The Dutch province of Gelderland has a tradition of excellence in horse breeding. The province gives name to an excellent breed of horse which has evolved over the last century. The Gelderlander is a result of extensive cross-breeding between old local breeds - notably the Friesian - and numerous imported breeds, including the Thoroughbred, Hackney, Oldenburg, East Friesian and Anglo-Norman. Originally, the Gelderlander horse was used in light agricultural work and road harness in which its stylish gait was appreciated. More recently, the Gelderlander has been used for riding, and its ability as a superb jumper is becoming well-known.

The Gelderlander's varied genetic heritage is evident in its appearance. Although warm-blooded, the nose is frequently convex (Roman) and the head is plain. It has a medium-sized neck and rather long back. The tail is set quite high. This breed has good shoulders, generous quarters and clean legs. It stands between 15.2 and 16 hands. The most common colors are chestnut and gray with frequent white markings on the face and legs.

The Gelderlander is bred in the province of Holland of the same name. It is descended from crosses between the Dutch Friesian, German East Friesian, Thoroughbred, Hackney and Anglo-Norman horses.

The Gelderlander is a successful example of the careful crossing of different types of breeds to achieve a new breed of horse. For instance, its substantial body and stylish gait reflect its Hackney ancestry. Its docile, cooperative temperament reflects the influence of the Friesian, and its excellent jumping ability is probably due to Thoroughbred influences. The Gelderlander, in short, is a rare instance of combined excellence in the attempt to create a new breed of horse.

1. Oldenburg 2. Anglo-Norman 3. East Friesian 4. Dutch Friesian 5. Hackney 6. Thoroughbred

For more information:
Vereniging Warmbloed Paarden-Stamboek In Nederland (W.P.N.) Soesteijkseweg 360 Z. Bilthoven NETHERLANDS

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