PALM draught horses & Diepensteyn stud farm

PALM & the Belgian draught horse

Mention PALM and steaming Belgian draught horses spring to mind. But did you know that these proud pioneers have been declared part of Belgium's living cultural heritage by Monumenten en Landschappen (the Belgian National Trust)? And that PALM helps to protect the Belgian draught horse and preserve it from extinction?

In 1980 the Brabant draught horse appeared as the logo on the PALM label to illustrate that PALM has Brabant origins and derives the best from nature through tradition and selection.

To commemorate PALM Brewery's 250th anniversary in 1997, the horse was turned from left to right, looking to the future. The farming outfit was removed.

Draught horses under threat and saved

PALM Belgian Craft Brewers has supported the Vereniging voor het bevorderen van het Belgisch trekpaard (VBBT - Association for the Belgian Draught Horse) since its early days. This was much needed as the draught horses were on the verge of extinction. Although they barely have any economic value today,

things used to be different: between 1850 and 1930 draught horses were of inestimable importance for industry and agriculture, even ranking as Belgium's main export around the turn of the century (35,000 horses a year).

By the end of the 20th century the number of draught horse births had dwindled from 1,200 to only 400 a year. Thanks to the VBBT and the breeding bonus introduced by the Flemish Community (BFr 5,000 per foal), the birth rate soared to around 1,000 a year, with the main emphasis on restoring colour variety to the breed.

PALM Belgian Craft Brewers increased this bonus by BFr 2,500 for each chestnut-coloured draught horse foal, which jumped from 4 to 50 births a year in the space of 5 years.

PALM Belgian Craft Brewers works resolutely on upholding and promoting our national pride. We devote ourselves primarily to breeding the chestnut Belgian draught horse. With its amber-coloured coat and white mane, this is one of the seven colour variations. Amber-coloured and white? Indeed, precisely the colours of a refreshing PALM with a white head.

Promotional, recreational & competitive use of PALM draught horses

Our draught horses do not just stay in the stable. They like nothing better than a long trek! This gave us the idea of organising a rally.

PALM Belgian Craft Brewers successively organised the Damme-Oostduinkerke draught parade in 1994, the Brussels-Amsterdam draught parade rally in 1996 and the PALM Challenge Cup in 1998 - a series of horse-driving competitions that have now become a classic and live on in the Power Horse Competition for the promotion of recreational and sports driving using draught horse breeds.

In Belgium PALM supports the development of competitive horse driving using the draught horse at national horse driving trials via the draught horse drivers.

1996 Brussels-Amsterdam Draught Parade

2001 Power Horse Competition

1994 Damme-Oostduinkerke Draught Parade

1998 PALM Challenge Cup

CAN Vollezele 2008: categorie trekpaarden

The stud farm is home to about 20 chestnut draught horses. All the draught horses born at Diepensteyn have the last name "Van Diepensteyn". Each draught horse is registered and has its own stud book number.

The aim of Diepensteyn Stud Farm is to breed and develop the Belgian chestnut-coloured draught horse into the perfect horse driving partner for recreational and sports purposes.

Diepensteyn Stud Farm offers a range of services and activities including: training or breeding horses, horse driving training and initiation, promotional rides, nature treks with a picnic, draught horse shows, as an attraction at events and so on.

Diepensteyn Stud Farm offers a range of services and activities including: training or breeding horses, horse driving training and initiation, promotional rides, nature treks with a picnic, draught horse shows, as an attraction at events and so on.

Foals are prepared for their later task in life right from birth. Consequently, the training or "remonte" is carried out nearly always without any problems. The young horses are eased into competitions and promotional rides from the age of four. They are put to work according to their character and build: one horse may be suited to competitions, while another enjoys attention from the public and can stand still for hours at a time during a promotional event.

Rodebach of Diepensteyn, bred by Stud Diepensteyn, was presented at the stallion for draft horses at Munster (Ger), the main test of the North Rhine Westphalian Pferdestammbuch 19/11/2011. There were 21 drafthorse stallions presented. Rodenbach was one of the young stallions approved in this year and is registered in the Studbook of the Belgian draft horse. Rodenbach is avaiable at stud Diepensteyn. For more information:

In addition to breeding and training its own horses, Diepensteyn Stud Farm also offers professional training for people and horses. In a unique setting you can learn horse driving with our magnificent horses or truly enjoy a trek through nature.

Tegenwoordig heeft het trekpaard een steeds grotere rol in het recreatieve maar ook in het competitiemennen.

Wat begon als de PCC, Palm Challenge Cup in 1997 evolueerde verder met de steun van PALM Belgian Craft Brewersnaar de PHC, Power Horse Competition (, tot hiertoe een vooral nederlandse aangelegenheid. Ook in Belgiƫ evolueerde het gebruik van trekpaarden in de mencompetitie. In de nationale mencompetitie bestaan sinds kort specifieke regelementen voor het mennen met trekpaarden.

Via de vereniging voor trekpaardmenners ( stimuleert PALM Belgian Craft Brewers het competitiemennen met trekpaarden door de VLP wedstrijdlicenties voor de menners met trekpaarden te sponseren.

Competitie op nationaal niveau (tijdens nationale menwedstrijden) maakt doorstroming naar internationaal (FEI, Federation Equestre International) mogelijk.


Photos draught horse drivers