horses were used also in the cities (e.g. Budapest) in order to pull the omnibuses because these horses were strong, quick and reliable. Because of the interest of the army to breed cold blooded horses was not allowed, the only exception were some western counties and the big estates. Old soldiers told us that in the war Murinsulaner served always before the field kitchen, because it was the most important task.
In such a way the breed was flourishing up to World War II. Then in Hungary the import of western cold blooded stallions (Ardennais and Percheron) involved the Murinsulaner breed in danger of extinction. All the horses under 24 cm canon bone circumference were castrated. The Murinsulaner decline quickly. After some decades the Research Institute started a trial to save the breed. It took about ten years of work.
In the second part of 20est century the general breeding goal was to breed sport horses first of all for jumping. Concerning cold blooded horses however the new goal was more and more the meat production. For this reason bigger horses were favored. In such a way the breed became again on the side of extinction, only the type survived within the breed in Hungary and also in Austria and Slovenia.
The nice exception is Croatia, where a small number of mares are registered as Murinsulaner or Međimurski horse breed.
Useful characteristics of Murinsulaner:
Conformation = different from other cold blooded horses
Smaller size = less expensive keeping
Beauty = attractive in tourism
Quicker = more economic in work
Working ability = possible use in traditional agricultural work program.
Relationship of breed or type is a theoretical question. The task is however to save the type within the breed, because the type has realistic genetic value indeed in connection with the usefulness of Murinsulaner type horses.
The tourism can consume the maintained Murinsulaner horses when using them in showing traditional agricultural work for tourists. People living in towns know nothing about the ancient agriculture and that’s why it is a good idea to join saving the Murinslaner breed to elaborate a program for the traditional work of horses showing to the people coming as tourists.
Now a new project can be launched in the framework of . BREED DEVELOPMENT AND
CONSERVATION – in situ of ERFP program.
The accepted and “improved” project is on the next pages.
BREED DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION – in situ
Management of traditional transboundary breeds
on the example of a nearly forgotten breed, the Murinsulaner
DAGENE an International NGO, registered in Hungary
National coordinator : T.Szobolevszki, President prof. I. Bodó
H-1024 Budapest Keleti K.-u.24
Project manager : I Bodó
A u s t r i a National coordinator B. Berger
prof J. Sölkner
„BOKU” University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
A-1180 Vienna Georg Mendel Str. 33.
C r o a t i a National coordinator : A.Invankovic
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture
HR-10000 Zagreb Svetosimunska 25
H u n g a r y National coordinator T.Szobolevszki
Legal successor> Director F. Márkus
Őrség National Park
Őriszentpeter H-9941 Siskaszer26/A.
S l o v e n i a National coordinator : D. Kompan
University of Ljubjana, Biotechnical Faculty SL-1230 Domźale Groblje 3.
Breeders and breeders’ associations will be involved in the project.
Total amount required
15 000 ?s
Duration of the project
Two years :
1st of July 2008 - 30th of June 2010
To establish a well constructed international registration and management, as an example for all transboundary breeds. A study on utilization of working horses in modern world (tourism incl.) and the dissemination of results is involved in the project as well.
The Murinsulaner has been a local horse breed of four Mura riverside countries,
Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia. After World War II the import and the impact of
Belgian and Ardenner stallions reduced the population to the threshold of extinction., however the Murinsulaner type horses are existing also in all the four countries.
It is well adapted to the region and to the agricultural work and also to logging in forestry. The breed is useful for the small holders, existing again in those countries. The aim of the project is to discover, identify and register the existing Murinsulaner type horses. The reasonable use and the aspect of nature protection and tourism should not be neglected either.
Description of the work
The first event will be a workshop in Hungary. The aim is the creation of an
international working group. The detailed tasks should be decided. Besides the demonstration of utilization, a discussion on the breed standards based on the historic and literature data, to elaborate a scoring system and put it on record will be an important item of agenda.
The members of the working group will take contact with the breeders of the Mura river region of their countries. Then data on the Murinsulaner type, and Murinsulaner pedigree horses will be collected and registered. Short meetings and exchange of technical experiences will be organized in Austria and Slovenia as well. Data collection continued and the horses registered at the field visits can be introduced in the register. (a possible visit of close relative Franche Montagne horse breed as well could be included).
The second workshop (in Croatia) will decide the form and details of the international stud book in possession of collected data. The hardware and software for the stood book should be chosen. A small working group will be responsible for preparing of the first volume of stud book. The printed and edited first volume of studbook will contain the history, the standards of the breed and the introduced horses’ data as well
The aim of the final workshop will be the dissemination of the results by elaboration
and publishing of proceedings or final report. For the maintenance of the breed recommendation for maintenance, possible genetic progress and utilization will be prepared and submitted for the four governments.
1. Established working groups, as well as discussed and accepted breed standards.
Demonstration of horses in work.
2. Data collection and evaluation of collected data. Discussion and acceptance of the
electronic form of an international stud book.
3. Establishing of the first volume of International Murinsulaner Stud Book. Decision for
the further activity and maintenance of an international stud book.
4. An international conference for dissemination of the results . Recommendation for the
governments. Elaboration of proceedings and the final report.
Proposed time table for the mile stones :
Mile stone At which date Supposed date
1. Just after the start of the project 01.08.2008.
2. At about 8 months after the start 15. 04.2009.
3. After finishing data collection 01 04.2010.
4. Near to the end of the second year of the project 15. 06.2010
Saving a valuable, once very famous international horse breed threatened by extinction and useful for small holders and in forestry work.
Creation of the international registration system and the stud book of the breed. Selection criteria for stabilization of the breed, performance and utilization included. Publication and dissemination of the results and experiences among breeders. Organization of an international conference on the problem of transboundary domestic animal breeds bred in several European countries. A study on the possible utilization of horses in modern world, the aspect of nature protection and tourism are emphasized.
Also the necessary local contribution taken into consideration for displacement, international workshop organization, data collection, editing and publishing the first volume of the international Stud Book and the and publishing of proceedings and recommendations for small holder farms
15 000 ?uros seems to be necessary.
A detailed distribution of the budget
The aim The budget in ?-s
DAGENE HU CR AT SL TOTAL HU
The first workshop in Hungary 550 100 100 100 100 950
Data collection and meeting in 100 100 1950 100 100 2350
Data collection in Croatia 100 1500 100 100 100 1900
Data collection in Hungary 1500 100 100 100 100 1900
Data collection and meeting in 100 100 100 1950 100 2350
Second workshop in Croatia 100 550 100 100 100 950
Editing of the stud book 200 200 200 200 2000 2800
The final workshop and 100 100 100 100 1000 1400
Organization of the whole 400 400
Total : 2750 2750 2750 2750 4000 15000
Budapest, 10 04 2008
prof I B o d ó