About Dutch Warmblood Horses
Dutch Warmblood horses are exceptional sport horses that
have recently been prominent in the international equestrian. Some of the Dutch
Warmblood superstars include Calypso, Next Milton, Big Ben, Ampere, Ommen,
Zucarlos, Linky, Eastern Sunrise, Pascal, Ideaal and many more.
Dutch Warmblood horses are sport horses that have evolved
from Dutch Gelderlander and Groningen horses. Gelderlander horses come
from the light sandy soils of central Holland; they are a stylish chestnut horse
of medium stature. Groningen horses come from the heavy clay soils of northern
Holland and are a large, heavy, black horse.
In the heyday of coaching in the 19th century, horses were
imported to Europe from England - the Norfolk Trotter, the Yorkshire Coach, the
Cleveland Bay, the Hackney - to be crossed on the native mares, becoming the
ancestors of the modern sport horses of today's foremost horse-breeding
countries and regions. As horse use grew to include more farm work, the
breeding goal changed. The farm horses had to be all-round horses honest and
tractable enough for plowing, yet stylish enough for carriage use and for
riding. As farm mechanization progressed after World War II, the breeding goal
was redirected toward producing pleasure sport horses. During this process of
‘modernization’, there was again considerable foreign influence from France,
England (Thoroughbreds), and Germany (Holsteiners and Trakehners).
Even today, the Dutch horses continue to be influenced by
imported blood, but the special qualities (temperament, adaptability and
soundness) which have made the Dutch Warmblood horse unique, continue to be
treasured and cultivated. Although the word "breed" denotes to most
English speaking horsemen a closed studbook (like that of the Arabians and
Thoroughbreds), it has a different connotation in the European Warmblood
breeding community. Breed refers to the "breeding area" as much as to
the strict purity of the bloodlines. Each breeding area sets its own breeding
goals and style of administration which, despite shared background and
bloodlines, gives specific qualities and characteristics to its horses.
Today in Holland there are three distinct types of horses
The most numerous and internationally important is the
"Rijpaardtype" or Riding Horse Type a distinctly modern, elegant
sport horse bred for athleticism, good character and soundness. International
jumpers, dressage horses, combined driving, and vaulting horses are selected
from this category.
In addition, there is the “Tuigpaardtype” or Show Driving
Type - an extravagant, stylish, high stepping carriage horse which is shown
rather like the American Fine Harness horse. These horses have mostly
Gelderlander blood, with an infusion of Hackney.
The third type is the "Basistype" or Basic type -
a stylish all-round horse reminiscent of the earlier Gelderlander, useful for
riding, driving, and farm work, and important for maintaining the gene pool of
the old Gelderlanders that is still used in the breeding of the Riding and Show