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Horse Breeds of Denmark - The Jutland

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Heavy Horses of the World

The Jutland

Like the Knabstrup, Danish Warmblood and the Fredericksborg, the Jutland is endemic to Denmark. Denmark is situated on the Jutland Peninsula, after which the breed is named. The Jutland is a heavy, draft breeds, like the Percheron or Clydesdale. It is a compact, muscular animal. The Jutland is probably best known for pulling the Carlsberg beer wagons in Copenhagen.

The Jutland is remarkably similar to the Suffolk Punch in appearance. The body is round with a deep girth and massive quarters. Like the Suffolk, it is mostly chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. The main difference is that the Jutland has heavy, coarse feather on the lower legs.

Jutland Horse

Early in the 19th century, the predominate colour was bay or black but the most common colour now is chestnut, and this is now considered the horses' national colour, although bay, roan and grey are also seen.

The horses often have white markings. The head can be plain but is well-proportioned with a slightly convex profile. The muzzle is squarish. The eyes are small and the ears pricked. The muscular neck is short and nicely arched. The breed has low, wide withers and a wide but short back. Despite being often hollow, the back is strong. The loins are wide and muscular and the croup slopes slightly. The chest is wide and deep. As is sometimes found with draft breeds, the shoulder is quite straight but muscular. The legs are short with the forelegs set wide apart. The legs are feathered and the feet are large. The joints are inclined to be fleshy. The action is quick and free. The Jutland has a docile, friendly disposition and is a tireless and willing worker.


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Horses very similar to Jutlands were used by the Vikings in their raids on both Denmark and Great Britain. Images of Vikings in Great Britain show horses similar in appearance to the Jutland and Suffolk Punch and possibly both breeds developed from the same stock. In the 12th century, there is written documentation of the value of the Jutland as war horses.

Then, in the Middle Ages, the Jutland was used for jousting. To carry the weight of a knight and his armour, the Jutland needed to be strong with a hardy constitution. The Frederiksborg horse had an influence during the 18th century. The Fredericksborg itself had a significant amount of Spanish influence and imparted to the Jutland a more active gait. Suffolk Punch and Ardennais blood was introduced around 1850 followed by the use of the Cleveland Bay and Yorkshire Coach Horse during the 19th century.

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More recently Ardennais blood has again been used. The Jutland is remarkably similar to the Schleswig and more than likely has similar ancestry. The Suffolk Punch (some sources say Suffolk/Shire) stallion Oppenheim LXII was imported into Denmark in 1860 and had a strong influence on both the Schleswig and the Jutland. Six generations from Oppenheim, his descendant Aldrup Menkedal (also spelt Oldrup Munkedal) was foaled and is now considered the founding stallion of the modern breed. Most modern Jutlands trace back to Hovding (Chief) and Prins af Jylland (Prince of Jutland), sons of Aldrup Menkedal. Apart from the feathering on the lower legs, the Jutland closely resembles the Suffolk Punch.

In 1881, a stud book was created for the Jutland and the population increased. In 1887, the first breeders association was formed. In 1888 the first stallions were evaluated in accordance with the breed standard and the Cooperative Jutlandic Breeding Association was established. By 1950, it is estimated that around 15,000 Jutlands were in use. However, after this time, numbers declined and at 2011, only about 1,000 horses are thought to remain. There is little risk of inbreeding and genetic diversity is good.

The association between the Jutland horse and Carlsberg brewery began in 1928. At the peak of its involvement, there were 210 Jutland horses in the Carlsberg stables. Today about 20 take part in shows, festivals and films, promoting both the breed and the brewery.



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