CENTURIES OF EXPERIENCE
It is estimated that the total number of horses in Europe is around 7 million. France and Great Britain are the countries with the highest number of horses on the European continent, with 840,000 and 796,000 horses respectively. It is however the small Kingdom of Belgium, with 535,000 horses, that can be found well at the top of the European rankings for the number of horses per inhabitant.
In Belgium, horses are indeed something of a religion, with48 for every 1,000 inhabitants! By way of comparison, there are 10.26 million horses in the United States, which represents only 31 horses for every 1,000 inhabitants. Canada is also behind the Belgian average with a total of 950,000 horses, allowing only 25 horses per 1,000 inhabitants. It is therefore no coincidence that when Anne-Sophie Milette left Canada for Europe, she chose to create Europa Horse Agency in Belgium, a small green country with borders with Holland, Germany and France, and located only an hour by train, via the Channel Tunnel, from England.
With such an important number of horses and prominent breeding tradition comes a great variety of typically European breeds (there are more than 100), of which the best known to the general public are Hanoverian, Oldenburg, Belgian Warmblood, Selle Français, Dutch Warmblood and many more still. Most European breeds have been used to influence other breeds around the world and to improve equine genetics. These purebred European horses often achieve exceptional results in international dressage, show jumping, eventing or racing competitions.
For millennia, European horses were used in the fields, for transportation and as fierce partners in the war. It is only at the beginning of the 18th century, with the advent of the Industrial revolution and mechanisation of society that the sport horse started to evolve. As breeders understand the importance of leisure and sport in society, they now place their focus on this more popular feature of the industry. When you come to Europe and talk to breeders, the knowledge of their broodmare lines and sires is simply fascinating. They possess a true science and expertise built up from years of dedication and passion devoted to producing the perfect, top performing sport horse.
Did you know that horses disappeared ten thousand years ago in America and that 100% of the horses found today in the United States and Canada come from Europe? Some European breeds of horses that have adapted since the Middle Ages to the harsh climates of northern Europe, the rocky and humid soils of central regions, or the hot temperatures of southern Europe, are now acclimatising very well in North America, from Canadian plains, to Texan deserts and Vermontese mountains.
But of course, it is the European horses from temperate regions ( mainly Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Great Britain), where the greatest number of professional breeders are to be found, that can be seen in the prestigious international sports competitions such as the famous Geneva International Equestrian Competition, voted nine times the best in the world.
Located in Belgium, less than an hour from Brussels, the capital of Europe, we are proud to be able to help our customers discover this extraordinary world of the horse in Europe and to accompany you in choosing the horse of your dreams.