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The Messara (also known as Cretan horseJasper Nissen: Enzyklop├Ądie der Pferderassen. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3440097234 (German)) is a light riding and draft horse found on the island of Crete off the coast of Greece.


The native mountain-type Messara pony exists on the island of Crete since year 1000 or longer. The name comes from the Mesara Plain where they are mostly found. The modern Cretan horse was developed by crossing the native mares on Arabian stallions imported during the Turkish occupation in the 17th century. Hendricks, Bonnie. International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. University of Oklahoma Press, 1996, p. 283. ISBN 0806127538 Since 1994 there exists a studbook and a conservation programme has been started.


The main coat colours found in the Messara are bay, brown (a variation of bay), black and gray. They usually stand between high....
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