The KWPN (Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands) is the Dutch breeding organization for jumping and dressage horses, harness horsesand Gelder horses. The KWPN has over 28,000 members in the Netherlands. Performance, durability and appealing conformation are the most important factors on which the international success of the Dutch warmblood horse is based.
A rigorous selection system and continuous evaluation of breeding stock, as well as a high-tech research, statistical, and records department bring the latest developments in science and technology to bear on the improvement of the Dutch horses. In addition, the long horse-breeding history and agricultural heritage of the Dutch, bring generations of nearly in-born expertise to the production of top quality Dutch horses. The main tools in the ongoing evolution and improvement of the Dutch horse are the Keurings, or inspections which are held in the Netherlands and in North America every year, at which horses are evaluated and rewarded according to their quality and fulfillment of the Breeding Goal. This system includes a very rigorous selection and testing system for breeding stallions – one of the most selective and rigorous in the world.
Unlike some warmblood registries, Dutch horses are not branded as foals based on the fact that they are “registered”. Instead, in order to be branded, they must be presented for Studbook Inspection at the age of three or older. If they are of sufficient quality they are inscribed in the Studbook, and can be branded. Studbook horses are then eligible for awards or predicates assigned according to the quality of the individual, and the quality and success of the offspring. The special predicates include “star” for horses of especially good quality, “keur” for star mares who perform a good performance test and show a good offspring, “preferent” for mares who have produced particularly good offspring, and “prestatie” for mares who have produced offspring that have been especially successful in sport.
The Dutch Warmblood is a very versatile horse. It excels in top level competion, in dressage, show-jumping, eventing and even carriage driving. The Gelderlander type is also popular as a light draft horse. The calm, even temperament makes them easy to work with and they are willing to turn a hoof, so to speak, to just about anything.
If you scan the leader boards at any national or international competition, you are sure to find that there are Dutch Warmbloods on the list.
KWPN horses in the sport
Did you know that over the past few years on average one-fifth of the horses starting in any European Championships (senior and young riders) or other international dressage and showjumping competitions at Grand Prix level have KWPN papers? You will therefore not be surprised to learn that for several years already the KWPN has claimed a place in the top-3 of the WBFSH Breeding Rankings, both in dressage and jumping. Some of the names of KWPN horses featuring at the highest international level must be familiar to you.
In the dressage arena for example Krack C with Anky van Grunsven and Gestion Lingh with Edward Gal are making their marks. The approved stallion Idocus ridden by Marlies van Baalen competed at the Olympic Games just as Leslie Reid’s Mark, Ashley holzer’s imperioso, Per Sandgaards Zancor and Tinne Vilhelmson’s Just Mickey. And who doesn’t remember the beautiful Olympic Ferro with Coby van Baalen or Broere Jazz with Tineke Bartels or Gestion Cocktail with Anky van Grunsven who unfortunately died in 1999, three approved stallions who performed successfully at the highest level. Other names that bring back memories are Olympic Barbria with Tineke and Imke Bartels, Olympic Bo with Sven and Gonnelien Rothenberger, Gestion Goliath T with Arjen Theeuwissen, Aktion with Gyula Dallos, Hiscox Askari with Richard Davison and Metallic with Robert Dover.
KWPN ambassadors in the show jumping ring are Tinka’s Boy with Markus Fuchs and Olympic Champion V&L de Sjiem with Jeroen Dubbeldam. American rider Beezie Madden does good business with Judgement and Authentic. And what about Gert Jan Bruggink’s Joel, Marius Claudius ridden by Robert Smith, Audi’s Jikke with Erik van der Vleuten. At the Olympic games in Athens not less then 13 KWPN placed for the individual jumping finals. The unfortunately deceased Royal Kaliber with Chris Kappler took the gold. Marco Kutscher’s Montender finished in fourth place.
The KNHS/KWPN Championships for young dressage and showjumping horses are each year entered by a large amount of young horses. The best youngsters are selected for the World Championships for Young Showjumping and Dressage Horses. Since the first edition of these championships the KWPN is doing well. As a five- and a six year old the approved stallion Rubels was winner of the gold medal in his age class at the World championships for young dressagehorses. In 2003 KWPN came home with two silver medals for the KWPN approved stallions Painted Black and Hilltop Rousseau. At the 2004 Magic Rodrigo won silver in the 6 year old division.
The KWPN is with an average of 10.000 yearly born foals by far the largest studbook in the world. On the rankings for most successful studbooks the KWPN is always secured of a high ranking. Within the KWPN breeding we recognize four breeding directions: Showjumper, Dressage horses, Harness horses and Gelder horses. The North American department of the KWPN, the KWPN In North America has a fourth breeding direction, the Hunters. The extremely strict KWPN breeding selection programme is setting great store by soundness in the broadest sense, thereby assisted by the University of Utrecht Veterinary Department.
More intensively than any other studbook organisation the KWPN applies scientific technology for the further advancement of breeding. The Dutch sport and conformation indexes have set a trend that is followed all over the world. Besides that the KWPN stallion performance test gives only the most talented KWPN stallions the opportunity to be a breeding stallion. The mares are tested on their performance as well through the EPTM and IBOP tests. KWPN stallion, bred for their character, conformation and performance, are the best companions for both recreational and top-sport riders.
KWPN Gallery of Honour
The KWPN, with their 28,000 members and annual crop of approximately 10,000 foals per year, is the biggest studbook in the world. Within these groups of horses and breeders are those, which distinguish themselves on account of their performances and successes.