History of Dutch Warmbloods

History of Dutch Warmbloods / KWPN Horse. Warmbloods have been bred in Holland for many years. Registered Dutch Warmblood horse breeding is over a century old.

History of Dutch Warmbloods

King Willem II recognized the first Dutch warmbloods studbook organization in 1887 and so laid the basis for regulated Warmbloods breeding.

During the 19th century several regional and local studbook organizations bred horses specifically for farming. For working the clay soil of the north (Groningen) and heavier horses were needed than on the sandy soil of the middle Netherlands (Gelderland) where a more noble and spirited horse was popular; a horse with faster action and good stamina.

Both types of warmbloods horses were regularly crossed and in 1969 these two organizations were combined into the national studbook organization WPN (Warmblood horses studbook of the Netherlands), which received the Royal designation (koninkrijk) from Queen Beatrix in 1988. The KWPN (Royal Dutch Warmblood Horses Studbook of the Netherlands) currently has more than 28,000 members. Breeders of the Royal Dutch warmbloods have been organized for many years.

Warmblood Mare And Foal for Sale
Dutch Warmbloods History

History of Dutch Warmbloods Breeding Goal

The breeding goal has been continually revised over the decades based on practical need. Initially, warmbloods were bred for farm work. These horses varied in type by region, and type was primarily determined by regional soil conditions. The heavy Groning type dominated the clay soil areas, while the lighter Gelder type dominated the pasture lands.

After World War II, mechanization replaced the horses pulling power, significantly altering the traditional bond between the farmer and the horse. During this period, equestrian sport, which had been reserved for wealthy citizens and army officers, became popular. The sport demanded a different kind of horse, which required a new breeding program. Using Thoroughbred stallions and stallions from horse breeding regions in France, Belgium and Germany (France, Belgium and German warmbloods), transformed the agricultural horse of old into the modern warmblood sport horse. This transformation occurred in relatively short time. The old existing selection against genetic defects was supplemented with new strict selections for desired conformation and movement.

The stallion selection process was continuously revised in order to approve stallions that would demonstrably advance the desired breeding goal. Even now, nowhere in the world are stallions so strictly selected for conformation, movement, health, temperament, and sport ability as within the KWPN. Furthermore, its offspring selection is unique compared with other riding horse studbooks. The KWPN horses holding a leading position worldwide in both the jumping and dressage disciplines.

The North American Warmblood Horses studbook

In 1983, the NA/WPN (North American department of the KWPN) was established to promote and support breeding, competition and enjoyment of the Dutch Warmbloods in North America. As of January 1, 2006, the organization became known as the KWPN of North America, Inc. (KWPN-NA) to reflect the close relationship between the KWPN and its North American department.