The Zangersheide (often referred to as the Zang Horse Breed) is not actually a true breed but a registry, aimed at producing quality show jumping horses.
Established in the early 1970s at the Zangersheide Studfarm in Belgium, it began primarily with Hanovarian bloodlines, but has grown to include
Dutch, Holsteiner, French and Belgian blood.
The official studbook was created in 1992 by founder Léon Melchior, and has been praised for its progressive, scientific approach to breeding.
The registry has produced many top level show jumpers, including horses that have successfully competed in World and European Championships and the Olympics (you can find the top ranked Zangersheide horses here)
Because Zang is not a true horse breed, it is difficult to narrow down specific characteristics, but like most Warmbloods, they are typically between 16-17hh with a solid build and traditional coat colors (chestnut, grey, bay and black).
Although it can be nearly impossible to spot a Zangersheide by physical appearance alone, their registered names are always a giveaway. All registered foals are given a “Z” at the end of their name, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “Z horses”.
To be registered, a foal and must be sired by a stallion approved by a studbook recognized by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH). Foals sired by Z approved stallions are automatically eligible for registry.
Buying a Zangersheide
If you’re looking to purchase a horse from the Zang Horse Breed Registry, it is important to do thorough research on the particular bloodlines of the horse you are considering.
Temperament can vary greatly, even within a specific breed, so if you are looking for an amateur friendly mount, be sure to check the training and showing history of both the sire and dams lines.
However, since the registry has such a large emphasis on usability for show jumping, you will find that most Zang horses are athletic, forward moving, and highly trainable.
For more information you can visit the Zangersheide Registry website.
Have you ever ridden or owned a Zang Horse? It’s on my bucket list!