The KWPN (Royal Dutch Warmblood Studbook) is known around the world as the source for good riding horses, many of which perform successfully at the highest level of the sport. To maintain the quality of its sport horses, the KWPN implemented specialized breeding several years ago. Since then, breeders have been able to choose stallions which fit a specific breeding goal. Stallions are classified according to the following four breeding directions: jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.
To ensure strict selection, the KWPN holds an annual stallion selection which is followed by a performance test. Stallions must also meet certain basic requirements, regardless of breeding direction. Furthermore, they must demonstrate talent for a specific discipline, a good pedigree, and correct conformation which is both functional and attractive. KWPN horses must be healthy and strong so that breeders and/or owners can enjoy them for many years. Finally, they must be people-friendly and have a willing disposition with a clear desire to perform.
Jumper stallions are selected for conformation, health, temperament, and natural jumping talent. As part of jumping talent, a stallion must possess a good canter, reflexes, form, and scope. Of course, attitude and the will to perform are also important traits for a jumper. The KWPN’s ultimate goal is to breed Grand Prix jumpers.
Dressage horses are selected for their dressage talent, which encompasses the following traits: a pure, rhythmic and regular walk; and a trot and canter that demonstrate good stride length, suppleness, power, carriage and carrying power. Conformation, health, and temperament also weigh heavily in the selection of quality prospective breeding stallions. The KWPN’s ultimate goal is to breed Grand Prix dressage horses.
Harness Horse Stallions
The KWPN strives to breed harness horses that perform at the highest show class of the KNHS (Dutch Equestrian Federation). Harness horse stallions are selected primarily for trotting talent, the traits of which include good suspension, long front leg stride length, high knee action, and powerful hindquarters that step under the body. These qualities should be paired with a proud bearing, facilitated by a long neck that extends vertically from the chest. Besides these traits, conformation, health, and temperament weigh heavily in the selection of harness horse stallions.
Gelder stallions are selected for genotypical and phenotypical talent that facilitates versatility, for Gelder horses must perform as well in harness as they do under saddle. Furthermore, a reliable and uncomplicated disposition is critical for this type of horse. Gelder horses must also have conformation distinct from that of riding or harness horses; Gelder horses should be full-bodied yet elegant. Moreover, they should demonstrate a well developed forehand and move with good carriage, using their front end in an attractive manner. Finally, they should have a long stride with moderate knee action and powerful, carrying hindquarters.