conformation attractive head, short neck, compact body,
deep girth, strong clean legs
colour all solid colours
height 15.2-16.2 hands
uses primarily showjumping and eventihg, but good
aIl-round competition horse
He has been called ‘Europe’s best-kept secret’, but now the secret is out. Belgium’s sports horse, one of the newest of all warmbloods, has made his mark on the competition world in a comparatively short time. The breeding programme originated in the early 1950s in the area of Brabant, home of the heavy draught equine of that name, but the modern horse bears little relation to the coldblood breed, although there may be some common ancestry.
The lighter Belgian farm horse was bred to Gelderlanders to produce a heavyweight riding horse which, aithough strong and reliable, was not particularly athletic. Breeders introduced Holstein blood for power and Selle Francais for beauty – the influence of the latter can be seen in the Belgian Warmblood’s fine head.
Anglo-Arab, Dutch Warmblood and Thoroughbred blood was later added, creating a superb equine of great natural athleticism, correct conformation, reliable temperament and, perhaps most important, the ability to pass on these valuable Characteristics to his offspring. The horses are monitored through ’keurings’ – or approvals – and only the best are accepted into the studbook.While the Belgian Warmblood is noted for his talent in showjumping and three – day eventing, he is increasingly making a name for himself in the dressage arena as well, and it appears that this tiny European country has produced agiant among equine athletes.
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