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August 10, 2008 | | Comments 0

Kladruby Horses

Kladruby Horse

Reliving Imperial Splendor with the Kladruby

The Kladruby is one horse breed that is considered rare. It’s beautiful build however and its rich history has prompted breeders to attempt to preserve this breed.

Kladruby History

The Kladruby is a Czech horse breed that is centuries old. Its origins are often traced to Rudolf II who initiated the breeding program in 1579. It is possible though that earlier attempts have already been made to begin breeding. The breed received influences from Oldenburg, Holstein, Danish and Neopolitan breeds. The Andalusian breed however is believed to have a strong influence.

From the very beginning, the purpose of the Kladbury was very clear. The breed was intended to be used as ceremonial or imperial carriage horses. This accounts for the impressive, elegant and slightly heavy build of Kladbury horses. Since they had ceremonial functions, they were once strictly bred to be either black or white. Both however were used for pulling the carriages of dignitaries and nobility although horse color used depended on rank.

Although the breeding program proceeded smoothly, the horses had to be bred elsewhere during the Seven Years War in the 1700s. Hence, they were moved to Hungary and Slovakia. A fire however ruined the breeding facilities in Hungary. Aside from putting the breeding program in danger, valuable breed documents that held two centuries of the breed’s record were also destroyed. After some time, the breeding program returned to its original site.

Since the fire, other factors contributed to the decline in the demand for Kladruby horses. The most enduring factor however was simply the changing times. Eventually their numbers declined in the 1900s. It did not help that many of the black version of the horses were sent to the slaughterhouse in the 1930s. To this day, very few Kldabury horses remain. Dedicated breeders however continue to attempt to preserve the breed.

Kladruby Horse Traits

Although the Kladbury had ceremonial functions, they had to look more imposing than other warmblooded horses. This is simply because they also pulled large carriages that were built for show and for important personages. These horses are therefore tall at a maximum of 17 hands and a minimum of 16.2 hands. They have wide, muscular bodies and chests, powerful legs and generous manes and tails. They do however also retain a few refined points. They have long, muscular, arched necks; long backs and weigh only 700 kg which is still considered light compared to the weights of draft horses with the same height. Despite their size, they can also be fast.

The days of ceremonial carriages have long gone. These rare horses however are not without any use. They can be used for a variety of sports activities such as driving, riding and dressage.

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