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The Swedish Warmblood began at the Royal Stud at Flyinge over 300 years ago and strict selective breeding has been the key to the warm blood’s success.
The history of the Swedish Warmblood ancestry in Sweden parallels that of the people. Sweden is a very long country and climatic conditions vary from north to south. When spring grass is growing well in the south, snow is apt to be still falling in the north. For this reason horse breeding is mostly concentrated in the south and central areas.
Archaeological findings of horses have been dated to 4,000 B.C.! As early as the 1500’s steps were taken to improve horse breeding and Friesian stallions were imported from the Netherlands to increase the size of the native Scandinavian horse. However it wasn’t until the late 1800’s with the establishment of the study book that the Swedish Warmblood starting coming into its own along with the Swedish Ardennes and the North Swedish Horse. The origin of the stud book allowed the governments of Sweden to direct horse breeding on the right path and to consolidate the country’s different breeds.
Selective breeding of the Swedish Warmblood began at the Royal Stud at Flyinge over 300 years ago and this has been the key to the warm blood’s success. Originally Spanish, Oriental and Friesian stallions were imported to product horses for the royal stables and for cavalry use, but more recently ability has been further enhanced by the use of Arabian, Hannoverian, Trakehner and the high quality Thoroughbred stallions. The stud at Flyinge remains the principal base for this warm blood both for the animals at stud and for those in private ownership.
The Swedish Warmblood must undergo a selection system known as the Premierings before being used for breeding purposes. All stallions and mares must be passed by inspectors. The inspectors travel around Sweden every spring to select suitable breeding stock and to classify individualsas A, B or only approved. Any stallion or mare may be reclassified if he or she produce outstanding progeny or if they themselves prove to be outstanding competition horses. They can also be down-graded or removed from the approved list if consistently producing poor progeny. Stallions are not only approved for conformation, soundness, etc, but must also pass a performance test.
Each autumn approximately fifteen Swedish Warmblood colts of a current year’s crop, bred by private breeders, are bought by Flyinge, with the intention of standing them at the state stud. These colts are inspected again as yearlings and those who are gelded are sold at auction, with the remainder being inspected again at 2 1/2 years of age when the best are schooled for their performance tests. It is with this dedication and constant selection that quality and performance are constantly enhanced and the country’s selection methods have proven very successful as this warm blood is an excellent all around riding horse of considerable quality, well suited to competition riding, with a temperament suitable for all riders.
The Swedish Warmblood is usually a bay, brown, chestnut, or gray with a nicely shaped head, long ears and lively eye. The neck is well formed and long. Withers are prominent; the back long and straight; crop broad, long and flat. The chest is wide and deep with a sloped and well muscled shoulder. The legs are long and strong with good muscling and clean, broad joint with a solid and well formed hoof. The horse has a good natural stance.
Today this warmblood is an elegant horse well-known in Olympic and other international competitions and is exceptionally good in the dressage ring because of the extreme forward reach in the trot and suppleness in the shoulder. This horse has excelled in three-day evening and all international competition areas, but with its great versatility has won working hunter championships internationally too.