Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Belgian Halfblood (SBS)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Belgian Halfblood (also known as 'Belgian Sport Horse' and 'SBS') is a sport warmblood breed which excels in show-jumping. This athletic breed should not be confused with the Belgian Warmblood, which is a different breed.

Belgian Halfbloods were created in the 1920s by the Belgian Halfblood Society, who crossed Brabants (Belgian Heavy Drafts) with Thoroughbreds, German Halfbloods, and Selle Francais horses. Originally, Belgian Halfbloods were bred to serve as cavalry horses for the Belgian Army, and the breed suffered great losses during World War II, to such an extent that only a handful of mares and stallions were left.

When World War II ended, some breeders wanted re-establish the breed, but not for cavalry purposes. Instead, they decided to focus on breeding horses who excel in sport disciplines, and especially in show-jumping. They purchased horses of the breeds Selle Francais, Hanoverian, Dutch Warmblood, and Thoroughbred, and incorporated them in the breeding program. This program was so successful in producing excellent show-jumping horses, that in 1967 the Belgian Halfblood Society was awarded a Royal status.

Today, the Royal Belgian Halfblood Society has an open studbook, and allows crossbreeding Belgian Halfbloods with sport warmblood of other breeds. That said, each horse must pass an extremely strict selection process before they get approved for breeding. The breeding of Belgian Halfbloods revolves mainly around their jumping abilities, and today this breed is considered as one of the best breeds for show-jumping.

There is no specific conformation standard for Belgian Halfbloods aside from having a correct conformation. Furthermore, because of the open studbook policy, the exact conformation of Belgian Halfblood horses can vary between horses. Nevertheless, they tend to have a typical athletic built characterized with prominent withers, strong legs, and powerful hindquarters. In addition, they also tend to have a somewhat large head with large ears, small eyes, and a convex profile.

Belgian Halfbloods are primarily chestnut, bay, brown, black, grey, or roan in color, but cream-dilutes can be found as well. In addition, while most of them have solid coats, individuals with sabino and tobiano coats are born from time to time. Belgian Halfbloods stand between 15.2hh and 17.3hh.

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