The history of breeding fine horses is long and very important in Swedish history. The first state stud, the Flyinge National Stud was first started in the 12th century to develop an ideal type of cavalry and military horse. The official Royal Stud at Flyinge was established by King Charles X to further enhance the endurance and performance of the military mounts in 1661. From this heritage and four centuries of breeding experience and expertise the Swedish Warmblood has been produced. No longer developed to be a military mount, the Swedish Warmblood is one of the premier sports and competitive horses worldwide, winning medals, titles and events in local, national and the highly prestigious international type events and competitions.
The Swedish Warmblood horse is valued for its athletic ability, agility, intelligence and reliable and willing temperament. No longer just bred at the Flyinge National Stud the Swedish Warmblood is truly an international horse breed with farms in Canada, Australia, South American and the United States to name just a few countries outside of Sweden that have breeding farms for these wonderful horses.
Each Swedish Warmblood, regardless of its breeding line or heritage much past a set of standard trials or tests to ensure the high level of competitive horse that the breed is famous for. These tests, also known as inspection tours, involve assessing the horse's conformation, athletic ability as well as his or her temperament while in competitive type activities. For Swedish Warmbloods bred in the United States and Canada there is an annual inspection tour that typically happens in the late spring to early summer. Horses must be pre-registered to be inspected, and the exact details of what the inspectors will look for and request are listed on the Swedish Warmblood Association website as well as the SWANA or Swedish Warmblood Association of North America website.
The tests are monitored by two or more Swedish Warmblood Association judges that come directly from the ASWH in Sweden. The horses will be divided into different categories including foals and yearlings and two year olds, three to four year olds, horses older than five years, mares and stallions. Each horse will then be graded on a set of criteria based on in-hand performance and riding performance as appropriate for the age category. Jumping and riding tests are completed on the older horses but not on the fewer than two year olds. Horses will then be assigned a grade based on their overall performance and level of breed standard. Horses that receive a Class III or higher standard are eligible to be branded with the ASWH logo of the Swedish Crown, which is applied using a hot brand to the left thigh area of the horse. Only horses that meet the grading criteria can be branded, but it is not necessary to brand the horse unless the owner agrees.
Swedish Warmblood horses that do not meet minimum grading criteria cannot be registered as a Swedish Warmblood nor can they wear the brand of the ASWH. They do, however, make excellent horses for many different types of riding, driving and competitions.