World Famous Show Horse Breeds 2022 [best & Prettiest]

Gelderland Horse Breed

Horses of this breed, which derives its name from the Dutch province of Gelderland, where breeding is still carried on quite extensively, originate from a very old native breed which was crossed with such stallions as English Thoroughbreds, Norfolk Trotters, Holsteins, and Anglo-Normans. During the past few decades, the main consideration has been a consolidation of type, with very remarkable results, for the breed has greatly improved of recent years, the modern horse being wide and deep, yet of beautiful build, with a very stylish action.

A docile farm horse and an excellent saddle horse, it is claimed to be an unsurpassable show horse in Holland. In the past several Royal Studs, including Great Britain’s, have been regular buyers of these horses. Height ranges from 15.2 to 16 hands, although larger animals are occasionally met with.

Pleven Horse Breed

These horses are bred by the Clementina (now G. Dimitrov) Stud Farm in Bulgaria, by mating local, improved Arabian and Anglo-Arab mares to Arabian and mainly Anglo-Arab stallions of the Hungarian Gidran type. In the initial period a group of Anglo-Arabian stallions, imported from the Strelets and other stud farms in Russia, was used.

The breed was mainly developed through the later importation of Hungarian Gidran stallions. After a 15 to 20 year period of out-breeding, the breed was later consolidated by in-breeding. At present, with a view to further improvement of the equestrian events, the strain is carefully injected with selected English Thoroughbred stallions.

Pleven foundation mares and stallions have retained much of the shapely beauty of the Arabians. They have harmoniously developed body and dynamic movements. The average height of these horses is 15.3 hands. Over the past few years, many Pleven jumpers have won distinction at international events.

Latvian Horse Breed

The Latvian breed has been developed in the Baltic State of Latvia, by crossing the native draught horse with approved stallions of lighter breeds. This has resulted in a horse with substance and bone, a good temperament, and with an aptitude for jumping. It is claimed to be an ideal heavyweight hunter. Having been bred mostly by small farmers, the majority of these horses are driven in harness.

Their stamina and powers of endurance generally are outstanding. In considering the Latvian breed, as with the horses of Estonia and Lithuania, reference is usually made to the North European breeds.

Australian (Waler) Horse Breed

There are few more famous horses than the Waler, the national horse of Australia, though he is not often seen in England. The term “Waler” is a comprehensive national term covering a variety of types, and an abbreviation of New South Wales, the state where the Australian horse was first imported and bred.

There was no indigenous native horse in Australia, and the first arrivals from the outer world came in 1795, from the Cape and Chile. So the foundation stock of the Waler was of Dutch and Spanish origin, with the oriental horses the Arab and the Barb as the ultimate ancestors. These original animals were small, and as the settlers had a great need for riding horses and wanted the best, pure Arab and English Thoroughbred stallions were imported and used on good mares of riding type.

The country, with its equable climate, unlimited range, and a wide choice of pasturage, was eminently suitable for horse breeding, which was carried out with great care; and the Australian horse developed and flourished. It has been asserted, with some justification, that between Waterloo and the Crimea Australia possessed probably the best saddle horse in the world, and during that period began the supply of cavalry and artillery troop horses to India. Racing, which first appeared in Australia in 1826, further helped to establish the Australian horse, the breeding of which has spread in the natural course of time from New South Wales to the states of Victoria and Queensland; but the name “Waler” still applied to them all.

The discovery of gold in 1851 very nearly ruined the Waler. The wholesale desertion of the ranges for the goldfields led to the neglect of the stock, which strayed and became half-wild, breeding indiscriminately and haphazardly, with the result that the breed seriously deteriorated. Nor did the admixture of carthorse blood that took place about that time tend to help the saddle horse. By 1880 New South Wales was over-stocked with under-bred and valueless horses, from which state of affairs it took a long time to recover.

However, by one of those famous whirligigs of time, the gold plutocrats found racing and horses good things to spend their money on, and interest in both revived thought the resuscitation of the stock was retarded by the popularity of short sprint races and by racing the youngsters too soon. Still, the revival did take place, especially at the beginning of the 20th century.

For a period after the Second World War, there was again a danger that this breed would become extinct, but recently there has been a concerted move in favor of reviving interest in the national horse of Australia. It now seems that alien blood in the form of heavy draught mares, which had been added from time to time, is to be rigidly excluded, and that the Waler of the future is to live up to the high reputation it previously enjoyed at the beginning of the 20th century when it was at its peak as a riding horse of most excellent attainments.

The Waler has always been noted for jumping in his own country, high-jumping competitions being a specialty at all shows. Another activity at which he can at times excel is buckjumping, equalling in this respect, in the opinion of many, that better-known exponent the American broncho. By the same token, the Australian range rider takes his place among the world’s finest horsemen.

Australian horses are all shapes and sizes, including besides the Waler, a draught-horse breed developed from three English strains – Clydesdale, Shire, and Suffolk Punch – and the ponies of Western Australia, from stock brought from Timor. This Timor stock must have been representative of the Java horse from the islands of Java and Sumatra.

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