Just as Budweiser has its Clydesdales, Carlsberg brewery has its Jutland horses or Den jyske hest. During wartime in Europe, real horse power was all that was available for beer deliveries. Jutlands became such as familiar sight pulling Carlsberg wagons that they are sometimes known as “brewery horses” in Denmark.
Although most draft horse breeds have become slimmer over the decades, Jutlands have remained the heavy-hitters that they were bred to be. In comparison to many other draft breeds, Jutlands are sumo wrestlers, weighing up to 1800 pounds. Even the foals have legs like tree trunks and hooves like dinner plates.
The Jutland’s foundation sire was Oppenheim LXII, a dark chestnut cross between a Shire and a Suffolk Punch. Foaled in England, he was imported to Denmark in 1860. Sadly, he died when he was seven. But he had already passed his considerable genes onto the first superstuds of the Jutland breed, including Oldrup Munkedal. The offspring were strong, massive, stylish movers and very good looking.
Numerous horse books and websites claim that several other breeds played a part in the development of the modern Jutland, but they had a minor influence at best. These breeds include the Cleveland Bay, the Fredericksborg, the Ardennes and the now-extinct Yorkshire Coach Horse.
All European horse breeds were devastated during World War II, but the Jutland received a double whammy when motorized vehicles took over for agricultural and brewery delivery work. Even Carlsberg only has about 20 horses for publicity purposes. There are an estimated 1,000 Jutland left in the world.
Although the predominant color is chestnut with a pale blonde mane and tail, Jutlands do appear in other colors such as bay, grey, roan and dark chestnut with an equally dark mane and tail. Black and very dark bay (brown) are very rare, but can occur. White markings on the legs and face are common in the breed. Sometimes, muzzles can be pink or black.
Everything about Jutlands is big and muscular, with the exception of their eyes. They seem to be a bit small in comparison to the rest of the body. They are not the tallest horses in the world, only peaking at 16.1 hands high and averaging one hand less, but they seem big because of their bulk. They have thick necks, thick bodies, thick legs and thick manes and tails. The lower legs are heavily feathered.
It is easy to mistake a Jutland for the Schleswig Heavy Draft horse breed in Germany, since most of the foundation animals for the breed were Jutlands.
According to The Ultimate Horse Book (Dorling Kindersley, 1991), Jutlands can be prone to leg and hoof problems. However, even though they are such massive horses, they move lightly instead of just plodding along and are very coordinated.
International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. Bonnie Hendricks. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Encyclopedia of Horses and Ponies. Tasmin Pickeral. Paragon; 2003
Breeding Association for the Jutland Horse (in Danish.) http://www.denjydskehest.dk/