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Holstein horses

Holstein horses

 

Holstein stallion Landgraf

Holstein stallion Landgraf

The Holstein horse has become an indispensable part of international and national dressage and show jumping. Today's equestrian sport would not be where it is today without the Holstein horse. Many horses from Holstein have achieved great honours on the riding and competition arenas of this world. Some of the most famous riders such as Fritz Thiedemann, Ludger Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann and many others were able to achieve not only World Cup victories but also Olympic success with a Holstein horse.

North of the Eider, the Schleswig horse dominated. A typical work and field horse from the group of Danish steeds, it also enjoyed an excellent reputation as a mount among the heavily armoured knights. The Holsteiner developed in the Elbe marshes. A hard workload and good fodder probably led to the fact that the warm-blooded Holsteiner already early developed to the brilliant of its kind. Horses have travelled far and wide since time immemorial. Already in the 16th century Holsteins were exported. In 1735, the Hanoverian State Stud began breeding with twelve Holstein stallions. Their offspring were called Hanoverians, because it was not the place of origin but the place of birth that formed the name. Especially from 1800 to 1914 the horse trade flourished in the north with large markets in Husum, Itzehoe and Altona. It not only supplied the big cities and aristocratic households, but also provided the military with the necessary riding and draft horses (Remonten). It was not until the end of the 19th century that breeders organized themselves.

On March 15, 1883, the first breeding association in the province of Schleswig-Holstein was founded with the horse breeding association Krempermarsch. In 1891, the breeders joined together to form the "Verband der Pferdezuchtvereine in den holsteinischen Marschen" (Holstein Horses). In the same year the "Verband Schleswiger Pferdezuchtvereine" was founded. The "Landblood horses" named after their home regions now became breeds with defined breeding goals. The fact that these change and are also subject to fashions is shown especially by the change of the Holsteiner. Until 1960, the breeding goal was to breed strong riding and carriage horses. In 1948 the highest number of Holsteins was reached. However, with the spread of the tractor (Trecker) since the 1950s, the horse had become obsolete as a working animal. The Holsteiner was further bred as sport and leisure horses by again crossing in English thoroughbred horses. Today, Holsteins are once again held in high esteem as sport horses, especially in the show jumping sector.

In 1944, the brand, which is still used today, was introduced. After the 2nd World War, the horse population in the land between the seas decreased alarmingly. In 1960 there were only 1,311 Holstein mares. This prompted the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament to dissolve the Traventhal State Stud, founded in 1874, whose stallion population had fallen to 61. This meant a drastic change for the state horse breeding in Schleswig-Holstein.

After the first successful association stallion husbandry from the 19th century, which was abruptly ended by the world economic crisis, the breeders were again faced with the decision to build up a quality-oriented association stallion husbandry or to fragment the stallion stock into individual private stallion husbandries. After many discussions, the Verband took over almost the entire stallion stock from Traventhal and built up a stallion depot in Elmshorn over the years. About 70 Verband stallions are currently in active breeding use, about 8,000 broodmares are registered in Holstein today. The share of private stallions has increased in recent years. Approximately 50 private stallions are a strong pillar of Holstein breeding in Schleswig-Holstein in addition to the association stallions. Today the Holsteiner is a pure sport and jumping horse. He thus managed a change that the Schleswiger did not. These Holsteiner cold-blooded horses are considered almost a rarity today.

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