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El Campeon Farms' SCI Breeding Program

The goal of our breeding program is to safely and responsibly expand the numbers of the Santa Cruz Island Horses and to preserve the quality of their genetics. Due to the small number of remaining SCI horses the team of geneticists and stewards agreed that the best way forward was to outcross to another breed that is similar in type and size to our SCI horses. Our hope is to preserve the gentle nature, the smaller size, and the expressive gaits of the breed, and by outcrossing, eliminate the weaknesses that some of them are at risk of because of their limited gene pool.   

SCI Horse Breeding Program Photo

SCI Studs & Broodmares

Below are the Santa Cruz Island Horses that are currently or have previously been part of our breeding program. For the past six years our team has been able to study their genetics, behavior, and their confirmation to determine that they would be a good fit for program. Click on their picture to see a list of their offspring. 

Outcross Partners

Why Outcross?

"In any breeding program you must be aware of the effects of a narrow and shallow gene pool.  The gene pool of the Santa Cruz Island Horses created some of their most distinct features like their coat colors, their size, body type and quiet disposition.  However, it’s this same, small gene pool that can create genetic physical problems like Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD).  A single outcross can help to stop the negative effects of a genetic bottleneck."

-Christy Reich, Program Director

Why the Lusitano & Andalusian? 

"The team at El Campeon Farms spent a year researching and looking at available stallions across the United States.  We were looking for several things; complementary size, body type, disposition and a connection to the heritage of the horses, which through genetic testing at the time pointed to horses from the Iberian Peninsula.  This connection included Spanish Colonial horses such as the Wilbur Cruce herd, the Baca Chica herd, the Sulfur Mountain herd, etc.

The second thing that we had to consider were the logistics of using stallions hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.  All of the Spanish Colonial stallions that we found did not have banked semen nor did the owners have the ability to have them collected.  This logistical challenge was one of the reasons that we pivoted to the Lusitano and Andalusian horses.  While searching for appropriate stallions or mares, we were looking for an older style or type of horse, also referred to as Baroque.  We were fortunate enough to have found two lovely Lusitano stallions and one Andalusian mare.  The horses from those out crosses are proving to be quite interesting and we will soon cross them back into the 100% Santa Cruz Horses."

-Christy Reich, Program Director 



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