Belgium Horse Breeds


Some of the Belgium horse breeds are believed to be direct descendants of the ancient horses, bringing height and strength into the equine world. Others have been bred to be racing horses, while there is a distinct emphasis on agricultural and farm work as well.

The forefather of all draft horses was first bred in Belgium—a heavy black horse used as knights’ mounts called the Flemish.The world record holder for tallest and largest horse is a Belgian Draft. Most modern draft breeds carry Belgian lineage in their bloodlines.

Belgium Draft Horse picture

Belgium Draft Horse. Photo courtesy of normanack via Flickr.

Another interesting Belgian breed is the Zangersheide, a relatively new breed that was developed specifically for the show jumping. Essentially a warmblood, the Zangersheide is registered based on physical ability rather than bloodlines. This is, however a breed on springs, they have been bred in a highly scientific & selective manner.

Although the Belgian Sport Horse is treated as a separate breed in Belgium, it is technically the same horse breed as the Belgian Warmblood. The creation of two separate breed registries is a r
eflection of the cultural and linguistic divisions that can be found in the country. Sport Horses are typically registered in the southern part of the country.

Warmbloods tend to be bred for dressage or show jumping, while the Sport Horse is a general racing and competitive horse.

Unlike most horse breeds, the Belgian Warmblood is characterized by a uniformity of purpose instead of a conformation of specific physical or temperamental attributes.

The Zangersheide horse is another breed that is an offshoot of the Belgian Warmblood. It is a horse breed that is based off of the efforts of one stable that has been active with warmbloods since the 1970s. It would be fair to say that not everyone would consider the Zangersheide to be an “official” horse breed.Belgium Ardennes (Ardennais)

  • Ardennes (Ardennais)
  • Belgian Black – See Friesian
  • Belgian Draft Horse
  • Belgian Halfbred – See Belgian Sport Horse
  • Belgian Sport Horse
  • Belgian Warmblood
  • Brabant – See Belgium Draft
  • Zangersheide