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The Danish Warmblood is one of the several warmboods so successful in international sport horse competition. Although the Danish horse is relatively new, it has risen to the ranks of world leader. The The success was based on several factors and now Danish Warmblood horses are exported all over the world.
HOW THIS WARMBLOOD WAS CAREFULLY CREATED
Most of the original breeding took place on Danish farms, in a farming community known for more than a hundred years for its high international standard. Stallions were selected under extremely critical standards and the Danish breeders showed a willingness to invest in already proven bloodlines from neighboring countries and skillfully combined those lines to achieve their goal.
Other warmbloods of note were used to create what is now viewed as Denmark’s national breed. Local mares were crossed with pedigree stallions. The mares were usually of Federiksborgh and Thoroughbred origin. The stallions used were Anglo Norman, Thoroughbred, Trakehners and Polish horses like the Malapolski and Wielkopolski, although The Hanoverian horse was notably absent.
THE JUDGING OF MARE AND STALLIONS FOR ACCEPTANCE
The breeding of this warmblood was quite unique in that a large number of approved stallions participated actively in competitions and this enabled riders and future buyers to follow the work of the breeders. The committee in charge of breeding followed progress of young horses from the beginning. As two years olds the best mares were presented at local shows in all of the regions under the organization.
Young stallions were first judged at two and a half, and preliminary selection was carried out . As three year olds, the young Danish Warmblood stallions were then allowed to enter the stallion selection with only a very few receiving a one year approval for breeding.
Then these young stallions were obligated to participate in a one hundred day test, beginning in the fall of each year. The hundred day test was carried out at the Queen’s Regiments, but costs were paid by the stallion owners and the organization since there was no subsidy in Denmark for breeding horses. The stallions passing the test were again presented to the judges as four year olds and some gained final approval. Thus the Danish Warmblood was created. All are marked with the crown over a wave brand.
Within thirty years Denmark changed from a country forced to import good horses to one of the major exporters of fine sport horses, the Danish Warmblood horse.
The Thoroughbred blood is clearly seen in the fine but bold beauty of the head of this warmblood, The entire body outline can hardly be faulted and displays all the characteristics one would describe as being needed in a superb sport horse.
The length of the pastern is precisely right for the performance required and many conformational attributes are highly desirable. The length of neck, shoulder, musculature, hind and forelegs, and even the withers blends into the shoulder in such a way as to ensure the best possible placement for the saddle.
The Danish Warmblood is naturally balanced and by virtue of this is an excellent dressage horse, as well as a cross country performer. This warmblood is one of the best examples of a modern competition horse, while retaining a great temperament with needed spirit and courage. All colors occur, but bay is common. Height is right around 16 hands to 16.2.
A solid equine tradition has existed in Denmark ever since the 1300’s. Holstein, a Danish Duchy until the mid 1800’s established breeding farms and the modern Holstein and Fredericksberg warmboods were established. Yet only in the 1960’s was a stud book opened for what had already become the national riding horse of Denmark, and is now the warmblood that carries the name of the country.