The Trakehner, one of the most popular sport horse breeds today, originated almost 1,000 years ago. This warmblood breed makes an excellent dressage and jumper today. Have you ever ridden a Trakehner?
The Trakehner’s origin begins with the horses owned by Lithuanians and Old Prussians during the Middle Ages. These horses were used to breed military horses during the 1300s, and in the 1500s and 1600s the offspring were used to breed horses for cavalry and stud uses.
The descendants of these horses were used to establish the Trakehner breed. In 1732 King Frederick William I of Prussia created the Trakehnen Stud in East Prussia, which later became state property. Over the next century, Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Turkish blood was added to the breed. One stallion, the Thoroughbred stallion Perfectionist, sired the Trakehner stallion Tempelhuter. Most Trakehners today can be traced back to Perfectionist and Tempelhuter.
Breeding to the stud horses was encouraged, and the breeding of local mares resulted in sure-footed, athletic horses that were sought after as cavalry mounts. In the early 1900s the breeding focus turned to producing horses that could perform farm work, resulting in a movement towards Trakehners that featured a more solid build.
In addition to being useful for farm work, the Trakehner proved a competitive sport horse mount. In 1936, Trakehners won six Gold medals in the Olympics. Breeding and demand for the Trakehner further increased and became refined, resulting in the powerful and impressive horse that we know today.
The Trakehner typically stands between 16 and 17 hands. It is a refined breed with a natural elegance, but it also sports good bone structure and a strong overall build. It is known for its springy and light trot. The Trakehner features strong hindquarters that make it a powerful jumper, and it is known for its excellent temperament, heart, and intelligence. The Trakehner is regarded as being willing, trainable, and eager to please.
The Breed Today
Much of the modern Trakehner breeding takes place in Germany. Rigorous stallion inspections are held in Germany each October and critique the stallion’s temperament, movement, jumping ability, and cross country abilities. To be approved for breeding, a stallion must be the best of the best.
Today the Trakehner is widely popular as a dressage horse. It also excels in show jumping and eventing. Famous Trakehners include the show jumper Abdullah, the eventer Windfall *PG* 2, and the show jumper Heuriger.
If you would like to learn more about the Trakehner, visit the American Trakehner Association’s website.
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Original Source: The Trakehner