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Dutch Harness Horse

Stable Express is dedicated to the promotion and registering of the Dutch Harness Horse throughout the world. listing Dutch Harness stallions at stud, horses for sale and information about the breed past and present. Below you can watch a video from the ADHHA Nationals Dutch Harness Horse Championships

Dutch Harness Horse - Cambridge ColeDutch Harness Horse - Cambridge Cole
Dutch Harness Horse Dressage

When the automobile made horse transportation obsolete, some farmers directed their efforts toward riding horses. The exceptional Tuigpaard, however, had generated so much enthusiasm and pride, that breeders were quick to organize and concentrate their cooperative efforts. Tuigpaard breeders formed their own program and controls for mare and stallion selection based on presence, soundness and movement, including all types of horses that were suitable sources of desirable traits. Today`s Tuigpaarden may have a pedigree of many breeds; the Dutch Harness horse is the result of a steadfastly maintained open studbook whereby any horse may be used, as long as it`s considered and proven "good enough" according to the high standards of the Dutch. For example, before being allowed into the gene pool, each individual must pass the scrutiny of many eyes and the measure of many tests. The pedigree of today`s Dutch Harness horse traces not only to the original harness horses, but also others of suitable type such as Hackneys, and more recently, American Saddlebreds.

As a result of this careful selection process, horses of The Netherlands have an established world-wide reputation for excellence. The Dutch KWPN selection and breeding stock approval process is unrivaled among horse breeders. It guarantees only the finest individuals will become progenitors of succeeding generations.
Dutch Harness Horse
Dutch Harness Horse - Colt

Dutch Harness Horses - Stallions

Colt breeding candidates must be at least 15.3 hands tall and approach perfection in conformation and movement before permission is granted to enter the 70 Day Central Stallion Test. Jury Inspection (Hengstenkeuring) is held for two-year-old colts each January, where only the finest few are selected for advancement to the second elimination round in February. Nearly 100 colts will be presented, but less than a dozen will survive the scrutiny of these two preliminary appraisals. The slightest flaw results in elimination.

The elite colts which survive until the second round then undergo comprehensive health exams, semen quality evaluations and extensive x-rays to determine if they are worthy of final advancement to the 70 day Central Stallion Test.
Dutch Harness Horse - Show Horse
Dutch Harness Horse - Carriage Driving

The Central Test includes 70 days of training, observation and strict trial for these selected colts stabled together at the Central Training Facility. Show Horse motion, attitude and ability, character, the `will to work`, temperament and training progress is constantly evaluated, monitored and recorded by a panel of judges. Any deficiencies, undesirable actions or stall vices results in immediate rejection.

After withstanding this reassessment, an average of only three colts are admitted annually to the "Approved Breeding Stallion List." All Central Test category scores, judges comments, test results and even x-ray reports are published, assuring only the highest caliber, completely sound and most suitable colts will enter the Dutch Harness Horse breed as Approved Stallions.

The scrutiny does not end once a stallion has been approved. Continuing the Tuigpaard breeder`s goal of constant progress, approved stallions must pass further tests in performance competitions, and later, on the basis of offspring they have sired. After one year, a random sample group of the first foal crop is inspected by strict government judges. Foals must demonstrate that their sire exerts a positive influence on the breed, and a foal evaluation report is published. (If his foals do not meet the requirements, the stallion will be removed from the Approved Sire List.) Two years later, the progeny are again inspected.
Dutch Harness Horse - Show Horse
Dutch Harness Horse - Carriage Driving

When an Approved Stallion reaches six or seven, the performance of his foals is a determining factor for ongoing approval. A published stallion index provides an achievement-based measurement for each Approved Dutch Harness Horse Breeding Stallion. These stallions must also constantly prove themselves in competition, and are assessed annually on whether they compliment the continually developing breed. Any stallion not fulfilling these requirements is removed from the list. Without approval, a stallion is not allowed to breed.

Sires that have clearly demonstrated breed improvement ability over the years qualify for the predicate, or title, of `keur`. The highest qualification predicate is `preferent` an honor rarely awarded to only the greatest progenitors.

Dutch Harness Horses - Mares

Tuigpaard mares may start their breeding careers in the spring after they are presented at Studbook Selections throughout the Netherlands as three year olds. These mares are then registered in the main stud book and branded with the emblem of the Proud Lion. The best mares of these selections may then be shown at Provincial Selections. Only the very finest qualify for presentation at the National Mares Selection, where an international jury decides the superior and best moving mares.

A Dutch Harness Horse mare, branded and registered in the main stud book, has satisfied the minimum requirements for conformation and movement. Better mares earn the `star` (ster) predicate at Provincial Selections. A higher ranking `keur` predicate is only awarded to better mares that have produced offspring and passed selection performance tests. A higher ranking `keur` predicate is only awarded to better mares that have produced offspring and have passed selection performance tests. To emphasize the importance of soundness, the `elite` predicate is for top mares that have passed extensive X-ray examination. Mares that have produced at least three superior offspring will receive the `preferent` predicate. If a minimum of three offspring have performed with excellence, she will be assigned the higher `prestatie` predicate. The `sport` predicate may also be awarded to mares that have a record of performing well in Fine Harness classes.

Dutch Harness Horses - Show Horses

Exploding through the in-gate with each driver urging a spectacular performance, the precision of brilliant motion is equaled only by the presence of the Dutch Harness Horse. The exciting "tic-toc, tic-toc" sound of their hooves becomes an experience. As these show horses `air up` and respond to their appreciative audience, great pride is evident on every face in the stands.

Today, Tuigpaarden are the highlight of many Dutch horse shows, adding an aura of thrilling excitement to these events. As with all breeds, there are many divisions for competition, but the In-Hand and Fine Harness classes generate the most interest and competition. Local and provincial shows are held throughout the spring and summer, culminating with the National Championships at the end of the season.

In-Hand horses stand to be judged and are also presented at the trot for several animated trips around the ring. (This necessitates the use of two or three very fit and athletic handlers per horse) Driving horses wear a light harness and are hooked to a variety of light show carriages, similar to our Fine Harness Carts, only larger and taller.

The Harness Horse is, above all, a Show Horse. He must be upright, beautiful and brilliant. He must display a spectacular trot, using his shoulder and lifting his forelegs high with open motion. His hocks must be used well and powerfully, causing him to be propelled forward with authority, strength and stamina. Ladies` horses are also often harnessed to beautiful high wheeled carts, and must exhibit manners as well as beauty and performance. There are also classes for pairs, tandems and four in-hands, where driving skills are judged as well as the similarity of the horses. Often these are some of the most prestigious events, as it is no small task to acquire, train and match four nearly identical top horses.

Open classes for registered mares and approved stallions are the most closely watched by breeders, for this is the stock that will be used to produce future generations. As with many breeds, the foals of the champions, if they prove themselves good enough, will be the most desired and valuable.

These Tuigpaards are truly a national treasure of The Netherlands; a testament to the Dutch standards of excellence in all endeavors, including horse breeding.


We at Vesty Show Horses are very fortunate to have acquired some of their finest Dutch Harness Horses and extremely pleased to share them with this country. We welcome your breeding inquiries and your visits to inspect the breeding stock we have already imported.

If you are interested in importing and purchase opportunities, we can assist you with inquiries of our Netherlands agent, explain all importation costs and requirements, and arrange shipping procedures through our importing agent

VESTY SHOW HORSE :- Clarke & Karen Vesty * 5501 Tobacco Road * LaGrange, KY 40031 / (502) 222-7307
European Dutch Harness Horse Agent : Marcel Ritsma * Hornhuusstraat 19* 9864 PL Kornhorn
The Netherlands / Phone: 011-31-594-659203 / Email:

The Dutch Harness Horse Registry of North America The Dutch Harness Horse Registry of North America The Dutch Harness Horse Registry of North America, Inc.., was formed to provide a central place for Enthusiasts of the Dutch Harness Horse, to register all offspring with a Dutch Harness Horse in the Pedigree, whether it be pure Dutch or a Cross Dutch.

Harmonie - Dutch Harness Stallion At Stud - HARMONIE is one of only 29 Dutch Harness Horse approved breeding stallions, and the first approved stallion to ever be exported from The Netherlands. We first became acquainted with this marvelous breed during our recent visit to The Netherlands. After learning about Dutch breeding selection standards and seeing their results, we felt this stallion would be extremely beneficial to American show horse breeders and made arrangements for his difficult acquisition. We urge you to take advantage of his availability and low introductory breeding fee.
Harmonie - Dutch Harness Stallion At Stud
Harmonie, both as an individual and in pedigree, reflects the finest and most influential horses in the history of the Tuigpaard (Harness Horse) breed. The red type predicate horses in his pedigree have proven their ability to improve the Dutch Harness Horse breed. Predicates are granted based only on measurable achievements and are a rare occurrence; especially when awarded to stallions. The names appearing in blue type are Hackney Horses, imported by the Dutch as additional outcross sources of strength, soundness and motion. American Saddlebreds have also been recently introduced to the Tuigpaard.

Harmonie`s sire, Wilhelmus, is a son of the magnificent Renovo (Keur Preferent), the stallion who changed and renewed the Tuigpaard breed. In addition to Harmonie, Wilhelmus sired four approved stallions, 57 `star` mares and 21 `keur` mares.

Harmonie`s dam, Osina (Keur Preferent) was by Indiaan (Keur Preferent) six time champion of The Netherlands, and also one of the breed`s best broodmare sires. Indiaan`s sire, Oregon (Preferent), who was also Wilhelmus` maternal grandsire, was known as the King Of The Dutch Harness Horse breed.

As a breeding horse, Harmonie`s foal report is comparable to those of much older, established foundation stallions. Since 1994 (his first foal crop), many favorable judges comments have been recorded. Each year, Harmonie has sired at least one colt that advanced to the Central Test. In 1997, a Harmonie colt was the first Dutch Harness Horse ever to earn the overall KWPN National Foal Championship, scoring a perfect 10 on all judges cards.

Harmonie daughters have also achieved high honors, gaining headlines and compliments from many esteemed judges. As further confirmation of his ability as a sire, 50 percent of his daughters carry the `Star` (ster) predicate.

Harmonie was invited to the 100 day Central Test in 1992. His test scores averaged over 8 (out of 10) and he finished at the top of his group. His ability to improve the breed has allowed him to remain on the approved stallion list every year since 1992. Harmonie is highly ranked on both the Tuigpaard sport index (Fine Harness competition) and conformation (In Hand) indexes.

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Dutch Harness Horse foal demonstrating the natural high stepping action of their gait. Dutch Harness Horses
@pegasebuzz Dutch Harness Horses
Dutch Harness Horse Association Dutch Harness Horses
Our KWPN Dutch Harness Horse stallion Graaf Kelly. Graaf Kelly - Dutch Harness Horses
Dutch Harness Horses in tandem Amadeus and Alferd B ridden by Aat van Essen Aat van Essen - Dutch Harness Horses
Geronimus (Makers Mark x Wendie W by Nando) - 2011 DHH Stallion

Dutch Harness Horse