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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 24, 2009
Sep 29, 2010

Vlaamperd, SA Vlamperd or Vlamperd Horse Breed

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Country of Origin: South Africa

The Vlaamperd is a nearly extinct horse breed. Developed as a draft and riding animal in South Africa, the breed was formed by Friesian blood infused with Thoroughbred, Hackney (horse) and Cape Harness horse blood.


Developed in the Western Cape, Vlaamperde originated from a 19th century horse, the Hantam Horse,("The SA Vlamperd was developed in the Western Cape from a 19th century horse called the Hantam Horse. The Hantam Horse came about by crossing Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and local Cape mares. More recently, Friesian stallions were bred with Hantam Mares as were Oldenburgs and Cleveland Bays. The resulting Vlamperd have emerged as a good natured horse breed with graceful conduct and a stylish high stepping action. It can be used under saddle or in harness. The name is derived from the Afrikaans for Flanders' Horse - the country from which a number of Friesian stallions were later exported to improve the breed.") which came into being through the use of English Thoroughbred and Arabian stallions on local Cape mares. At the beginning of this century several Friesian stallions were imported to South Africa and used on the Hantam mares. East-Friesian, Oldenburg and Cleveland Bay stallions were also used and some of the distinctive characteristics of these breeds are still found in the modern Vlaamperd. At the beginning of this century, the Dutch government prohibited the exportation of Friesian horses from the Netherlands and to side-step this law, Friesian horses were shipped from the Belgian port of Antwerp in Flanders. As a result of this, Friesian horses became known as 'Vlaamse perde' in South Africa and the name was later adopted by the Vlaamperd Breed Society. The Vlaamperd is used for riding but with its good nature, graceful conduct and stylish high stepping action, excels as a carriage driving horse.

A famous stallion, "Scheepers," bred and owned by the family van der Merwe of Kwaggasfontein, Sutherland (1930) and sold to Mr. H. Serdyn from Riebeeck West in the Boland in 1942, had the greatest influence on the breeding and development of the Vlaamperd.

The SA Vlaamperd Breeder's Society was formed in Bloemfontein in 1983. The South African Vlaamperd is an established, independent breed and considered a precious asset of South Africa that deserves great recognition.

Physical Characteristics

The color is black. Pale black and dark brown are allowed in mares. They are 14.2-15.2 hh, good natured, graceful, stylish, high stepping action, adaptable, docile in disposition. Well conformed.


The Vlaamperd is used for riding, harness (driving), showing, festivals, weddings, and tourism.

For More Information:

Vlaamperd Breeder's Society

Horse Breeds