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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Wurttemberg   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Wurttemberg is a German horse breed, which started as a heavy warmblood (known today as 'Alt Wurttemberg') but was further developed into a sport warmblood.

The development of the Wurttemberg took place in the oldest stud farm in Germany: Marbach Stud. It started in the 16th century, when local mares were crossed with Arabian stallions. Then, during the 17th and 18th centuries, additional breeds were added, such as the Thoroughbred, Anglo-Norman, Clydesdale, Andalusian, Neapolitan, Mecklenburger, and Holsteiner, to name a few. The result was a new breed called Wurttemberg: a somewhat heavy warmblood which was strong enough to work on the farm, and yet light enough to serve as a saddle horse. Today, this original form of the Wurttemberg breed is known as 'Alt Wurttemberg,' and exists in Germany in small numbers (see the 'Alt Wurttemberg' for more info.)

During the 1950s, the need for farm horses declined while the demand for sport horses increased. Therefore, the breeders at Marbach stud decided to create a modern and more athletic form of Wurttemberg breed, that will serve as a sport horse. To achieve this, the stud purchased a Trakehner stallion called Julmond, which became the foundation sire of the modern Wurttemberg. In addition, Hanoverian, Holsteiner, Oldenburg, Westphalian, and Thoroughbred horses were used as well in a later stage. Today, modern Wurttembergs are used for jumping and dressage.

When it comes to breeding, each subtype has different breeding rules. The modern Wurttemberg has an open studbook, which allows crossings with other German sport warmblood breeds, as well as with Selle Francais horses. The opposite is the case of the Alt Wurttemberg, which has a closed studbook in order to preserve its purity.

The conformation of modern Wurttembergs is similar to the conformation of other German warmbloods, because these warmbloods were used extensively in the development of the modern Wurttemberg. Conversely, Alt Wurttembergs have a heavier conformation that is characterized by a wide head, short and thick legs, and a muscled body, thus giving them a "cob-like" appearance.

Wurttemberg horses come in the colors of chestnut, bay, brown, black, and grey. Modern Wurttembergs can also be cream-diluted, and have a tobiano coat. When it comes to height, Alt-Wurttembergs stand between 15.1hh and 16.1hh, and the Modern Wurttembergs stand between 15.1hh and 17.1hh.

(For more info about the subtypes of the Wurttemberg breed, see the 'Alt Wurttemberg' and the 'Modern Wurttemberg.')


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