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Mare lines - the basis of Holstein breeding

Mare lines - the basis of Holstein breeding

The basis of Holstein breeding is on the one hand a mare potential that has been bred for over 100 years. A further foundation stone is formed by the specifically selected refiner lines, whose origins can be found especially in the English thoroughbred. The small number of successful lines is one of the secrets of Holstein breeding. The international successes prove this consequently implemented breeding concept right.

Today, 4 stallion lines play a dominant role in breeding, which can be traced back to the line founders Ladykiller xx, Cor de la Bryère, Cottage Son xx and Ramzess. The legendary Ladykiller xx produced 35 licensed sons and as many state premium mares in his 14 years of breeding. Especially Lorenz, Lepanto, Ladalco, Lagos and Liostro from the Ladykiller xx line have written breeding history. And of course Landgraf I and his half-brother Lord.

Wise masterminds already recognized the importance of continuous documentation of mare families at the end of the 19th century and introduced a simple numbering system. Georg Asbahs published the first volume of stud books in the Holstein marshes in 1886. He painstakingly collected the pedigrees of the horses by hand and assigned them to the individual mare families. He then numbered these families, and from this developed the so-called pedigree numbers, which are still kept today. Already volume I of the stud book contained exact regulations for the quality of the mares to be demanded. Already at that time the mares were evaluated by grading the 6 characteristics pedigree, size, colour, elegance, gait and bone structure with a point scale of 0-8.

As we know today, striking breeding horses are rarely products of chance. As a rule, they come from well-bred mare lines, as world-class sires of the calibre of Landgraf I (mare line 275) Ramiro (line 776), Lord (line 1298) or Capitol I (line 173) impressively prove.

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