Dutch Harness Horses during a visit to the Netherlands several years ago. After learning about Dutch breeding selection standards and seeing their results, they felt this stallion would be extremely beneficial to American show horse breeders and made arrangements to import him. Since his importation, the Vestys have added other DHHs to their stallionline up including Majesteit and the Amewrican Saddlebred Night of Roses.
Harmonie, both as an individual and in pedigree, reflects the finest and most influential horses in the history of the Tuigpaard (Harness Horse) breed. The “predicate horses” in his pedigree have proven their ability to improve the Dutch Harness Horse breed. Predicates are granted based only on measurable achievements and are a rare occurrence; especially when awarded to stallions. The Hackney Horses in his pedigree were imported by the Dutch as additional outcross sources of strength, soundness and motion. American Saddlebreds have also been recently introduced to the Tuigpaard.
Reach the Vestys at 5501 Tobacco Road, LaGrange, KY 40031. (502) 222-7307.
Harmonie, pictured here, is one of several DHH stallions standing at Vesty Show Horses, LaGrange, KY. He is the first approved stallion to ever be exported from The Netherlands.
Bay and standing at 16.2 hands, Harmonie is by Willhelmus and out of Osina (Keur Preferrant). His stud fee is $1,500. He is siring outstanding individuals for a variety of disciplines.
Clarke & Karen Vesty first became acquainted with
of horseflesh that turns heads today. The most beautiful, highest stepping horse was then, as today, a measure of prestige. Naturally, a degree of competition arose during these outings, for these early Dutch horsemen were no different than their present day counterparts.
When the automobile and tractor made horse transportation and the working farm horse obsolete, the exceptional Tuigpaard had, however, generated so much enthusiasm and pride, those breeders were quick to organize and concentrate their cooperative efforts. Tuigpaard breeders formed their own program and controls for mare and stallion selection based on presence, soundness and movement, including all types of horses that were suitable sources of desirable characteristics.
Today's Dutch Harness Horse may have a pedigree of many breeds, for they
have steadfastly maintained an "open" studbook whereby any horse
may be used, as long as it is considered and proven "acceptable"
according to the high standards of the Dutch. Over the last century, select
Hackney stallions have been imported from England, and most Dutch Harness
Horses today possess considerable Hackney blood. More recently several American
Saddlebred stallions were approved for injection of Saddlebred characteristics
into their gene pool.
The Dutch KWPN selection and breeding stock approval process, unrivaled among horse breeders, guarantees that only the finest individuals will become progenitors of succeeding generations. Improvement is an unwavering goal. Approval and registration is not an automatic license of heritage; each horse is admitted, advanced or rejected according to individual characteristics. Breeding is not accomplished as a right of gender, but by strict analysis of apparent and inheritable qualities.
Registration of Dutch Harness Horses, or Tuigpaards, is administered by the KWPN. The KWPN also maintains the records of the world renowned Dutch Warmbloods. Each breed, having its own individual criteria for characteristics, selection, approval and exhibition, is separately maintained.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Harness Horses are bred to perform mainly in Fine Harness classes and Driving Competitions. Following the same traditions of all light horse breed development, the Dutch Harness Horse was developed to fulfill a need for a fancy, high trotting, upright show horse.
The fanciest ancestral Tuigpaards were selected by Dutch farmers to lend distinction to their family outings, business trips and social gatherings. One's position in the community was once defined by the same type