Italian Heavy Draft
The Italian Heavy Draft, or Rapid Heavy Draft, is a breed of draft horse from Italy. The full Italian name of the breed is Cavallo Agricolo Italiano da Tiro Pesante Rapido, "Italian Rapid Heavy Draft Farm Horse", and the abbreviation TPR (Italian pronunciation: [tipiˈerre])) is often used. Generally chestnut in color, the breed is known for its combination of strength and speed. Its development traces to 1860 and continued through the late 19th and early 20th centuries as breeders utilized a mix of foundation bloodstock that included native Italian stock and imported horses, all mainly of draft type. Its versatility has led to its use in both agricultural and military capacities, as well as for the production of mules. In 1926, a stud book was formed, and population numbers continued to rise until the beginning of World War II. Breeding programs suffered during the war, and despite care afterward, population numbers continued to dwindle as increasing mechanization decreased the need for draft horses. In the 1970s, selective breeding goals were changed to produce a horse suitable for meat production, which today remains the primary use of the Italian Heavy Draft.
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