The cooperation of the Kladruby nad Labem National Studwith the Royal Court of Denmark began as part of negotiations in 1993. The idea of using Kladrubers for ceremonial rides was raised by Prince Henrik. In 1994, the first-ever team of six grey horses went to Copenhagen, and they were followed by more horses that have been selected and supplied to the royal stables up to the present.
Usually, royal stable officials pay a visit to Kladruby three times per year. The selection procedure begins by presenting all the stallions born in the same year; the preferred horse is then shortlisted. The horse is presented in hand, in harness and under the saddle once again in the course of basic training, and, finally, after the training is completed. The standard required by the Court is having a pure-grey horse of a moderate frame with a correct conformation, good mechanics of movement and, particularly, well-balanced temper. The preferred horse undergoes a veterinary examination. After the horse is transferred to the Copenhagen Royal Stables, there are three months of testing, which primarily involves mental resilience of the animal.
The process of picking horses runs under the personal responsibility of the Royal Equerry - an office that was held by Michael Mentz at the beginning of the cooperation and Per Thuesen in 2012-2017. Since 2017, Niels Randloev has been holding it.
The thirteen grey Kladrubers selected in such a manner governed by strict criteria are housed on the premises of Christiansborg Palace immediately in the heart of Copenhagen. While this royal palace today serves as a seat of parliament and the prime minister and incorporates areas used for formal occasions, in the past it was the residence of the royal family and provided housing for 250 horses.
Kladrubers are housed in original historic stables and receive comfort and luxury in every possible way. The stables offer generous space where horses can be harnessed and the coach can go out straight into the streets of the city. Movement of horses is possible in the spacious arena in the courtyard of the palace, in two outdoor enclosures, and in the historic riding hall of 60 metres by 20 metres. There are an average of four workers responsible for physical activity of horses; training efforts put the greatest emphasis on the reliability of the team in the traffic of the city, which is absolutely crucial for the ceremonial service. The geldings spend the whole of summer together ranging vast pastures in the country.
The most prominent ceremonial services of grey Kladrubers for Margrethe II of Denmark include New Year’s audience with the Queen, reception of diplomats, celebrating royal family anniversaries and travels to the royal summer residence. In Denmark, the institution of kingdom is seen very positively and the people have a very warm relationship with the Queen. As a result, there are plenty of visitors and tourists heading for Christiansborg to admire, among others, the grey horses, the adjacent museum and the coach house every day.
To the Kladruby nad Labem National Stud, the sale of Kladrubers for use in ceremonial rides for the Royal Court of Denmark is a matter of ultimate prestige, giving the opportunity of keeping this unique breed for the genuine purpose matching the one for which the Kladrubers have been selectively bred for more than 400 years.