Saturday January 7, the KWPN Stallion Show Harness horse takes place at the National Equestrian Centre. This event features the first round viewing of the harness stallions, the first step in the selection trajectory towards approval. 

Besides the first round viewing, during which stallions are presented in-hand in walk and trot, the programme includes various other shows and performances of already approved stallions. In these classes harness horse enthusiasts get to enjoy the impressive movement qualities of these proud show horses. 

The Harness Horse Stallion Show is held in the Amalia hall and is ridden in accordance with the KWPN Selection Regulations Harness Stallions, that stipulates the conditions, selection procedure, required harness and inspection methods. As of January 1, KWPN enforces the ban on trimming sensory hairs and ears that was introduced this year. Horses whose sensory hairs are completely removed and/or whose hairs on the inside of the ears have been clipped, are excluded from participation in KWPN events: horses trimmed in this manner are denied entry into the inspection ring. 

At the National Equestrian Centre riding must be conducted in compliance with the rules of Stichting Veilige Paardensport (Foundation Safe Equestrian Sport), which includes a helmet obligation. However, for harness horse classes with carriages, the classic gear with bowler hat is allowed. The KNHS and the KWPN intend to research whether an armoured bowler hat can be developed, preferably in consultation with the users themselves. The aim is to, with the safety of riders in mind, start a pilot in 2025 to use this armoured bowler hat in in-harness sport. 

In more and more European countries, the presenters – those who present the horses in-hand in the selection process – wear head protection. For the first round viewing at the end of 2022, the KWPN advised all runners and whip assistants to wear a riding helmet for safety reasons. The Management Board of the KWPN views that wearing a riding helmet is of added value in terms of safety and therefore makes a riding helmet mandatory as of the 1st of January 2023 for presenters in the stallion selection. 

Photo Paardenkrant /

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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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