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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: South African Boerperd (SA Boerperd) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The development of the SA Boerperd took almost three centuries. It started in the 17th century when either Java ponies, Arabians, or both, were imported from Java to South Africa. Further importations included Persian Arabians. The 18th century saw the arrival of Criollos from South America, and Thoroughbreds from England.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Andalusians were imported and added to complete the mix as well. The result was a locally-known all-around horse suitable for riding and light farm work, hence the name 'boerperd,' meaning 'farmer's horse' in Afrikaans.
A great cavalry horse of superb stamina:
However, it wasn't until the arrival of Lord Charles Somerset that the SA Boerperd became the legendary horse of South Africa. Somerset, a British governor that governed the Cape of Good Hope between 1814 to 1826, imported from England some of the finest Thoroughbred stallions he could find. These stallions refined and improved the endurance of the SA Boerperd.
The improved SA Boerperds proved to be excellent cavalry horses, and were even exported to India in large numbers. The breed underwent further improvement during the Great Trek, during which the endurance of thousands of SA Boerperd horses was put into a test, when they were required to travel hundreds of kilometers.
Sadly, many horses died, but those who survived passed on their impressive stamina to future generations, and turned the SA Boerperd into a breed of superb stamina.
Unfortunately, during the second half of the 19th century, SA Boerperds were crossed with a large variety of different breeds, most of them of Dutch or British origins. While these breeds could add good qualities to the SA Boerperd, poor selection of breeding stock led to the dilution of the good qualities of the old Boerperd. Whether or not these crosses improved or impaired the breed is debated.
At the turn of the century, the SA Boerperd suffered grave losses during the Anglo-Boer War, be it on the battlefield itself, or on farms where entire herds were destructed by the British army to dwindle the cavalry horses available for Boer soldiers. By the end of the war, only a few purebred SA Boerperds were left, and the breed was at risk of extinction.
Various reasons, from the will to save the local breed to the desire to improve it even further as a riding horse, led breeders to cross SA Boerperds with Hackneys, Morgans, and, above all, American Saddlebreds. The latter became instrumental in the breeding program, and had a prevalent influence on the conformation of the SA Boerperd.
However, some breeders disagreed with this approach and formed a group of their own. Instead of continuing crossing their SA Boerperds with American Saddlebreds, they located SA Boerperds who still had a conformation similar to the old SA Boerperd, and concentrated on breeding them, establishing several bloodlines within their breeding program.
The SA Boerperd vs. the Cape Boerperd:
Eventually, the Cape breed was fully divided into two separate breeds. First, the 'original' SA Boerperd whose conformation is similar to the original conformation that the SA Boerperd had. Second, the refined SA Boerperd which was heavily influenced by became known as "Cape Boerperd" (see the 'Cape Boerperd' for more information.)
The SA Boerperd today:
Today, the SA Boerperd is an all-around saddle horse which is used for various disciplines, and is valued for its stamina and comfortable gaits. Most SA Boerperds are five-gaited, but some are non-gaited.
The conformation of the SA Boerperd is similar to that of the Cape Boerperd, and as such is characterized by a straight profile, large eyes, pointed ears that can be curved inwards, a high-set neck, sturdy legs, and large, solid hooves. However, the SA Boerperd is more muscular and robust than the refined Cape Boerperd.
The mane and tail are sometimes wavy, and can grow long.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered SA Boerperds in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 15.4-17.0, 16.2 (0.3), 0.06.
Sprint: 50-65, 57 (3), 0.56.
Accel: 0.85-1.04, 0.96 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 0.94-1.11, 1.04 (0.03), 0.01.
Jump: 5.05-5.37, 5.22 (0.06), 0.01.
Pull: 2.44-3.19, 2.81 (0.15), 0.03.
Turning: 51.97-63.99, 58.23 (2.98), 0.58.
Reverse: 2.5-3.1, 2.8 (0.1), 0.02.
Stamina: 43.48-50.11, 47.16 (1.33), 0.26.
Reaction: 0.76-0.86, 0.82 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
Colors: bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, buckskin, palomino, smoky black, roan, and, in rare cases, dun.
Breeding notes: avoid crossing two cream-diluted individuals as double-cream dilutes are banned from registration.
Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, rabicano, roan, sooty, dark mane & tail, grey mane & tail. The coat is always solid, and horses will be penalized if they have pinto-like blazes or stockings.
Height: 14hh to 15.3hh.
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