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The Czech Republic and the Slovakian Republic, adjacent countries in central Europe, were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I. They formed the single nation Czechoslovakia from 1918 until 1993 when they became two sovereign nations. Horse breeds that originated in that part of central Europe include the Czechoslovakian Small Riding Horse and the Czechoslovakian Warmblood. These breeds are rare in the United States and throughout the world.
Czechoslovakian Small Riding Horse
The Czechoslovakian Small Riding Horse averages 13.2 to 13.3 hands tall. The horse is known for a calm and docile demeanor. This rare horse was bred at the Agricultural University in Nitra in 1980 when Arabian mares mated with a Welsh pony stallion; Hanoverian, Hucul and Slovak Warmblood mares also served in the initial breeding program. The breed proved hardy and able to navigate harsh footing.
The Czech Warmblood, or Cesky Teplokrevnik, is a large horse averaging 16 hands. Unlike the Small Riding Horse, the Czech Warmblood is an energetic sport horse. The breed includes bloodlines from Oriental and Spanish horses. In the early part of the 20th century, English bloodlines were added.
Often used for farming, breeders added Thoroughbred and Oldenburg bloodlines into the breed to make it a more suitable war horse during World War I. After World War II, demand for working horses decreased dramatically and the Czech Warmblood became mostly a sport breed.
Kinsky horses originated in Bohemia, an area that became the core of Czechoslovakia. Bred by the Kinsky family in the 1700s, Kinsky horses served in foxhunting and as carriage horses. In 1883, the Grand National at Aintree was won by a Kinsky mare.
Kinsky horses are palominos with a uniquely golden metallic sheen. Only 1,000 horses remain in the breed's registry.
Bred at the Kladruby stud farm founded by the Czech King Rudolf II and the Roman Emperor in 1579, the Kladruber, or Kladrubsky, is a warmblood breed descending from Spanish and Italian horses.
The white Kladruber has definite thoroughbred influences, while the black Kladruber is heavier and smaller with more Nordic bloodlines.