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About royal stables

Currently, there are not many royal stables left around Europe. The real royal stables that still exist are those maintained by the royal courts of England, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. The National Stud in Kladruby nad Labem cooperates with half of them - those located in the Nordic countries.

In general, the fact that making use of Kladrubers in the long term is something of great interest to royal courts in Europe supports the picture of the stud as major cultural heritage and highlights the substance of the value of the horse breed and its home establishment.


Kladrubers in the service of the Danish Royal Court

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 Frederik X of Denmark include New Year’s audience with the King, 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.

Kladrubers as the pride of the Royal Mounted Guard in Sweden

The Swedish Royal Mounted Guard has been using Kladruber horses under the saddle since 2004 for its musicians - trumpeters. Kladrubers and Shire horses - the latter rode by drummers - are the only two imported breeds used by the guard. In the other cases, exclusive use is made of Swedish warmbloods.

Currently, they saddle a total of eight Kladruber horses in Stockholm. Each of them had undergone a strict selection procedure in terms of health, character traits and exterior. As a standard, a pure-grey and neat-looking horse of a large frame is required.

Mr. Bosse Slättsjö cooperates with the National Stud at Kladruby nad Labem on a long-term basis; this representative of the Royal Stables manages all the practical aspects of Kladruber procurement. Mr. Olof Karlander is the highest official of the royal equestrian guard; he has initiated several visits paid by members of the Association of the Swedish Equestrian Guard to the Kladruby stud. Kladrubers have a number of fans in Sweden, and more than two hundred of them have already visited the farm in person and even became involved in the process of selecting a particular horse from the collection presented.

Since the service of Czech horses in Sweden has attracted even diplomatic circles, visitors that the Kladruby stud had the pleasure to welcome in 2017 included Viktoria Li, Swedish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and Jiří Šitler, Czech Ambassador in Stockholm

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