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23 February 2019   
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 Danish Breeds

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Danish Breeds of Horse

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One of the oldest and best-known breeds in Denmark taking its name from the Royal Frederiksborg Stud founded in 1562 by King Frederik II. The breed was originally based on the Spanish Andalusian and was subsequently crossed with the Neapolitan. As the breed continued to develop, Oriental and British half bred blood was introduced. Originally used as a cavalry charger, in haute ecole in the days of the great European riding schools, in harness and on the land, it became one of the most sought after horses in Europe. Unfortunately the Frederiksborg stud exported and sold all the best stock to upgrade other breeds and the breed went into decline in 1839, the stud turned to breeding thoroughbreds, without much success and the stud was closed in 1871. Fortunately private breeders have kept the Frederiksborg alive and today they are bred throughout Denmark and used mainly as light harness horses.

It stands at 15.3 to 16h.h. has fairly good conformation with a workmanlike appearance and it is usually chestnut in colour; the head is attractive, with bright honest eyes and large shapely ears; the neck is upright the back tends to be long but strong; the hindquarters are in proportion with a high set tail; the limbs are strong with good hard feet. It is a pleasant horse with a kind disposition and active paces.

The Frederiksborg has played a significant part in the influence on other breeds. One of the most famous horses is Pluto, the white stallion foaled in 1765, he is the foundation sire for the earliest of the six lines of the Lipizzaner horse - famous for its association with the Spanish School Of Riding in Vienna, where for breed identification 'Pluto' is used as a prefix to the names of his line. There are six major bloodlines that have endured to our time: Pluto, Conversano, Favory, Neapolitano, Maestoso and Siglavy. All true Lipizzaner horses are branded to show there bloodline with four brands; P for Piber on the left croup; L for Lipizzaner on the left cheek; the ancestral brand of the stallion line of the sire and the mare line of the dam, behind the left withers; the foal registry name behind the right withers. The foals are given a double name, that of the sire followed by that of the dam and a breed number.

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