Kladruber Horses
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Kladruber (or Kladrubsky kun) horses are the oldest Czechrnhorse breed, and today are considered very rare. Their main breeding center is thernNational stud farm Kladruby nad Labem in the Czech republic. Kladrubers havernbeen bred there for more than 400 years, which makes them one of the world'srnoldest horse breeds. rnrn 

rnrnThe Kladruby stud was founded in 1579 by Rudolf II as anrnImperial stud, at the Perlstein stables. The breed was based on importedrnSpanish (such as the Andalusian) and Italian horses, crossed with Neapolitan,rnDanish, Holstein, Irish, and Oldenburg horses, in addition to heavy Czechrnbreeds. They were first developed to be a galakarosier (a heavy type ofrncarriage horse used to pull the imperial coach), usually in a four- orrnsix-in-hand, at ceremonies and funerals. They originally came in a variety ofrncolors, including palomino and appaloosa, although today they are strictly grayrnor black, due to a breeding program requiring 18 white (i.e. fully maturerngrays) and 18 black stallions for various ceremonies of the court.rnrn 

rnrnThe stud was moved during the Seven Years' War to Kopcany,rnSlovakia and Enyed, Hungary. Due to a fire in 1757, the earliest 200 years ofrnbreeding records were lost, and the stud was dissolved before the remainingrnbreeding stock was brought back to the a new stud in Kladruby. The survivingrnrecords show a particular influence by several stallions on the herd of gray Kladrubers.rnrn 

rnrnA stud named Generale is thought to be the progenitor of allrngray Kladrubers today, and he produced his son Generalissimus (1797) whornproduced a separate lineage.rnrn rnrn 

rnrn rnrnThey generally stand between 16.2 and 17 hands high 66 to 68rninches (170 to 170 cm) and primarily used in harness. They are suitable forrnlight draft and agriculture, and can be seen at the international levels in thernsport of combined driving. This FEI sport makes good use of the Kladruber'srncalm nature, endurance, and relative speed. Kladrubers are also occasionallyrncrossbred with lighter breeds to produce a more suitable riding horse, usuallyrnfor dressage.rnrn 

rnrnDue to their small gene pool and long history of selectivernbreeding, Kladruber type is well "set" and they possess recognizablernbreed characteristics. Many of these characteristics, such as a prominent Romanrnor convex facial profile, have been retained from their Baroque ancestors.rnWhile the relatively upright shoulder, pasterns and hooves, long back, andrnshort croup are not desirable in a riding horse, these qualities allowrnindependence and freedom of the forehand and hind end. This freedom in turnrnpermits elegant, high-stepping gaits. The high-set, powerful and well-archedrnneck of the Kladruber was a trademark feature of their Spanish-Neapolitanrnancestors, and not only contributes to their appearance in harness, but inrnconjunction with rather low withers, makes a harness more comfortable for thernhorse. A horse of substance, the Kladruber possesses a deep, broad chest andrnsound legs with large joints and hooves. Their legs are unfeathered, though thernmane and tail are thick and flowing, and the features are lean rather thanrnfleshy. All gaits, though most especially the trot, should have high action andrnelasticity with a clear cadence.

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