The Kladrubian Horse
(The Kladruber or Kladruby Horse)

Page 1

     The Old Kladrubian has common origin with the Lipizzaner in the Spanish – Italian ancestors, however in the Kladrubian the Italian branch is more dominant, containing the blood of the Alpine western horse, who already during the middle-ages was spreading to Italy and along the Apennines.

Stallion Generale XXXVII, a Kladrubian gray, born 8/28/1936 in Kladruby. Sire Generale XXXIV, dam 278 Shagya I, 16'3 hands and 1642 pounds.

     The Old Kladrubian horse is a “carosier” (carriage/wheel horse) of Italian-Spanish origin, henceforth he is a type of breed that was raised till the end of the 18th century in the northern and central Italy near Rome on large and small stud farms.

     The Old Kladrubian horse was bred in the Bohemian (Czech Republic today) court stud farm in Kladruby by the river Elbe. Rudolf II, the son of Maximilian II, established this stud farm in the year 1579 in the Pardubice domain that was purchased already by his grand father Ferdinand I.

     Rudolf II was a “horse lover” who especially favored the Spanish horses with which he was very familiar, because he himself was raised in the Spanish court during the time when the Spanish horse was at its peak. From the establishment perspective, the Kladruby and Lipizza/Lipica stud farms are the oldest horse farms in Europe that managed to remain active till this day.

After the court chamber decision, additional stables were built in the court of Kladruby manorial estate and Rudolf Breitenbach was named as the “gestütmeister” (modern English term “farm manager”). The first horses that arrived to Kladruby came mainly from Spain. The Imperial scouts (agents) were also buying horses from northern Italy, especially around Lipica region. 

     Unfortunately, there is very little known about these horses that were active in the stud farm, because all the documentation from the first two centuries was destroyed in the Kladruby fire in the year 1757.

     The greatest prosperity from the architectural and hippological aspect came to the Kladruby stud farm during the era of Charles VI (1712 – 1748), who was also a passionate horse lover. The original Pernstein court buildings were demolished and the foundation was laid for the new stud farm as well as the castle, which remains in foundation intact till this day. 

Kladrubian, the classical and ultimate carriage horse, here in four white stallions in-hand set-up.

     During that time there were more than a thousand horses. The stud farm always depended not only on the personal fancy for horses of individual rulers, but also on the court financial situation as well as the political status of the land, whose fate it shared. During the Prussian wars the stud farm had to be evacuated to Enyed in Hungary. After the battle of “Kolín” July 17th 1757 the building in Kladruby succumbed to a fire. An Austrian cavalry regiment was staying over night and after their departure a fire broke out and from the structures build by Charles VI remained nothing but bare walls. Charles VI also established a third stud farm in Kopčany in Slovakia, which was less threatened by foreign invaders than the Kladruby and because of it Marie Teresa decided to liquidate the stud farm in Kladruby. The decisive factor were also various financial problems brought by many years of wars. The buildings were rented out to a Dutch textile company, which had them repaired and suited for a garment factory. In the frequent flooded, damped environment of the Hungarian Enyed, the horses did not do well, mares were aborting and foals were dying. 
Therefore, Josef II decided to have the Kladrubian stud farm renewed, repaired and further reestablished and continued only in Kladruby the breeding of the havier carriage horse of the Italian – Spanish type from the previous herd from Kladruby and Kopčany. From that time; the Kladruby stud farm remained to serve the purpose till this day. Those days type of the Old Kladrubian horse can be seen, hitched to heavy wheels, depicted in the paintings of Wouwermann and Hamilton.

Stallion Generalissimus XXIII as a 8-year-old, gray, a main breeding stallion, born 1938 by Generale XXXIII out of 407 Generalissimus, 16'2 hands and 1421 pounds.

     Horses in these paintings are tall with Roman heads (nose), with ears conspicuously short, accordingly to the contemporary fashion cropped already in the foal stage, high set necks, wide and muscular hind quarters, long tails, high stepping slim legs, mostly blacks, grays, but times even some bizarre colors.

     The founder of today’s Old Kladrubian Grays was a Spanish black stallion Peppoli born 1764 in a private farm near Ferrary in northern Italy. His son was a gray, named Imperatore out of a gray mare Aurora by the stallion Toscanello. Imperatore produced with a black mare from Kopchany named Mosca, who was more likely of Italian origin, a gray stallion named Generale, born in Kopčany 1787, who became the forefather of today’s descendants of the Old Kladrubian grays of Generale lineage.

     The stallion Generale left behind in Kopčany lines of descendants from which 4 sons were used as breeding stallions in the Kladrubian stud farm. The first son, born 1797 out of Bellona, was named Generalissimus and became the founder of the second line of the Kladrubian grays that remained till the year 1929; last stallion being Generalissimus XXII. The second son, born 1797 out of Bellasperenza, was named Generale III, but established only a small lineage, which later vanished.

The third son born 1797 out of Altabella had very little influence and his line died out. The most influential was the fourth son Generale – Vallona, marked as Generale II. This branch remains till this day and to which belonged the exclusive stallion Generale XXXIII, whose son, out of mare 407 Generalissimus, was inserted into the breeding program and named Generalissimus XXIII (See photo above). Thus the lineage was renewed through the daughter of the last Generalissimus.

Sacramoso XXVII - Aja 1907, Old Kladrubian pureblooded stallion, black without change, sire Sacramoso Risamota 1889, dam Aja 1889, + 8/21/1930. An old type of carosiers, 16'2 tall and 1373 pounds.

Due to the fact that in Italy and Spain the horses of these old breeds completely died out, the Old Kladrubians Grays are maintained in such ways where the daughters of Generale are paired with Generalissimus stallion and the daughters of Generalissimus with Generale.

The breeding of the Old Kladrubian Black went through a similar process, where the breed was maintained through two stallion lines, Sacramoso and Napoleone, from which the Napoleone lineage was liquidated in Kladruby in the year 1922 and only the line of Sacramoso survived. The Italian – Spanish black stallion Sacramoso, who came to Kladruby from the archiepiscopal stud farm of Riess, established this lineage, but this line from which came 13 stallions died out. The second line of the Sacramosos remained till this day. The stallion Sacramoso born in 1800 in the Olomouc stud farm of the Kroměříž archiepiscopate established this line.

     Both lines of Sacramosos were related because they came from the same stud farm, owned by the marquis Sacramoso of Verona, from where also the archiepiscopal stud farm of Riess was purchasing horses.

An open stabling for broodmares and foals in the Kladruby stud farm.

The second line of the Old Kladrubian Blacks Napoleone came from a black stallion Napoleone born 1845 and was purchased for the Kladruby stud farm as a ten-year-old in 1855 in Rome from a private stable. Henceforth, he was of the same origin as the Sacramoso but of different blood. In Kladruby, the Napoleones were covering the Sacramoso mares and the Sacramoso stallions in return bred the daughters of Napoleone stallions. The last Napoleone was Napoleone (VI) Soal born 1902 in Kladruby by Napoleone Amelia out of mare Sola; he was figural, tall stallion who on account of the lacking interest in his particular breed after the first world war, was prematurely excluded from the breeding program; despite the fact that this breed of horses in Europe is a hippological uniqueness, because this old, yet viable Italian – Spanish race of horses cannot be found anywhere else in the World.

Page 2 (coming soon!)

Translated by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a. Lee Stanek from the 1953 Special Zoo-Technique - Breeding of Horses
Published in 1953 by the Czechoslovakian Academy of Agricultural Science and certified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Written by: MVDr Ludvik Ambroz, Frabtisek Bilek, MVDr Karel Blazek, Ing. Jaromir Dusek, Ing. Karel Hartman, Hanus Keil, pro. MVDr Emanuel Kral, Karel Kloubek, Ing. Dr. Frantisek Lerche, Ing. Dr Vaclav Michal, Ing. Dr Zdenek Munki, Ing. Vladimir Mueller, MVDr Julius Penicka, pro. MVDr Emil Pribyl, MVDr Lev Richter, prof. Ing. Dr Josef Rechta, MVDr Karel Sejkora and Ing. Dr Jindrich Steinitz.