Horse Breeds – Letter B


The Balearic originated in Spain on the Island of Majorca. It is used mainly for a riding pony and stands 14 h.h. Among the rarest of equine breeds, the Balearic island horse or pony is of ancient origin and little known. Because the breed is considered unimportant by officials, it is very hard to find information about and its existence is barely acknowledged.

Some report this to be a delicate, beautiful pony with primitive features of upright mane and slender legs. Others say the Balearic is a scrubby individual, roughly made.

Summerhays’ Encyclopedia for Horsemen states that the Balearic is an ancient and distinctive type most abundant in the Palma district; differing from other breeds in slender limbs, free, graceful carriage, a short, thick, arched neck, and delicate head with Roman nose. Summerhays claimed the Balearic may be descended from horses shown on ancient Greek coins and vases.

The ponies are used on small farms for agricultural work and by peasants for transportation and in harness. They are usually bay or chestnut color, sometimes gray. Possibly there is a link to the tiny Skyros of Greece.

Population Status: RARE

Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995.


The Baluchi horse is found in parts of Baluchistan and Sind Provinces and districts of Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Multan in Punjab Province. The color varies from bay, chestnut or gray. They are used for pleasure riding, tent pegging and for pulling ‘tongas’. They are medium sized with a fine head, long neck, pointed ear tips touching each other, and the legs are fine and strong. In Pakistan, most of the horses are light in build and larger than ponies. Reminiscent of the Kathiawari of India, the Baluchi has very turned-in ears. Reports have stated that the Baluchi horse is related to the West African Barb through horses of Mali known as Beledougou, or Banamba.

Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995

Muhammad Tahir, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Breeding & Genetics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan


The Banker Pony stands about 14 hands and is a semi-feral breed that originated on the Outer Bank Islands of North Carolina, including Shackleford Island which is only nine miles long. They are thought originated from Spanish horses since the 16th century.

Reference: Carolyn Mason, Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.


The Ban-ei race horse originated in Japan. Its main use is for racing. It is a heavy, draft type bred for Ban-ei Keiba race in which the horse pulls a heavy sledge. It originated from the Percheron and Breton. It stands 14.3 to 16.1 h.h. Population Status: Common

Reference: I.L. Mason, A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. CAB International 1996.


The Barb is a light riding horse which originated in the Maghreb region of northern Africa. There are several varieties including Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian. This is the foundation breed of the West African Barb and the Spanish Barb which was developed in the United States. Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.


The breed was formed in the mountain and steppe zone adjacent to the Volga and the Urals. The Bashkir was used as a draft and utility horse and as a producer of milk and meat.

The Bashkir is a small, wide-bodied and bony horse. It has a massive head and a short and fleshy neck. The withers are low, the back erect and broad, the croup nicely rounded, the ribs long and well sprung, the chest broad and deep and the legs short and bony. The mane and tail are thick.

The average measurements (in cm) are: stallions – height at withers 143, oblique body length 144, chest girth 180, cannon bone girth 20; mares: 142, 145, 178 and 18.5 respectively. The most widespread colors are bay, chestnut, roan and mouse grey.

The Bashkir has a high work endurance. The mares’ average milk yield is 1500 kg of marketable milk. The best mares produce 2700 kg in 7-8 months of lactation.

The Bashkir is being improved by pure breeding and by crossing with the Russian Heavy Draft. Experimentally, the Bashkir was crossed with Kazakh and Yakut horses. The Bashkir stock is mainly concentrated at Ufa stud, the leading center for the breed.

Reference: Dmitriez, N.G. and Ernst, L.K. (1989) Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR. Animal Production and Health Paper Publ. by FAO, Rome, 517 pp.

Bashkir Curly

Origin of the Breed

The exact origin of the Bashkir Curly is one of the greatest mysteries of the horse world.

Russian Bashkir. However, upon closer examination this does not seem plausible. Shan Thomas, author of “The Curly Horse in America – Myth and Mystery”, in correspondence and consultations with Russian scientists, the Soviet Union’s agriculture department, the Moscow Zoo and other experts of Russian livestock found unanimous agreement that there was no curly haired horse from the Bashkir. However they did confirm that the Lokai, found in the Taijikistan region, does sometimes display the characteristic curly coat. Could the Lokai be the actual originator of the Bashkir Curly breed? That, too, appears to be almost impossible. No mention of importation of horses were made in ship’s logs which brought Russian settlers to the west coast of North America. In addition, horses were only used to a limited extent in Russian agriculture during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Stock breeding was not very successful and most settlements were only able to keep a few livestock. In 1817 there were only sixteen horses in Russian America. Goods were transported to Okhotsk, the major Russian port for ships bound for Alaska, via pack horses. At the time, a trip across Siberia to this port was very hazardous and nearly half of the horses died each year. The horses of this region were the Yakut, named after the local people. So it seems that any horses that might have been brought from Russia to Alaska would have been of the Yakut breeding not the Bashkir or Lokai breeds, both of which are originated from much further south and west of the Yakut. Another theory is that the ancestor of the Bashkir Curly might have crossed the land bridge during the last Ice Age. But there is no fossil evidence to support the existence of horses in the America’s from the last Ice Age until the reintroduction of horses to this hemisphere by the Spanish.

Several other hypotheses as to the origins of the Bashkir Curly exist but all have failed to be proven creditable upon closer examination, or simply remain untested. In separate research the CS Fund has done blood typing on 200 curly horses in the Serology Lab at UC-Davis. Although one can not definitively identify a horse’s breed by its bloodtype characteristics there are characteristics common to an individual breed. This testing was seen as a method to determine if the Bashkir Curly did in fact display the blood characteristics of a distinct breed.

There were no findings which would identify the Bashkir Curly as a genetically distinct breed. The typing showed that many other breeds have been used in their development, particularly Quarter Horses and Morgans. The rare and unusual variants that did emerge from this testing are found only in feral horses or those breeds based on feral herds. No single common blood marker was found.

Formation of the American Bashkir Curly Breed Fortunately, the development of the modern Bashkir Curly much more is clearly known. The modern day history of American Bashkir Curly dates to 1898, when young Peter Damele (Duh-mel’ly) and his father were riding the Peter Hanson mountain range in the remote high country of Central Nevada, near Austin. Peter, who passed away in 1981 at age 90, could vividly recall the strange sight they saw of three horses with tight curly ringlets over their entire bodies. It was intriguing to both father and son as to where these horses had come from and just why they were there, questions that as you can see are still not answered. However, from that day to this, there have always been curly-coated horses on the Damele range, and Peter’s son, Benny Damele, continued to breed them for his ranch work. Many of the Bashkir Curly in the U.S. can be traced to the Damele herd. Establishing the American Bashkir Curly Registry in 1971, the founders set out to save these animals from extinction in the U.S., as it was found that too many of them, through ignorance, were being slaughtered. They then began the process of establishing breeding traits. To accomplish this U.S owners were asked to list the characteristics unique to the Bashkir Curly. These, when compiled, brought out several interesting features of the breed. One especially odd feature of the breed is the fact that they can completely shed out the mane hair (and sometimes even the tail hair) each summer, to grow back during the winter. Even though the mane hair is usually extremely fine and soft, it is quite kinky, and this ability to shed the mane is perhaps nature’s way of coping with the corkscrew curls, as it would become quite impossible to manage if it became matted through years of growth. Too, their body coat sheds out in the summer and they become wavy or fairly straight on their body, with their distinctive winter coat returning in late fall. Several winter coat patterns have been observed, from crushed velvet effect, to a perfect marble wave, to extremely tight ringlets over the entire body.

The Bashkir Curly transmits the curly characteristic to its offspring about fifty percent of the time, even when mated to horses without the curly coat. They also seem to be a hardy breed and able to survive severe winter conditions. In the winter of 1951-52, the Curly horses were the only ones to survive on the range of Nevada without supplemental feeding.

Bashkir Curly’s appear in all common horse colors including Appaloosa and Pinto. Physically they are of medium size, somewhat resembling the early day Morgan in conformation, and a number of traits have been found in this unique breed that links them to primitive horses. Many individuals have been found without ergots. Some have small, soft chestnuts. Their eyes have the wide set eyes characteristic of Oriental breeds. This is said to give them a wider range of vision. They are described as having tough, black hoofs are almost perfectly round in shape; an exceptionally high concentration of red blood cells; stout round-bone cannon; straight legs that also move straight; flat knees; strong hocks; short back which indicates five lumbar vertebrae; round rump without crease or dimple; powerful rounded shoulders; V’d chest and round barrel. The foals arrive with thick, crinkly coats, curls inside their ears and curly eyelashes.

In recent years the Bashkir Curly has performed well in a wide range of equestrian events including Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Western Riding, Reining, Gymkhana Events, Hunter, Jumper, Roping, English Equitation, Western Pleasure, Gaited Pleasure, Competitive and Endurance Trail Riding, Dressage and Driving.

Basotho Pony

The Basotho Pony is found in Lesotho, which is an enclave of South Africa. It is used for exclusively for riding and only cattle are used for draft purposes in Lesotho purposes. The Basotho Pony was developed from the Cape Horse during the period after 1825. By the early 20th century the breed has almost disappeared due to exportation and crossing with Arab and Thoroughbred horses. During the latter part of the 20th century a breed society was formed to revive the breed. In addition to the walk, trot and canter, the Basotho as two additional gaits, the tripple and pace. The Nooitgedacht Pony was developed from this breed.

Reference: Etusis Basotho Stud, Farm Etusis No. 75, PO Box No. 5, Karibib 9000 Namibia, phone: 062252/1603 – Fax 061/223994 Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.


Brief History of the Breed The Belgian, as the name implies, is native to the country of Belgium. This little country is blessed with a fertile soil and abundant rainfall providing the thrifty farmers of Belgium with the excellent pastures and the hay and grain necessary to develop a heavy, powerful breed of horse. Belgium lies in the very center of that area of western Europe which gave rise to the large black horses known as Flemish horses and were referred to as the “great horses” by medieval writers. They are the horses that carried armored knights into battle. Such horses were known to exist in that part of Europe in the time of Caesar. They provided the genetic material from which nearly all the modern draft breeds were fashioned.

Stallions from Belgium were exported to many other parts of Europe as the need to produce larger animals of draft type for industrial and farm use was recognized. There was no need to import into Belgium for she was the “mother lode.” It remained only for this ancestral home of the “great horse,” by whatever name, to refine and fix the type of the genetic material she already had at hand.

The government of Belgium played a very energetic role in doing just that. A system of district shows culminating in the great National Show in Brussels, which served as an international showcase for the breed, was established. The prizes were generous. Inspection committees for stallions standing for public service were established.

The result was a rapid improvement into a fixed breed type as the draft horses of Belgium came to be regarded as both a national heritage and, quite literally, a treasure. In 1891, for example, Belgium exported Stallions for use in the government stables of Russia, Italy, Germany, France, and the old Austria-Hungary empire. The movement of horses out of Belgium for breeding purposes was tremendous in scope and financially rewarding for her breeders decade after decade.

The American Association was officially founded in February of 1887 in Wabash, Indiana. The breed offices are still in Wabash. It was slow going for the Belgian until after the turn of the century. In terms of promotion the Percheron, Clydesdale, and Shire all enjoyed a substantial head start in this country.

In 1903 the government of Belgium sent an exhibit of horses to the St. Louis World Fair and the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. While this effort was attended by plenty of controversy over which type of horse best suited Americans, it also generated great deal of interest in the breed.

From that point forward the breed’s acceptance grew steadily. The year 1910 shows a total of 1773 registrations with virtually every major importer in the country including Belgians in his offering. That figure was closely approached again in 1913. New memberships which ranged from 4 to 25 in the early years of the century took off dramatically in 1910 with 83 new members, 92 in 1911, 125 in 1912 , and 135 in 1913. In terms of importing seed stock and establishing new breeders, it was none too soon, for the onset of World War I in 1914 brought all importations to a complete halt.

Suddenly, American Belgian breeders were on their own. Fortunately, they had plenty of the “right kind” with which to develop their own style of Belgian horse.

The post war depression in agriculture retarded the purebred Belgian business in this country for a few years but by 1925 the total of annual registrations again passed the 1,000 mark. A record high for the pre-World War II period was hit in 1937, the golden anniversary of the association, when 3196 Belgians were recorded.

It was during this draft horse decline in the 20’s that the Belgian moved into a very solid number two position in this country. During the 20’s and early 30’s the Belgian decline was much less than the other breeds. Thus the percentage of draft horses that were Belgian grew dramatically during this period. The Belgian prospered while the other breeds either stood still or went backwards.

Thus, it should not be surprising to know that during the 20’s there was a resumption of importing from Belgium on a small scale. With the dramatic upturn in draft horse fortunes in the mid-30’s, the importation of horses from Belgium again assumed major proportions for a few years. In fact, the last importation was landed in New York by E. F. Dygert, Iowa importer, on January 15, 1940, four months after war had started and four months before the German invasion of Belgium.

It was about that time that a number of things conspired to very nearly put an end to draft horse breeding of any kind. The labor shortage of World War II, the introduction of small, rubber-tired row-crop tractors, and the tremendous push for mechanization in the wake of World War II put all draft breeds under severe pressure. The decline of interest in draft horse breeding was precipitous, obituary notices were a dime a dozen. The number of annual registrations even dropped under the 200 mark for a couple of years during the early 50’s. The other breeds were in even worse shape, a couple of them even closed up shop for a few years.

Then slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, the return of the draft horse got underway. As the price of horses recovered so did the breeding. Registrations and transfers made slow but steady gains until in 1980 they surpassed the previous high set in 1937. The average for 1981-85 was 4056 registrations and 5920 transfers … easily the greatest five year period in the breed’s history.

Bhirum Pony

The Bhirum Pony is a dwarf breed found in the northern regions of Nigeria.

Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp. Photographs: We are currently searching for photographs or slides of this breed.

Bhotia Pony

Also Know By: Bhote ghoda, Bhutan Pony, Bhutani, Bhutua Pony

The Bhotia Pony is found in Nepal, Bhutan and the Sikkim and Darjeeling regions of India. They are a riding and pack animal, similar to the Tibetan Pony but less broad. They are most often white (gray) or bay in coloration.

Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp. Photographs: We are currently searching for photographs or slides of this breed.

Black Forest

Also Known By: Black Forest, Schwarzwälder Kaltblut, St. Märgener, Wälderpferd

This horse originated in the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It´s a small, hardy draft horse which is suitable for the highlands with its long winters. It looks like a big Haflinger or a little Noriker. Selected for work in farming and forest in hilly regions. Nowadays it is also often used as coach horse and for riding. It is nimble and lively, has a good character, high fertility and is long-lived. The color, which is a part of the name, is mostly sorrel with light mane and tail, most popular is the dark silver dapple (german: Kohlfuchs). Height: 153-160 cm Weight: approximately 500 kg

In the Middle Ages there was a horse breed in the Black Forest. The old Noriker was selected for the special requirement of the highlands. In 1896 a breed-association and a stud-book were established to standardize the breed. They wanted the breeders to only use heavy Belgian Draft horse stallions in order to increase the size of the breed. But the traditional farmers secretly used native stallions. Many foals in this time got forged identity papers. In World War I the authorities finally noticed that the Belgians were not suitable for the Schwarzwald-farmers, so the farmers were allowed to use whatever stallions they wished.

In 1999, the number of registered mares is about 700 and stallions 45. The number is rising because the breed is very suitable as a leisure horse. In the stud Marbach/Weil (owned of the state Baden-Württemberg) are always about 16 stallions stationed.


Also Known By: Boerperd The history of the Boer horse is as old as the history of the white civilization in Southern Africa. The growth and development of the breed were parallel and inseparably connected to the history of the white settlers.

The breed developed shortly after arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in the Cape in 1652. The history of the Boer horse can be subdivided into three phases, namely:

Jan van Riebeeck until the Great Trek (1652 – 1836) Great Trek to the beginning of the Boer war (1836 – 1899) Boer War (1899) to present (1995) The period from the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck until the Great Trek (1652 – 1836)

The first horses were imported from Java during Van Riebeeck’s reign in the Cape. The Dutch East Indian Company sold the first horses to the Free Burghers in 1665.

Due to inbreeding, Persian Arabs were imported and for about 150 years these horses in the Cape were inbred with the Eastern blood. Thus a definite type of horse, which became known as the Cape horse, developed.

In 1793 Andalusian and Isabella horses arrived in the Cape. It is however unlikely that these horses had a significant influence on the horse population.

Already between 1750 and 1800 these horses in the Cape were renowned for their endurance and intelligence and were sought after as a military horse. Lord Charles Somerset further improved and stimulated the breeding process by importing thoroughbred stallions. At this stage there were about 200,000 horses in the Cape. In short, it can be said that the Cape horse was established in these 150 years as a specific type and it was worldwide known and sought after as a military horse.

The period from the Great Trek to the beginning of the Boer war (1836 – 1899)

During the first years of the Great Trek the Cape horse remained unchanged. During the latter half of the century various horse breeds were imported into the Cape and the republics, and probably these horses could have had some influence on the Boer horse, but more so in the Cape than in the northern regions. Examples of these horses are Flemish stallions from the Netherlands, Hackneys, Norfolk Trotters, Cleveland Bays etc.

During this period the Basotho under Moshesh raided the Boer and became a mounted nation. Due to the opening of the Suez canal the main sea routes to India changed and horses were no longer exported to India. This resulted in a decline in the horse breeding.

In 1870 a horse-sickness epidemic wiped out many horses. However, above mentioned factors did not have any influence on the horse breeding programs in the republics and breeding of the Boer horse continued.

The period from the Boer War (1899) to present

The war again proved the stamina, hardiness and mobility of the Boer horse and Basotho Pony. Under difficult conditions they had to live off the veld and thousands of these horses perished. The First World war and the advent of the bakkie also contributed to the fact that the Boer horse on the farm almost disappeared.

The Calvinia breed was developed from the Boer.

Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

The South African Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association


The Breton horse originated in France. It is used for heavy draft and farm work. It stands 15 to 16 h.h. The Breton horse has a long history with many differences in opinions. It has been said that the breed dates back four thousand years or more to the time it was brought into Europe by Aryans migrating from Asia. Others have said that the breed comes from smaller horses that were bred and improved by Celtic warriors on their conquest of what is now Great Britain.

A population of horses ridden by the Celts that were probably descendants of the steppe horses were found in the Breton Mountains for many years. At the time of the Crusades, these horses were bred to Oriental stallions and mares, leading to the Bidet Breton. Two types of Breton horses existed at the end of the Middle Ages. They were a northern Brittany pack horse called the Sommier and the Roussin, meaning cob, which originating from the Mountain Bidet that is finer and more slender than the Sommier.

The Bidet Breton was wanted by many military leaders during the Middle Ages due to its comfortable gait, which is said to be between a brisk trot and an amble. Many crossbreeds were also made in the following centuries in order to meet the needs of production to the economic needs of various periods.

There are also three types of Breton horses. The small Breton draft horse (Center Mountain), considered the real descendant of the ancient Breton horse, it has the same general features as the Breton draft horse but is smaller with a more dished face. This horse is easy to keep and is gaining popularity being very hardy and enduring. The Breton draft horse is heavier with more bulk. It is a strong, muscular compact horse. The Postier Breton, having remarkably airy and easy gaits, is very close to the draft horse and is of the same size. This a more beautiful, distinguished type.

Because of the quality and popularity, the Breton is the most numerous of the draft horse in France. It also has been widely exported around the world.

The Breton is still used as a work horse on small farms by market gardeners and to gather seaweed due to its power, hardiness, and energy. The Breton is mainly bred today for meat production in France.

Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma, Press, 1995.


Buckskin and Dun genetics are thoroughly discussed on the Coat Color Genetics web site. These colors of horses are registered in several equine breed organizations. The following discussion on color has been provided by the International Buckskin Horse Association.

Contrary to the belief of many, the Buckskin or Dun horses are not a mere “color” in the equine world. Those who studied genetics some time ago believed that the Dun horse was the result of a dilution gene, and that breeding Duns and Buckskins to each other often resulted in the birth of an Albino foal. More recent studies have proven this to be in error. The true Buckskin horse may trace his lineage through a direct line of Dun or Buckskin colored ancestors, as far back as recorded history of the animal are available.

The Buckskin is thought to of originated from the Spanish Sorraia. The Norwegian Dun, found today in Norway and other Scandinavian countries is a breed so old that his actual origin is lost in antiquity. However, there are many indications that even he obtained his Dun Coloring from the horses of Spain. The blood of the Sorraia (and the Norwegian Dun as well) filtered into nearly every breed found in the world today, hence the fact that the Buckskin, Dun or Grulla may be found in nearly every breed.

No-the Buckskin horse in not a mere “color.” Buckskins, Grulla and Duns are noted for many qualities that are not characteristic of other types of horses. Their color is an indication of the superior genetic heritage they possess. Buckskins have been long noted for their superior qualities and strength. They have more stamina, more determination, harder feet, better bone, and are generally hardier than other horses. A Buckskin with weak or spavined legs is a rarity. “Tough as wet leather” is a good description of the true Buckskin.


The Budyonny originated in the former Soviet Union. The breed was developed from a cross of the Russian Don with the English Thoroughbred. It was formed by Marshal Budyonny, who was a hero of the Russian Revolution, with the intention of creating a military riding horse. The primary development of the breed took place at the military stud farm in Rostov in the years following the fall of the Tsar.

The breed stands approximately 15.1 – 16 hands. The coat is generally chestnut, but may be bay, gray, or more rarely, brown or black.

The breed is well suited as a riding horse or for light carriage and is a good jumper. The Budyonny has free and easy movement at all gaits making it very well suited as a sporting horse for modern equestrian events.

The Budyonny originated in the former Soviet Union. The breed was developed from a cross of the Russian Don with the English Thoroughbred. Of the 657 mares used to produce the Budyonny, 359 were Anglo-Don. 261 Anglo-Don X Chernomor and 37 Anglo-Chernomor. The Anglo-Don may rightly be called the founders of the Budyonny Breed. The Russian Don has also contributed the golden chestnut color which prevails in the Budyonny breed, although black and bay have been seen. It was formed by Marshal Budyonny, who was a hero of the Russian Revolution, with the intention of creating a military riding horse. The primary development of the breed took place at the military stud farm in Rostov in the years following the fall of the Tsar.

The breed stands approximately 15.1 – 16 hands. The coat is generally chestnut, but may be bay, gray, or more rarely, brown or black.

The modern Budyonny is a horse of good height with a clean, solid build and heavily muscled body. The Budyonny is a good-tempered and energetic, an animal easily broken. The breed is well suited as a riding horse or for light carriage and is a good jumper. The Budyonny has free and easy movement at all gaits making it very well suited as a sporting horse for modern equestrian events.

The Budyonny is capable of adapting to extremely severe conditions. In the 1950’s there was an experiment, a number of Budyonny horses were turned loose on a large island in Manych Lake in the Rostov district, creating “Budyonny mustangs.” Some years there population rose appreciably. In 1985 only forteen mares, and fourteen youngsters. The Budyonny have retained the chestnut and sorrel color and live in three groups governed by stallions, three other stallions live alone. The Budyonny horses live on the island without human assistance and have typical traits of wild horses. The number of horses that were originally freed on the island is unknown to the author, but the experiment has proven authorities that a breed such as the Budyonny is able to adapt and survive for an extended period without shelter provided by humans or supplemental feeding.

Content providers: Cesar D. Beltran & Victoria Northrop de Beltran, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995

Byelorussian Harness Horse

The Byelorussian Harness breed was formed on the basis of the native northern forest type horses improved by the Dole (from Norway), Ardennes and Brabancon breeds. The Dole influence was the strongest.

Long-term inter se breeding of various generations of crosses created a breed most suitable for the current requirements of Byelorussian agriculture. The horse has adapted well to work in wooded areas with swampy and sandy soils. It can also be used for milk and meat production.

It is a medium-sized horse with the characteristic conformation of a harness horse. The head is not large, the forehead wide, the neck well muscled and average in length, the withers average in height and length, the back long, flat and often slightly dipped, the loin flat and short, the croup wide, nicely rounded and well muscled with a normal slope, the chest wide and deep. The limbs are clean and solid. The mane and tail are thick but the fetlock tufts are small. The stallions’ measurements (in cm) are: height at withers 153, oblique body length 163, chest girth 184, cannon bone girth 21.5. Live weight is 540 kg. The mares measure 150, 161, 183 and 21 cm respectively. Their live weight is 490-500 kg. The colors are dun, bay, chestnut and light bay.

The top performance results are: the 2 km walking record with a pull of 150 kg is 14 min 42 sec; the 2 km trotting record with a pull of 50 kg is 5 min 01 sec. The best pulling endurance result with a pull of 300 kg was 388.8 m. The maximum load capacity has reached 660 kg.

The mares’ average daily milk yield is 9 liters. At established koumiss farms the best mares produce 2560 liters of marketable milk in a 6-month lactation.

The dressing percentage is 51. Despite the fact that the Byelorussian matures late, by weaning at 6-7 months the foals reach a live weight of 170-190 kg. The Byelorussian has a high fertility and longevity. Mares have often remained fertile to the age of 26.

Two types, the large and the medium, are distinguished within the breed. There are 6 lines and 4 mare families. The leading breeding centers are Zarechye stud and the stud on Pobeda state farm in Byelorussian.

Improvement is by pure breeding. Two volumes of the studbook have been published, listing 135 stallions and 616 brood mares. A new line is currently being tested.

As of 1 January 1980, the Byelorussian Harness breed numbered 93,040, including 27,560 purebreds.


Dmitriez, N.G. and Ernst, L.K. (1989) Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR. Animal Production and Health Paper Publ. by FAO, Rome, 517 pp.

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