Friday, February 20, 2009

The Gelderlander horse: A video Gelderlander is a Dutch horse, heavier than the Dutch warmblood, and not as widely known in the U.S. The Gelderlander is the result of crossbreeding between the Friesian, the Thoroughbred, Hackney, Oldenburg, and others. The Gelderlander and the Groninger were influential in the development of the modern dutch warmblood. The Groninger is a heavy type, while the Gelderlander is lighter -- in part, I'm told, because the Gelderlander worked the lighter sandy soils of the Netherlands while the Groninger farmed a different region with heavier soil. Gelderlanders are used in driving, show jumping, and dressage. They are generally chestnut and may have white markings -- in fact, some are sabino and some are tobiano.

This video reports that Gelderlanders are becoming endangered. Similar to the Friesians, as they are crossed with other breeds the purity of the bloodlines is jeopardized. The video is in Dutch, of course, but the translation from the Gelderlander Horse Association is below...

  1. The Gelderlander horse has a great reputation in Europe for centuries.
  2. Since a very long time, this horse has the same exterior: 100 years ago, 50 years ago and today.
  3. Already more than 100 years, the Gelderlander is a versatile horse, as the flag depicts with the graceful stallion Avenir and emblems for riding and driving.
  4. As Avenir was born (in 1959), the agricultural work was the main use. But besides the work on the farm, the horses were used by farmers sons and daughters for infighting riding and driving competitions more and more.
  5. The Gelderlander is suitable for dressage at all recreation levels and for the Olympic Games too. (Video of Lianca in 2008).
  6. This applies also to jumping as Olympic Sunrise demonstrated at the Olympic Games in Seoel.
  7. In 2006, Tepic la Silla won 4 Grand Prix within one season. Then he was already 18 years old.
  8. But Veronica was competing in Z-dressage at the age of 26 years old.
  9. The Dutch sporthorse became world famous by horses born out Gelderlander mares, such as this F-1 cross Calypso. (Jo Rutten with Banjo was 9th in dressage at the Olympic Games in Montreal). TV-reporter shouts: "Melanie Smith wins for America the World Cup Final".
  10. Gelderlanders excel in international driving competitions too. They are willing to work, level-headed and never tired.
  11. The capacities of the Gelderlander are gained by the selection in the Dutch agriculture in former days. Above all his other animals, the farmer loved most his horse, his daily companion in work, which had to be versatile, reliable and healthy.
  12. These capacities are important for recreation too.
  13. The same versatile horse in work, under saddle and in driving.
  14. In harness for the Golden Coach of the Dutch Queen, the Gelderlander horse proved its reliability too. This breed is endangered now. TV-Gelderland reported in their News:
  15. TV-reporter: "The Gelderlander is becoming a curiosity. In the opinion of the supporters, the breed is crossed more and more with other breeds, as a result of which it becomes too impure. Last year, the breeders made an appeal to the Parliament. Because the breed is in danger yet, the member of Parliament Henk Jan Ormel from Hengelo insists that there will be taken measures. "The member of Parliament Henk Jan Ormel: "If we don't maintain the breed now, the Gelderlander will become extinct and the only thing that remains is that you say: that horse looks like a Gelderlander but isn't it. I'll do my best for the maintenance of the Gelderlander bloodlines".
  16. Nearly the whole Dutch Parliament has the same opinion. And Minister for Agriculture Verburg is intended to take the requested measures with drive.
  17. Several unused free Gelderlander bloodlines exist yet. The stallion Wandango in Switzerland is already 28 years old and Vulcaan in Canada is 27 years old. But they are still alive. Just as more Gelderlanders in the Netherlands and abroad.
  18. (Erfelijkheiswetten = genetics) In whole breeding, the genetics are in force. The genetics teach that visible and not visible points are passing on by the genes. In case of the Gelderlander too. So it is important to maintain the original bloodlines as pure as possible. Do you support us?

Gelderlander Horse Association

Print English text


  1. Thank you for posting that. I really enjoyed that. I hope they salvage the breed. I guess it gets difficult when the gene pool is reduced. It made me want a Gelderlander. I've heard of them, but never really knew anything about them. I loved the farmer and his hay machine and the horse didn't have bliders on to keep it from seeing the monster behind it. You could tell the famers were all very proud of their horses.

    1. I am lucky enough to own one of these amazing horses, he is a ride and drive, and is always a true gentleman

  2. I love an all-around horse and these Gelderlanders seem to be the genuine article. Hope they make it!

  3. Very informative. I have a Dutch mare with a lot of Gelderlander in her pedigree, she is 20 years old and we have been trying to get her in foal for the last 3 years - we are trying again this year as we just lost the only offspring of hers we own, her 4 year old filly, Porsche. I would really like to keep these bloodlines!


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