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A black Kladruby horse with a halter and lead rope.Also Known By: Kladrubský (Czech), Kladruber (German)


Kladruby stud was found in 1579 by the Emperor of Rome and the Czech King Rudolf II. The foundation charter is on display at the Slatinany Hippologic Museum.


The stud was based mainly on imported Spanish and Italian horses, crossed with Neapolitane, Danish, Holstein, Irish, heavier Czech and Oldenburg horses. All of breeds used had some Andalusian breeding in their pedigree.


The Kladruby stud was located at the Perlstein stables where horses had been bred by Maxmilian II for the previous 20 years.


Two Kladruby horses grazing provided by Veronika Valdova.The focus of the Kladruby stud´s breeding program was to produce heavy carriage horses for ceremonial four and six-in-hand tractions. Lipiza breeding farm was found a year later in 1580 and it had a different target - to produce riding horses mainly for imperial ceremonies and cavalry. The White Kladrubers were used for earthly and the Black ones for clerical ceremonials. The imperial ceremonial rules required 18 black stallions and 18 white ones until the end of World War I.


The pinacle of the Kladruby stud came in the beginning of 18th century with the reign of an impassioned hippologist Karel VI. Large numbers of paintings and prints of Kladruby horses originate from the time of Karel VI. reign.


The famous horse-painter Wouwermann and the Hamilton family created a vast number of paintings capturing various Kladruby horse types. They created hippologically and artistically valuable works, which are presently on view at the Slatinany Hippologic Museum.


The Kladruby stud was evacuated into Kopcany (Slovakia) and Enyed (Hungary) during the "Seven Years War". In 1757 the stud farm burned. Breeding documents were damaged that time and Marie Terezie liquidated the farm. The Kladruby stud in Enyed and Kopcany didn´t prosper and was transferred back into the new farm in Kladruby several years later.


Breed Types

A gray Kladruby horse grazing on grass provided by Veronika Valdova.Kladruber (formerly described as Equus Bohemicus) is a large, warm blooded horse of Spanish and Italian origin which has acclimated to the inclement climate of Central Europe. It is a heavy majestic carossier with a concave head profile, a swanlike neck and a high gait. The Kladruber is bred in two forms - Black (at Slatinany) and White (at Kladruby). The population is highly inbred which is why it is highly vulnerable.


The withers height of Kladruber varies usually from 175 to 180cm, chest girt is approximately 250cm, metacarpus girt is just about 22-23cm, weight often exceeds 700kg.


Kladruby stallion Generale (born in 1787 in Kopcany) is considered to be a progenitor of presently living population of White Kladrubers. Generale´s son Generalissimus (born 1797 from Bellona) became a founder of a separate lineage.


A white Kladruby horse in a barn provided by Veronika Valdova.

Maestoso (1773) and Favory (1779), two stallions born in Kladruby, became progenitors of famous Lipizzaner lineages. Arabian Shagya X and Orlov Trotters Barzoi and Legion were used for blood freshening between WWI and WWII. Favory blood lineage returned to Kladruby after the WWII, when the Kladruber population was reduced. Rudolfo, Lusitano imported from Portugal after the WWII, also has several daughters which are submitted into the Kladruber studbook.


Black Kladruber had two important lineages: Sacramoso (born in 1799) and Napoleone (1845). The stud was regenerated in Slatinany. There are some differencies in the black and the white type. The White Kladruber is more thoroughbred type, has higher level of oriental blood and a gentler cranium. Black Kladruber has slightly more nordic - occidental blood and much more Neapolitan blood. That is why the Blacks have a slightly different head and neck shape and a shorter croup. Sacramoso lineage brought to the Blacks the typical cranium shape, more concave in the splanchnocranium and nearly plane in the forehead. In general, the Black Kladruber is heavier and smaller than the white.


The black animals were used primarily as carriage horses for clerical dignitaries.  In 1930, the black herd was dispersed with most of the animals going to meat processors.  A plan was later developed, using the remaining black mares, to re-establish the black line.  The Research Institute for Horse Breeding in Slatinany was where this plan was carried out successfully.


The Kladruby is currently used for sport driving.  Both lines have been used numerous times in world championship four-in-hand driving classes.


Due to its breeding, the Kladruby is considered somewhat unique in the equine world.  The breed has a four hundred year old selection history and is considered the only indigenous breed of the region.  It is one of the rarer breeds in the world with only 90 remaining females in 1995.



Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995.


Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.


Veronika Valdova, Czech Republic

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