Gelderland Horse, Gelders Horse

The Dutch Warmblood, the warmblood that would become linked to the Arabian in the United States, was derived in the Netherlands from various crosses of French, German and English horses on local animals. Over the years, two distinct types of Dutch Warmbloods appeared: the heavier horse, called a Groningen, which is used in agriculture, and the lighter Gelderland, a driving and riding horse that also excels in showjumping. The two types Initially used by farmers for agricultural work and were freely interbred with each other. A more formal system for registering the various types of Dutch horses was organized in 1969 under the KWPN Studbook. Gelderland bloodlines remain pure, as no foreign blood is allowed, and is therefore the smallest division within KWPN horse.

[Photo of Gelderland horse]
Norene, world champion Gelderlander mare (1998 and 1999)

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The breeding goal for Gelderland horse, also called Gelders horse or Gelderlander is to produce a horse that can be used for multiple purposes. The Gelders horse distinguishes itself both in harness and under saddle with its happy appearance and reliable, willing character. The selection of stallions is not only based on pedigree, but also on jumping and dressage talent for riding horses, harness talent for Harness horses, and any of theses abilities for Gelders horses. The stallions must also have a good character. The Gelderland horse is recognized as a brilliant sports performance horse. It is also a first-class carriage horse standing 15.2 hh. His athletic ability is amazing. He is supple and can develop a forward motion over the jump, lands lightly and canters off easily. He is careful, efficient, and has much scope.4

>[Photo of Gelderland horse]

The color is usually chestnut, bay, black or gray, often with white markings. The head is long and rather flat; the profile straight. The croup is short, broad and flat; the tail is set high. The legs are well-muscled and the hooves are broad. The Gelderland has a flowing action and effective high-stepping trot.3 He reacts quickly to the aids and is very easy to handle.


  1. 1000 facts on horses. Marion Curry
  2. Margaret Elsinor Derry. Horses in society: a story of animal breeding and marketing, 1800-1920
  3. Maurizio Bongianni. Simon & Schuster's guide to horses & ponies of the world
  4. Fran Lynghaug. The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide

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