Europe - France

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In the 19th century French breeders imported English Thoroughbred and half-bred stallions to cross with their local, less refined mares. The main breeding areas were the government stud farms of Saint Lô and Le Pin in the Normandy. Two important horse lines developed, a fast trotter and the Anglo Norman. The Anglo Norman provided the basis for the Selle Français which was also influenced by local saddle horses including the Vendeen, Charollais, Limousin, Corlais, Angevin, Angonin and Charentais. At first the breed was known as Cheval de Selle Français, the name was changed to Selle Français in 1958 and in 1965 the first stud book was published.
To produce an outstanding sports horse in a relatively short time the French graded their breeding stock by its success in competitions, choosing only the best stallions, mares and their progeny.  A horse, reminiscent of the Thoroughbred, developed which is highly successful in all equestrian sports, but especially in show jumping with many famous champions including Jappeloup.

harmoniously proportioned, variable conformation
Head: refined head, kind eyes
Neck: long, elegant
Shoulders: sloping
Body: long, strong body; well sprung ribs; deep chest; broad, powerful hindquarters
Legs: strong limbs, good bone, powerful forearms, pronounced joints
Color: predominantly chestnut, other colors are permissible
Height: the classification is based on conformation and on the ability to carry weight
medium weight: small 15hh and under, medium 15.3 to 16.1hh, large over 16.1hh
heavy weight: small under 16hh, large16hh and over
Temperament: good, intelligent
Qualities: speed, stamina, athletic, strong, harmonious paces

The Selle Français is one of the world's most successful competition horses, especially in show jumping.