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Warlander horse
Distinguishing features Powerful build[1]
Alternative names Andalusian-Friesian
Breed standards
BZKS Breed standards
Equus ferus caballus

The Warlander is a horse of Baroque type, produced by crossing Friesian horses with horses of a purebred registered Iberian horse breed such as the Andalusian, Lusitano, or Menorquina.[2] The ideal Warlander combines the Iberian horse's intelligence, facility for collection, flexibility, and powerful hindquarters, with the Friesian's tractability, dramatic leg action, "bone", and strong forequarters.[1]


The crossing of Iberian and Friesian-type horses to produce improved cavalry horses has a history going back to at least the sixteenth century,[3] though the term "Warlander" was coined only in the late twentieth century to reflect both the breed registry's claim that this cross was historically used as a war horse and its origins from two very old equine horse breeds.[4]


Warlander breeders seek to augment the strongest and most desirable qualities of Iberian and Friesian breeds through the genetic heterosis created by combining two purebred lines. Another goal is to address concerns related to inbreeding depression that may exist in progenitor lines as a result of having closed genetic stock.[5][6] Because of this, significant debate exists over whether a Warlander will only obtain genetic benefit if it is an F1 hybrid.[7] A crossbred animal is likely to enjoy hybrid vigor and therefore have genetic gains over both of its parents.[7] However, there is uncertainty over whether an F2 horse - produced by a Warlander-Warlander, Warlander-Andalusian, or Warlander-Friesian pairing - would be likely to suffer from genetic atavism.[7] The statistically tiny number of F2 and subsequent generation Warlander horses bred internationally has meant empirical resolution of this question has not yet been possible.[7]


Although evidence of breeders utilizing an Iberian-Friesian cross dates back 400 years, the Warlander has been a distinctly organized horse breed only since the 1990s.[4] No breed-specific Warlander organizations are affiliated to the global Universal Equine Life Number (UELN) foundation,[8] although the Bavarian Specialist Breed Registry (Bayerischer Zuchtverband für Kleinpferde und Spezialpferderassen, or BZKS), which does hold a UELN designation for its studbooks,[9] publishes a Warlander breed standard.[10] Warlander supporters are optimistic that this recognition opens the door to formalization of the breed within the European Union system.


  1. ^ a b "Definition der Pferderasse "Warlander" (Definition of the Warlander horse breed)". Warlander Aus Franken. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Home". warlanderstudbooksociety.com.au. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Sylvia Loch (1986). The Royal Horse of Europe: The Story of the Andalusian and Lusitano. J. A. Allen. ISBN 0-85131-422-8. 
  4. ^ a b "Warlander History: The birth of the Warlander breed". Classical Sporthorse Stud: Warlander breeders Australia. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ M.D. Gómeza, M. Valerab, A. Molinaa, J.P. Gutiérrez, and F. Goyache (June 2009). "Assessment of inbreeding depression for body measurements in Spanish Purebred (Andalusian) horses". The Journal of Livestock Science (Elsevier Publications) 122 (2): 149–155. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2008.08.007. 
  6. ^ M. Sevinga, T. Vrijenhoek, J. W. Hesselink, H. W. Barkema and A. F. Groen (April 2004). "Effect of inbreeding on the incidence of retained placenta in Friesian horses". Journal of Animal Science (American Society of Animal Science) 82 (4): 982–986. PMID 15080317. 
  7. ^ a b c d Maharaj, Akaash (2011). A 21st Century Breeding Programme for the 21st Century Cavalry. Toronto: UNICEF Team Canada
  8. ^ UELN Database, Universal Equine Life Number, retrieved August 14, 2011
  9. ^ "Find organization with UELN code". ueln.net. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Zuchtziele des Warlanders (Breeding objectives of Warlanders)". Bayerischer Zuchtverband für Kleinpferde und Spezialpferderassen. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 

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