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kladruber

Bred in Kladruby nad Labem national stud, the Kladruber breed is almost 400 years old, yet is remarkably rare (90 mares as of 1995). Kladruby stud was founded in 1579 by Rudolf II as an Imperial stud, at the Perlstein stables. The breed was based on imported Spanish (such as the Andalusian) and Italian horses, crossed with Neapolitan, Danish, Holstein, Irish, and Oldenburg blood, in addition to the heavy Czech breeds. The animal was first developed to be a galakarosier; a heavy type of carriage horse used to pull the imperial coach, usually in a four- or six-in-hand, at ceremonies and funerals. It originally came in a variety of colors, including palomino and appaloosa, although today the breed is strictly gray or black, due to a breeding program requiring 18 white and 18 black stallions for various ceremonies of the court. The stud was evacuated during the Seven Years' War to Kopcany, Slovakia and Enyed, Hungary. Due to a fire in 1757, the earliest 200 years of breeding records were lost, and the stud was dissolved before the remaining breeding stock was brought back to the a new stud in Kladruby. The surviving records show a particular influence by several stallions on the herd of gray Kladrubers: Pepoli: a gray who sired the colt Generale in Kopcany in 1787. Generale is thought to be the progenitor of all white Kladrubers today, and he produced the son Generalissimus (1797) who produced a separate lineage. Maestoso (1773) and Favory (1779): born in Kladruby, became two of the six founding Lipizzaner stallion lineages. Favory returned to Kladruby after WWII, to add new blood to the decimated herd. The herd of black Kladrubers had two particular influential stallions, Sacramoso (born 1799) and Napoleone (born 1845), and was regenerated in Slatinany. The black and white Kladrubers have several differences due to their breeding. The white is finer, more Thoroughbredish in type, and usually taller than the black. The black has more Neapolitan blood, and thus is heavier, has a shorter croup, a different head and neck, and a more "nordic" look to it. Pepoli's bloodlines are still bred at the Kladruby Stud, but the herd of black horses sired by Sacromoso and Nepoleone was destroyed in the 1930s, after many of the animals were sold for meat. Despite the decimated herd, a few horses were saved and efforts have been made by breeders to re-establish their bloodlines at a new stud in Slatinany, at The Research Institute for Horse Breeding.

The Kladruber (Czech Kladrubský kun) is the oldest czech horse breed, and today is considered very rare. The main breeding centre is in National stud farm Kladruby nad Labem in Czech republic where Kladrubers have been bred for more than 400 years, being now one of the world's oldest horse breeds. Kladrubers have always been bred to be a galakarosier - a heavy type of carriage horse used on court ceremonial occasions.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kladruber".