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SA Boerperd
SA Boerperd History
How it all started
By Chris Nel

The origin of the SA Boerperd can be divided into 3 phases:
 
Phase 1:
The SA Boerperd is a true South African horse breed, with a long and illustrious history intimately interwoven with that of civilization in South Africa. It's linage can be traced back to shortly after the landing of Jan van Riebeeck in Table Bay in 1652, and the establishment of a halfway post to serve ships of the Dutch East Indian Company. The first phase of its history covers the period from van Riebeeck to the Great Trek northwards into the interior of the subcontinent in 1836. The first horses imported into the fledgling Cape colony were cross Berber-Arabian ponies imported from Java. Although breeding was initially slow, by 1665 sufficient numbers were available to sell to the free burghers. Inbreeding was countered by the fortuitous stranding of a ship en route from Java to Persia, even before the castle had been completed. This carried 14 Arabian horses recalled by him due to unrest in the land, among the best Shah of Persia's stud. These horses swam ashore and were caught by Van Riebeeck's men. Augmented by the infusion of a number of Andalusian and Isabella horses en route to South America, more than a century later, these Persian Arabs, and 
the original horses from Java, formed the basis of what eventually developed into a recognized breed, known at the time as the Cape Horse. It was to become well-known for its sound temperament, bravery, intelligence, endurance, extreme sure-footedness and hardiness. In the 150 years between Simon van der Stel and Lord Charles Somerset, limited new genes entered the gene pool. However, Somerset did simulate horse breeding by importing 40 thoroughbred stallions. Their influence could not have been great, as the horse population in 
the Cape was around 225000 at the time, but could have had an effect on size and posture. Horse-breeding had developed into a thriving industry, even leading to the exporting of was horses especially to the English army in India around 1769. Nature also played a crucial role in shaping the breed. In 1719, many thousands of horses died from the dreaded African Horse Sickness. On the positive side, it can be seen as a process that removed animals susceptible to this disease from the population and prevented their genes from being propagated- a natural selection process for an adapted type of horse.

Phase 2:
The second phase covered the period 1836 - 1899, from the Great Trek to the start of the second Anglo-Boer war. The phenotype and genotype were fixed during this period as other breeds, such as the Flemish Stallions from the Netherlands, as well as Hackneys, Norfolk Trotters and Cleveland Bays, we're imported and bred into what eventually became known as the Boerperd.

Phase 3:
The third phase covers the period after the second Anglo-Boer war. The stamina, hardiness and mobility of the Boerperd had been tested and refined during the war years. The Boers were skilled riders, and it was, to a large extent, these tough, agile horses that allowed them to prevail against the overwhelming might of the British army for as long as they did. However, the breed paid a high price for its roll in the war, as thousands of horses were lost due to harsh conditions to which they were subjected. Many not killed on battle were subsequently shot by the British on the farms in an attempt to deny the Boers their advantage. By the end of the conflict, only the hardiest and those deliberately hidden away by their owners in remote areas beyond the reach of the British, remained. After the war, a formal movement to conserve the Boerperd started. An Auxiliary Register was included in the Studbook Register of the breeders Association of Transvaal in 1905. Unfortunately this register was poorly supported and eventually became redundant between 1918 and 1921. A National Riding Horse Breeders Association was established and in 1757 this changed to the Boerperd Breeders Association of SA. This step, however, also led to the simultaneous formation of the Eggo Boerperd Breeders Association. In 1973 the Boerperd Society of SA was established in the town of Memel in the Orange Free Sate. A constitution was written, and a breed standard was compiled. Horses genotype ally and phenotypic ally suitable for breeding were identified, and a very strict selection policy was adopted. In 1977 the name was changed to the Historic Boerperd Society and in 1980 the breed was officially recognized by the Department of Agriculture, and subsequently affiliated to the South African Stud Book and Livestock Association. In 1996 the Historic Boerperd was accorded the status of a fully recognizes and indigenous breed by the Registrar of Livestock Improvement. In 1998 the mane was changed t o SA Boerperd, and it's today one of the truly South African horse breeds.

The Bloodlines:
1. The Cloete Horses
2. The A2 Horses
3. The Hancke Horses
4. The Steenkamp Horses
5. The Odendaal Horses
6. The Middelton Horses
7. The Streicher Horses 
8. The Namib Horses
 
 
Breed Standards

A. General Appearance
1. Type
 
Symmetrically rounded
Balanced animal, alert, high quality and noble in appearance
Haedy with good contitution that will allow the animal to survive on natural grazing and as a working horse under saddle
 
2. Quality
 
High quality skin and hair
Clean, strong and dry legs
Strong skeleton
 
3. Height
 
Stallions: 14.2 hh and higher
Mares: 13.3 hh and Higher
 
4. Colour and Coat
 
Glossy, fine hair and dense coat of high quality
Black, brown, white, all shades of bay, all shades of chestnut, grey, dappled grey, palomino, all shades of roan and dun
Skin must be black and pigmented
No albino, Appaloosa, blue eyes, loose white patches on body and white on face that stretches past the eyes towards the cheecks (white face and blaze)
A snip must be small and not covering to much of the muzzle (sunburn)
White on legs must preferably not be higher than the knees
 
5 Temperament
 
Calm, ambitious, trustworthy and alert
Intelligent and willing to serve its master
 
6 Movement
 
Medium to high knee action
Long strides wath cadence that covers ground
Hind legs must move well underneath body and must take weight of the forequarters
Horse must track i.e must move straight forward if looking from front or behind
 
7. Gaites
 
3-Gaites: walk, trot and canter
5-Gaites: walk, trot, canter, short gait and rack
 
8. Carriage
 
Balance through all gaites
High and proud carriage
 
B. Forequarters
 
1. Head
 
From the front the foreqhead is flat and broad, between prominent eye sockets with large, full, clear and shiny eyes
Ears must be of medium length, sharply pointed and placed fairly close together
Profiles must be streight or a little concave with prominently defined deep jaw and cheek bones, which are well muscled but not fleshy
well cut out under the eyes up to the nose, nose bridge not fleshy
Large elastic nostrils
Muzzle must be strong, with broad healthy teeth with a straight bite. Sides must be deep with soft elastic lips
Prominent chin
Cheekbones must be wide apart with enough space for the windpipe
Head must not be fleshy i.e dry. The skin around the eyes, nose and muzzle must be soft and like velvet to the touch
 
2. Neck
 
A well-formed, supple and flexible neck. Finely chiselled of medium length
Wind pipe not fleshy i.e dry and prominently defined with a loose connection
Sloping from above, smooth and attached high onto the shoulders
Arched crest in both stallions and mares, but mares must be finer
Top of neck must be longer than the bottom
 
3. Shoulder
 
Deep shoulder, sloping from where it attaches to the back
Well-muscled nut not fleshy
Withers must be higher than the croup in adult horses
Measured from point of shoulder to neck attachment, the measurement must be approximately 60* with ground level
Measured from point of shoulder to the middle of the highest point of the withers, the measurement should be approximately 43* with ground level
Measured from  the point of shoulders th where the wither attaches to the back, must be approximately 40* with ground level
 
4. Chest
 
Deep chest i.e the horizontal line between the front legs must at least reach the elbow or come down lower
It must be of medium width ant the point of shoulders must be placed wide apart
Chest muscles must be well-developed with prominent breatbone (sternum)
 
5. Arm
 
Short and placed foreward
The bottom point of humerus must be placed parallel with the ribcage
 
6. Forearm
 
Strong, long, broad and well muscled
 
7. Knee
 
Broad, deep and flat from the front
Dry i.e not fleshy
Strong and centrally attached to the cannon bone (off-set knee if attached on eithet side and not in the middle)
Tendon anchors well defined and hardy
 
8. Cannon bone
 
Side view
Dry i.e not fleshy, short and broad
Front view
Dry i.e not fleshy, flat placed in the middle of the knee
Tendons well defined and prominent with strong attachment to the knee and fetlock if viewed from the side
 
9. Fetlock
 
Prominent and strong, broad, flat and dry
No excessive fetlock hairs must be visible if viewed from the side
 
10. Pastern
 
Medium Length
Strong with average of between 50* to 55* measured from ground level
Supple
 
11. Hooves
 
Medium-sized
Smooth, shiny with dense texture
Thick hoof wall that indicates hardiness
Front and back hooves must be ab average of 55*
Hoof wall must be straight and not concave or convex
Heels must be high and wide apart
Front hoove round, and back hooves oval
Soles must be concave and hard
frog must be soft and elastic

C. Mid section

1. Back

Short, strong and well-muscled
Mares may be longer in the back than stallions

2. Rib cage

A well-sprung, deep and oval rib cage with ribs placed as far as possible towards the flanks 
(I.e horse must not be cut up in the flanks- heir ring-gutted

3. Loins and flanks

Loins must be broad and well-muscled and must be strongly attached to the croup
Flank must be deep and full

D. Hindquarters 

1. Croup

Croup must be long and well-muscled from point of hip to point of the buttock
If viewed from back it must be broad and round between points of hips but the hip joints must not stand out prominently
The croup must slope a bit but the tail must be high 
Viewed from the side the croup must be nicely rounded
Hips must not be placed to closely together and the croup but must not fall too sharply towards the back

2. Buttocks and thigh

Must be well-muscled and must stretch low and downwards

3. Gaskin 

Long, broad and well-muscled
Must stretch as far as possible towards the hock 

4. Hocks

Broad and flat, clean and deep
Must be indicative of strength and must be in proportion with the horse
Tendon attachments must be prominent

5. Cannon bone ( hind leg)

Short, broad and clean
Tendon must be clean and the same thickness at the top and bottom
Cannon bone must be flat if viewed from the front

6. Fetlock

Same as for front

7. Pastern

Same as for front

8. Hooves

Oval-shaped
The rest must be same as for front hooves

9. Hind legs

Viewed from back
The plumbline must hang from the point of the buttock against the hock, through the middle of the cannon bone, fetlock, Pastern and hoof