When the Belgian government finally relaxed some of its breeding laws in the 1950s, which had previously restricted any development of light saddle horses in favour of preserving the Brabant (a heavy Belgian draught horse), equestrians alike began breeding these horses in earnest.
Primarily developed as competition and show horses, the Belgian Warmblood combines many breeds in its lineage including German Hanoverians and Holsteiners as well as the larger Gelderlanders.
To further refine the breed, the Thoroughbred and Anglo-Arabian were later incorporated to add speed and to improve its overall conformation.
The last 50 years have seen a highly refined and capable stock of jumping horses emerge, possessing all the necessary traits of competition champions. The breed has appeared numerous times in Olympic showing and eventing, producing many medalists.
Generally speaking, a Belgian Warmblood has an above average height of 17 hands, well suiting it to show jumping, and is commonly seen in chestnut, bay, black and grey variations.
The Belgian Warmblood is one of the most well bred equines in the world. It is also one of the most successful with ‘Big Ben,’ a Belgian Warmblood that won various competition titles, having achieved over $1.5 million in prize money during its career.