The modern Westphalian is yet another
top-quality German horse which has been refined from and older version
of the breed to produce what is today required by the market - a
superb riding and competition horse.
The Westphalian was first named as a
formal breed in 1826 with the formation of their breed association
in Westphalia, Germany. Early stock used in the formation of the
breed was based mainly on indigenous stock mixed with mainly Thoroughbred
blood. Breeding the Westphalian became more concentrated at the
end of World War II. The choice of Thoroughbred and Arabian blood
for speed, courage, stamina, quality was made, and also Hanoverian
for common sense and willingness, which proved excellent with the
breeders' existing stock.
The Westphalian first came to the attention
of the competition horse world in the late 1970s, when one of their
number, Roman, won the World Show Jumping Championship in 1978.
Then in 1982, the Westphalians again won the jumping in the World
Championships with Fire, and dressage with Ahlerich.
The Westphalian has a courageous, spirited
temperament, and yet is very willing and docile. Today the breed
is used for general riding and harness work, including competitive
carriage driving. It is most talented, however, in the fields of
show jumping and dressage, and some even have the speed needed for
In appearance, the Westphalian is a
well-balanced, quality middle-weight horse of varying type due to
the stud book's not being closed to further infusions of desirable
outside blood. They have intelligent heads with ears of medium length,
eyes that show courage and friendliness, and a straight profile.
Their heads are more workmanlike than beautiful. They can be any
solid color, with white being allowed on the head and legs, and
they range in height from 15.2 to 16.2 hh.
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