Photo Credit: Horse Source Ltd KWPN North America

A rigorous selection system and continuous evaluation of breeding stock, as well as a high-tech research, statistical, and records department bring the latest developments in science and technology to bear on the improvement of the Dutch horses. In addition, the long horse-breeding history and agricultural heritage of the Dutch, bring generations of nearly in-born expertise to the production of top quality Dutch horses.

The main tools in the ongoing evolution and improvement of the Dutch horse are the Keurings, or inspections which are held in the Netherlands and in North America every year, at which horses are evaluated and rewarded according to their quality and fulfillment of the Breeding Goal. This system includes a very rigorous selection and testing system for breeding stallions - one of the most selective and rigorous in the world.

Unlike some warmblood registries, Dutch horses are not branded as foals based on the fact that they are "registered". Instead, in order to be branded, they must be presented for Studbook Inspection at the age of three or older. If they are of sufficient quality they are inscribed in the Studbook, and can be branded. Studbook horses are then eligible for awards or predicates assigned according to the quality of the individual, and the quality and success of the offspring.

The special predicates include "star" for horses of especially good quality, "keur" for star mares who perform a good performance test and show a good offspring, "preferent" for mares who have produced particularly good offspring, and "prestatie" for mares who have produced offspring that have been especially successful in sport.

For questions or comments contact the editor, KWPN-NA.