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Conservation status
Other namesSA Vlaamperd
Country of originSouth Africa
    • 147–157 cm[3]: 511 
    • average: 154 cm[4]: 418 

The Vlaamperd is a South African breed of light draught or harness horse; it is also suitable for riding. It was bred in the Western Cape region of South Africa in the early twentieth century, and resulted from cross-breeding of local mares with imported European stallions, particularly Friesians. The horses are usually black, though mares may be dark seal brown.[3]: 511  A stud-book was started in 1983.[2]


The Vlaamperd derives from the now-extinct Hantam Horse or Cape Horse, a riding horse bred in the former Cape Province, particularly after 1814 when Lord Charles Somerset imported Thoroughbred stallions from Britain.[5][6][7] Shortly after the end of the Second Boer War in 1902, a funeral director in Cape Town imported a few Friesian stallions.[6] They were shipped from Antwerp in Belgium, supposedly because exports of Friesians from Holland were not permitted at the time; for this reason Friesians came to be known in South Africa as Vlaams Perde, meaning "Flemish Horses".[a] The Vlaamperd descends from the offspring of Hantam and other mares put to these stallions.[6] There was some later influence from other breeds including the Cleveland Bay; an Ostfriesen and Alt-Oldenburger stallion named Kemp made a significant contribution to the development of the breed, and in the 1940s a stallion named Scheepers strongly influenced its evolution.[6]

In 1983 a breed society, the SA Vlaamperd Breeders Society, was started in Bloemfontein;[6] a stud-book was begun in the same year.[2]

The conservation status of the breed is not clear – population data has not been reported to DAD-IS since 1999.[2] In 2013 there were about 200 horses.[4]: 418 


The Vlaamperd stands on average 154 cm (15.1 hands) at the withers. Its appearance is similar to that of the Friesian, but less heavy. It has a thick mane and tail, a well-rounded croup, long legs and a high-arched neck.[4]: 418 

Stallions are black, while mares may also be dark seal brown.[3]: 511 


The Vlaamperd may be used as a riding horse, a carriage horse or for dressage.[3]: 511 [4]: 418 


  1. ^ Despite the similarity of the name there is no connection to the Belgian Flemish Horse or Vlaams Paard.[4]: 418 


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, Dafydd Pilling (editors) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Archived 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Breed data sheet: Vlaamperd / South Africa (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
  4. ^ a b c d e Élise Rousseau, Yann Le Bris, Teresa Lavender Fagan (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167206.
  5. ^ [Department of Agriculture] (2006). South African Country Report on Farm Animal Resources; annex to: The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Archived 1 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Vlaamperde in Suid Afrika (in Afrikaans). Suid Afrikaanse Vlaamperdtelersgenootskap. Archived 6 March 2019.
  7. ^ Southern African Horse Breeds. The Horse Society of Gauteng, Northern, Northwest and Mpumalanga. Archived 25 June 2005.