The Anglo Arab horse is not so much a breed of a composite of the two most famous breeds namely the Thoroughbred and the Arab. First developed in the UK after the development there at the Thoroughbred in the 18th century today they are bred in many countries, but most famously France is now known as specialising in developing strong utility Anglo Arabs.

The breed standard in the UK for Anglo Arab requires that only Arabs or Thoroughbreds be used in the creation of the Anglo Arab. Either the stallion or the mare can be Thoroughbred or Arab, and Anglo Arabs themselves can be crossbred with other Anglo Arabs or Thoroughbreds or Arabs… But the resulting progeny must have a minimum of 12 1/2% Arab blood

the breeding program in the UK produces high-quality Anglo Arabs but is dwarfed in size by the equivalent French operation. In the UK it is more common in the British breeders to cross an Arab stay in with a Thoroughbred mare with the likely outcome, and Anglo Arab which is larger than both its parents. The reverse combination using a thoroughbred stallion most often results in smaller offspring and thus breeding combination is avoided

The famous breeding centres in France are at Pompadour, Tarbes, Pau, and Gelos. In France the breed standards differ from the UK standard in that Anglo Arabs must have no less than 25% Arab blood.

Most likely, the difference in size between the breeding programs has a lot to do with the horse being used by the Royal family in France. Napoleon himself used them as cavalry remounts in his 18th-century campaign. France also put more effort into sourcing extremely sturdy, high endurance desert bred Arabs correctly from the Arabian countries of Syria and Tunisia ensuring their founding stock for had very high standards.

Early on in the 19th-century thoroughbreds were crossed with Arabs in an attempt to create a new breed with the strength and speed of the Thoroughbred and the sturdiness and hardiness of the Arab. The commencement of this program was somewhat flawed for several reasons. The breeders in the UK at that time lacked access to the highest quality Arab stallions. But more importantly, the preponderance of the Arab blood meant that was unlikely and Anglo Arab pre-could ever be created, as eventually be Arab genes would exert their dominant influence in the Thoroughbred characteristics of this new horse would be diluted with each successive generation.

By 1836 systematic breeding had begun in Pompadour France using two principal Arab stains Massoud ad Aslan (who was described as a Turk), and three Thoroughbred foundation mares, Dair, Common Mare, and Selim Mare. Selection criteria for progeny remaining in the breeding program were rigorous – individuals needed to have high stamina excellent confirmation and be proven performers, this breeding policy is maintained in present times. A racing program specific to the breed evolved to further this performance testing criterion in France there are over 30 race meetings each year solid the Anglo Arabs in addition to jumping and cross-country tests. The French realised very early on in their breeding program that was the Thoroughbred genes would provide the majority of the speed it was the Arab blood that would bring the refining and determining influence.

The philosophy behind crossing an Arab and a Thoroughbred is the creation of a horse ideally suited to the modern competitive disciplines of inventing dressage and showjumping. The Thoroughbred genes provide size speed and a more appropriate action, with the Arab providing a more affable temperament soundly is a high constitution and of course the prized Arab qualities of endurance stamina and intelligence.

Comparing the two versions (UK versus French) the French Anglo Arab is slightly less elegant piece tough harder and more versatile the Pompadour bread Anglo Arabs are larger and more muscular but all of the French versions are athletic superior jumping ability and correct actions. They appear far more Thoroughbred and Arab with a straight as opposed to concave head profile longer neck larger withers with oblique muscular shoulders. This is in spite of the fact that the French breed standard requires a higher percentage of Arab blood.

The frame is more solid than the Thoroughbred, with the croup longer and more horizontal. The Anglo-Arab lacks the straight-line speed at the Thoroughbred, but it that far surpasses the Thoroughbred in jumping ability. Its temperament and natural easy pace leave it well suited to dressage.

The best performing French Anglo Arabs have had between 25 to 45% Arab blood; indeed many of France’s Olympic and international horse sports medals had been won by writers on Anglo Arabs.

Australia has its own Anglo Arabian society, their website can be visited here