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By Jeffery Garfield

Last updated: 8th March 2023

Dutch Draft


Jeffery Garfield
Last updated: 8th March 2023

The massively built Dutch Draft, also famous as Nederlands Trekpaard, is a breed of draft horses that resemble the Belgian Draft and Ardennes horses in build and appearance. Aside from driving and farm work, Dutch Drafts are now used for recreation and have taken part in dressage competitions.

Dutch Draft Pictures

Quick Information

Temperament/Personality Calm, friendly, docile, quiet
Physical Characteristics Solidly built, head has a straight profile, short and lively ears, strong, muscular chest, good withers, heavily muscled hindquarters and loin, stocky, heavily feathered legs, sound feet
Colors Chestnut, bay, gray, occasionally black
Height (size) Male: about 16 hands (63 inch, 160 cm)
Female: about 15.2 hands (61 inch, 155 cm)
Weight Male: 1653 lbs (750 kg)
Female: 1543 lbs (700 kg)
Blood Type Cold-blooded
Common Uses Draft work, riding horse
Health A healthy breed; owners should ensure that their horse is on a healthy diet, also take it to the vet
Gaited Yes; unhurried and precise movements
Popular Traits Strength, quiet disposition, ability to work for a prolonged period
Feeding/Diet Grass, hay, beet pulp, vitamin, and mineral concentrates
Country of Origin The Netherlands
Ancestors Belgian Brabant, Ardennes, Zeeland horse
Breed Registry/Association Koninklijke Vereniging Het Nederlandse Trekpaard en de Haflinger, Stichting het Werkend Trekpaard Zeeland

Video: Dutch Heavy Draft Pulling a Harrow

History and Development

A few years after the World War I, the Dutch Draft was developed by crossing the local Zeeland draft mares with Brabant and Ardennes stock. It was one of the most popular horse breeds in the Netherlands, as it was commonly used in agriculture and farm work in the provinces of North Brabant, Zeeland, and Groningen. After the World War II, increased mechanization and motorization caused a decline in the population of heavy draft horses. However, a number of sound breeding animals were preserved by enthusiasts and breeders. The “Koninklijke Vereniging Het Nederlandse Trekpaard en de Haflinger” was established in the early 20th century for preserving the breed.

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