The Kladruber (Czech Kladrubský kun) is the oldest Czech horse breed and one of the world’s oldest and it’s considered very rare. We have a room at Equity Point Prague to commemorate it.
The main breeding center is in National stud farm Kladruby nad Labem in the Czech Republic where Kladrubers have been bred for more than 400 years. Kladrubers have always been bred to be a galakarosier – a heavy type of carriage horse for the court of the House of Habsburg.
Bred in Kladruby nad Labem national stud, the Kladruber breed is almost 400 years old, yet is remarkably rare (492 mares as of January, 2011). Kladruby stud was founded in 1579 by Rudolf II as an Imperial stud, at the Perlstein stables.
The breed was based on imported Spanish (such as the Andalusian) and Italian horses, crossed with Neapolitan, Danish, Holstein, Irish, and Oldenburg blood, in addition to the heavy Czech breeds. The animal was first developed to be a galakarosier; a heavy type of carriage horse used to pull the imperial coach, usually in a four- or six-in-hand, at ceremonies and funerals.
It originally came in a variety of colors, including palomino and appaloosa, although today the breed is strictly gray or black, due to a breeding program requiring 18 “white” (i.e. fully mature grays) and 18 black stallions for various ceremonies of the court.