Description

The tarpan (Equus ferus ferus), also known as Eurasian wild horse, was a subspecies of wild horse.[1] It is now extinct. The last individual believed to be of this subspecies died in captivity in Russia in 1909, although some sources claim that it was not a genuine wild horse due to its resemblance to domesticated horses.[2]

Beginning in the 1930s, several attempts were made to develop horses that looked like tarpans through selective breeding, called “breeding back” by advocates. The breeds that resulted included the Heck horse, the Hegardt or Stroebel’s horse, and a derivation of the Konik breed, all of which have a primitive appearance, particularly in having the grullo coat color. Some of these horses are now commercially promoted as “tarpans”. However, those who study the history of the ancient wild horse assert that the word “tarpan” only describes the true wild horse.

Date of Extinction

1909

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