The CZECHOSLOVAKIAN WARMBLOOD has been bred mainly for modern competition. It is sometimes referred to as a “Czechoslovakian Half-Bred”, but in reality it is a horse produced from a reasonably judicious, if very wide-ranging, mix of the Central European breeds. The common factor in these horses, and a most important breeding objective, is that of “rideability”. This horse is intended to be suitable for riders of no more than average ability, and should be easily manageable.
Breeds influencing the Czechoslovakian Warmblood
The constituent elements of the Czechoslovakian Warmblood are the horses bred at the studs in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, such as Topolcianky and more particularly those that evolved at the great stud farms in neighbouring Hungary. The Nonius and Furioso , and the Gidran (nd English “half-breds” based on them, all feature in the make-up of the Czechoslovakian Warmblood, along with the influential Shagya Arab, the pride of Hungary’s Babolna Stud.
The Nonius carried Norman blood, and was also influenced, early on, by the Norfolk Roadster The breed was continually refined by Thoroughbred blood to produce light carriage types and then riding horses. The Furioso, developed at Mezohegyes in Hungary, was founded on two English Thoroughbreds which were put to heavier Nonius mares.
The Gidran, also originating at Mezohegyes, can be considered as the Hungarian Anglo
Arab, while the splendid Shagya of Babolna, the result of 200 years of planned line-breeding, is Arab in nearly all respects, except that it rarely stands less than 1.52 m (15 hh), and has more bone and substance than the fashionable show-ring Arabs. There could hardly be a greater mix of bloods, although all, with the possible exception of the occasional Hanoverian influence, are related to a greater or lesser degree. The so-called Hungarian Warmbloods do not have such a varied background, being to all intents and purposes of Nonius breeding.
The Czechoslovakian Warmblood resulted from this amalgam of bloods, but owing to its mixed ancestry there is no dominant type, nor is it likely that one will emerge in the near future. In most cases, however, there are discernible conformational features relating to the more prepotent elements in the background. For instance, there is a fairly clear legacy from the Arab, which may be seen in the straight line of the croup, the low, broad withers, and the set of the shoulders.
Typical of the warm blood is the check warm blood is ample bone robust build with powerful shoulders and hindquarters. We have a muscular strong neck and elegant body with lengthy broad back. They have a flowing mane and tail which is very thick typical of the central European bred warm bloods. They usually stands between 1.63 and 1.68 m (16-16.2 hh). Most common colours are black, chestnut or Bay/Dark Bay but they may be any solid colour.
Their results in worldwide sport horse competitions are not spectacular – they are willing and able with a relaxed temperament as opposed to being flashy. They are generally healthy and long-lived breed. Their movement is more like that of a light carriage horse (another contributory influence) than the floating action of the Arab. On the whole, the Czechoslovakian Warmblood is usually strongly built, and has an acceptable, middle-of-the-road, riding horse conformation. Whilst previously used as cavalry horses they have not seen the same translation from success on the battlefield to success in the showjumping eventing or Hunter sports horse classes that we have seen from the other European warm blood breeds.
Translated from the military to the civilian context, the Czechoslovakian Warmblood is essentially an attractive, reliable “riding club” horse. It has no special talent for jumping, and little cross-country ability above a good “club level”, but it makes an obedient dressage ride and on the whole has paces of a fair quality.