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Horses and bulls of Camargue
The Camargue horse is another symbol of this region with the Camargue bull (raco di Biou). The origin of the Camargue horse is very inaccurate, traditionally He lives freely in marshes of origin and its genealogy remains mysterious, although it is generally considered one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world.
This is a fairly hardy breed of small size. Hardiness is particularly suited to swampy areas. This horse has a gray dress, the foal is born dark, the latter becoming clearer with age, about five years. This breed was recognized by the National Stud in 1978. It's a race seat.
This horse is used by cowboys for work in the herds (breeding bulls), but also for recreation, horseback riding, and discovery of the delta region, and the Camargue.
The Camargue bull, or breed di biou, wearing a shiny black coat, and horns lyre-shaped, very high. The mucous of membranes are dark. It is an imposing animal, but relatively lightweight, 1.40 m on average for males and 1.20m for females, 250 to 400 kg, hence its ability for race. This breed has a long history in the region of Camargue: it is mentioned in writings which date to the Gallo-Roman times.
The population size of the breed "di Biou" are of the order of 10 000 to 12 000 animals spread over 100 farms (Manades). The breeding area (operating as an extensive mode) is an area between the coastline, Montpellier, Tarascon and Fos-sur-Mer. A winter transhumance zone extends further north.
The main purpose of rearing Camargue bulls is to intended the bull, for the Camargue races (races to the cockade), very popular in Provence.
It is only since the decree of December 8, 1996, that bull meat has become one of the rare beef on the protected designation of origin (AOC). Meats entitled to the appellation are fresh meat of male or female cattle born, reared outdoors freely and slaughtered in a geographical area on part of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault.