Use and characteristics of the Polish Warmblood
The advantage of Polish Warmbloods is that Poland has a long history of selectively breeding horses for combined competitive and work purposes. Polish breeders are renowned for their experience in selecting complementary qualities from individuals of different breeds to produce and sell a Polish Warmblood. Modern Polish Warmbloods stand between 15.2 hands (62 inches/152 cm) and 16.2 hands (66 inches/168 cm) high. Riders looking to buy a Polish Warmblood will find that chestnut and bay are common colours, along with some individuals that are black, grey, or roan depending on ancestry. The Malapolski’s long back and powerful legs make it a good all-round ride and drive horse, while the Wielkopolski is a comfortable ride and good competition horse. Both are reasonably hardy horses.
Origin and history of breeding Polish Warmbloods
The Malopolski breed (koń małopolski in Polish) was once seen as the representative Polish warmblood breed as there were generally more of them, though numbers declined towards the end of the twentieth century. It was developed in the region known as Lesser Poland, Polish Małopolska, in the nineteenth century, from selective breeding of local mares with other breeds. Most of the native mares were most likely of hardy Tarpan type, while the stallions were Thoroughbreds, Arabians, and later, Hungarian breeds such as the Gidran and Furioso-North Star. Polish Arabians are also very important in the creation of all Polish Warmbloods. The stud book was established in 1963. The Wielkopolski was created from two Polish breeds, the Poznan and the Mazury, which are now both extinct. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the Mazursko-Poznanski horse. Wielkopolski horses are named from the regional of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland), which is Central and Western Poland where they are predominantly bred. From the Poznan, the Wielkopolska gained Arabian, Thoroughbred, Trakehner, and Hanoverian influences, while the Mazury, or Masuren horse had mainly Trakehner ancestry. The addition of further Thoroughbred, Arabian and Anglo-Arab breeding produced the modern Wielkopolska horse. Different types of both the Malopolski and the Wielkopolski developed to meet the needs of commercial users and sports enthusiasts. The Sadecki strain of the Malopolski shows clear Furioso influence, while the Dąbrowsko-Tarnowski shows Gidran influence, this breed being sometimes known as the Hungarian Anglo-Arab. The two variants of the modern Wielkopolska are a sports horse type and a harness and riding all-rounder that probably favours its Poznan ancestry, as these horses were used more for agricultural work and riding.
Polish Warmbloods in equestrianism
Polish Warmbloods are popular in Poland as sports horses, participating in show jumping, eventing, dressage and competitive carriage driving. They are also even-tempered horses, making them a good choice for riding club competitions and as family horses.