|Country of origin:||Poland|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
- This article is about a breed of horse. See also Wielkopolska (region of Poland) and Wielkopolska National Park.
The Wielkopolski is a breed of horse that was originated in Central and Western Poland in 1964, so it is still relatively young. Its name derives from Wielkopolska ("Great Poland"), a region in west central Poland centred on Poznań.
The Wielkopolski was developed by crossing two now extinct Polish breeds, the Pozan and the Mazury, so it is also referred to as the Mazursko-Poznanski. The Pozan, or Poznan, horse was developed in Poland. This breed is extremely rare. These horses are known to be quite noteworthy. It was bred at the studs at Posadowo, Racot, and Gogolewo. The Pozan was a mixture of Arabian, Thoroughbred, Trakehner, and Hanoverian blood. It was a middleweight farm worker, very versatile, used for riding and agricultural work. The Mazury, also known as the Masuren, is a now extinct breed of horse. It was once a very notable breed, developed in Poland, and was a quality riding horse. It mainly originated from the Trakehner, and, crossed with the Pozan went on to develop the Wielkopolski breed. The Mazury was bred at the stud at Liski in the Masuria region. In 1963 a Polish postage stamp showing a Mazury horse was issued.
The breed is versatile and talented. Although not well-known, it is a great sport-horse breed, with fantastic temperaments, comfortable gaits, and hardiness. They are natural athletes and are quite fast, due in part to their Thoroughbred blood. They make great horses for show jumping and eventing. Their natural balance and good movement also make them very suitable for dressage.
The breed is bred along two lines. One is lighter, for competitive riding. The other is heavier, and used in harness and as a riding horse.
The Wielkopolski has a fine, small head with a straight profile and lively eyes. This is set into an elegant, strong, long neck. The horse has sloping shoulders and a deep and wide chest. It is muscular, compact, and deep in the body, with powerful hindquarters. Their legs are well muscled with long cannons and good, clearly defined joints and tendons. They can be any solid color, and usually stand between 15.2 and 16.2 hh.
There is also another Polish warmblood breed, the Małopolski, bred in the region of Małopolska ("Little Poland") in the south of the country (around Kraków). These horses are smaller and slightly less suited to showjumping than the Wielkopolski.
- ↑ Deskur, S (2003). "Horse breeding in Poland (II)". Biuletyn Informacyjny - Instytut Zootechniki 41 (2): 47–49.