The British Association for the Purebred Spanish Horse was founded in September 1982 and was originally known as the 'British Andalusian Horse Society'.
The society is intended to promote the Andalusian horse (also known as PRE - Pura Raza Española, or "purebred Spanish horse") in the UK, and was sparked by a rally that Linda Lawrance de Rodriguez organised in June 1982. Advertisements had been placed in Horse & Hound calling for all enthusiasts of the Andalusian to meet up for the day at Mr & Mrs Whiting's stables near Horsham, Sussex. There was a good response, bringing together people from all over England, and some people who actually owned Andalusians very kindly brought them to the rally for everyone to see - for many of us it was the first time they had seen a real, live Andalusian, having subsisted on a diet of photos and magazine articles for many years.
Subsequent to this rally, Mary McBryde made the decision to start up a society for Andalusian enthusiasts and, armed with lists of names and addresses of potential members, and lots of useful advice from Linda Lawrance de Rodriguez (who had returned to Spain at the end of August), the organisation got off the ground and achieved recognition from the BHS.
There were 12 founder members and 6 of these founder members (Mary McBryde, Linda Lawrance de Rodriguez, Jenny Bernard, Neil Dougall, Jill Tyler, and Marion Larrigan) are still members 23 years later. The first AGM was held on 5th February 1983 and then affiliation to the Jefatura de Cria Caballar (Spanish State Stud Book Authority) in Madrid, Spain was requested by the society. This was granted by the Cria Caballar towards the end of 1983 and the BAPSH (BAHS) is officially recognised as the sole body responsible for all matters pertaining to the Purebred Spanish Horse (Andalusian) within the UK.
As a result of the affiliation to Spain, the society was able to hold its first Grading and Inscription day for the assessment of the UK's small population of Purebred Spanish Horses (Andalusians) by the Spanish Commission from Madrid in the summer of 1984. Three mares passed their Grading, Mr M Curson's Diplomada and Convenida, and Mrs Jenny Bernard's Coqueta VII 1980 - the only adult mares in the UK at this time. A single stallion passed, Mr Desi Lorent's Alcor IV. In combination with the Grading, the society also held the very first Breed Show which was won by Lyn Whiting's stallion Bailaor II, and since 1984 the National Breed Show has been an annual event. Nowadays, the Breed Show has 56 plus classes of in-hand showing, ridden showing, dressage, and jumping, running over 2 very full days.
Two major landmark events have occurred in recent years. In June 2002, the BAPSH became a Limited Company (Company Number 4468396) and then in late August 2003 BAPSH Ltd became an official Passport Issuing Organisation for its four Registries/Studbooks.
Membership shows a steady annual increase and there is always a strong demand for information on the breed from new enquirers.