Breeding values

Selection standards jumper horses

For years, the KWPN has held a top position in the studbook rankings of the international umbrella breeding organization, The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH). KWPN jumpers are known for their unmistakable jumping talent combined with a cooperative and fearless temperament, a healthy body, and a sound mind. They are intelligent, athletic horses that easily and willingly do what is expected of them. Whether performing at the highest professional level or any other, KWPN jumpers go about their work enthusiastically. KWPN jumpers demonstrate characteristic movement due to years of selection for the canter, which has resulted in horses with large strides, abundant push, and great balance in the gait.

Breeding standard Jumper Horses
The KWPN distinguishes a separate breeding standard for each breeding direction. These standards are, in fact, descriptions of the ideal dressage-, jumping-, harness- and Gelders horse. In preparation thereof, the functional aspect for sport is taken as the starting point: does the height of the withers make it easier or more difficult for a horse to learn or carry out the requested performance? If yes, the breeding standard reflects the ideal withers. Does the position of the shoulder, the length of the stride in the walk and the impulsion make a difference in the training and results of a horse? If so, this is reflected in the breeding standard.

They are not set in stone. New scientific research, forward looking insights and market trends: breeding constantly deals with developments that may or may not lead to a reconsideration of the breeding standard.

In this way, developments within the FEI, for example, are closely monitored: Do jumping courses become more technical instead of higher? The answers to these questions unmistakably affect the type of horse we want to breed. Maneuverability, athletic ability and intelligence will become more important for potential top horses rather than height of the withers, jumping power or courage.

The breeding standard helps to evaluate horses objectively and uniformly. It provides framework in which jury members give their evaluations. This reduces the risk of pronounced personal preferences and therefore increases the uniformity, reproducibility and the reliability of the evaluation.

Jumper Horse

–          Stands in rectangular model
–          Is long lined with a proportional build
–          Has a horizontal build
–          Has a long neck that is slightly raised and arched with muscling in the topline
–          Has a strongly built and strongly muscled back/loin formation
–          Has a correct and hard foundation
–          Is attractive

–          The walk is a regular ‘four beat’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion
–          The trot is a regular ‘two beat’ gait, that is active and has suppleness and impulsion, balance and self-carriage
–          The canter is a pure ‘three beat’ gait, that is active, light with  suppleness, impulsion, balance and self-carriage
–          Can lengthen and shorten easily in the canter without losing rhythm, tact, balance or self-carriage
–          The canter is light and balanced without making much front
–          Remains more horizontal in the body

–          Is able to collect strongly during the last canter stride before the jump and is able to place the hindleg far forward under the body in order to get a powerful takeoff
–          Leaves the ground quickly with power
–          Jumps with an upward wither with the highest point over the middle of the jump
–          Brings the underarm above the horizontal and folds the cannon under the underarm
–          Bascule:  brings the neck down during the jump and the rump follows the direction of the neck, opens the hindquarter
–          Athletic ability: is supple and  can develop forward motion over the jump, lands lightly and canters off easily, is careful, is efficient and has much scope

–          Has courage
–          Has a willing, hardworking and honest character
–          Is intelligent, looks at and evaluates the jump
–          Has the will to perform
–          Is easy to handle
–          Reacts quickly to aids


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About the KWPN

The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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