Trakehner Horse - English version

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Origins of the Breed

The Trakehner horse is a very old breed is almost the oldest Warmblood horses in the world, with a history spanning almost 300 years as the most important foundation of Trakehnen farming emerged in 1732. Its official name, "The Horse Warmblood Pruso East" refers to the roots of this magnificent breed: the region of East Prussia which once belonged to Germany, but that was lost during the Second World War and was won by Russia. Today is a part of Poland.

The origin of the breed dates back to the early thirteenth century, when the region was colonized by the Teutonic Knights who were breeding a small local horse in East Prussia, called "Schweiken" horse. Schweikens were simple but they were known for their flexibility and endurance. They came from Konik breed, Polish horses from Bilgoraj - direct descendants of primitive Tarpan - mainly blue roan coat, influenced the formation of the hindquarters of "Schweiken" also inherited stripe or dark strip that divides the croup (primitive mark called "mule stripe" in Spain) and also the extraordinary natural vigor and endurance. Teutonic Knights crossed these horses, ponies-like, with their eastern horses. The blood of these horses was the basis for the emergence of Prussian East Horse.

Konik Horse
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Trakehnen Stud

When this breed was crossed with the English thoroughbred stallions and imported Purebred Arabian, the resulted horse was named Trakehner by the Principal Stud of this breed: Trakehnen Stud. The original purpose for this type of horse was to serve Trakehner horse cavalry.

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In the early eighteenth century, King Frederick William I of Prussia created the Royal Administration Main Stud Trakehnen. This was a new type of cavalry as war tactics had changed and a faster, lighter which also possess energy and endurance horse was required.

In 1732, he took the best horses of his cavalry to the new Trakehnen Stud, he also took a herd of 70 Kladrubers, stolen during seven years in the War of Cologne ( Köln ).

Trakehner and the War of Cologne

- Bombed Cologne -

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At first, Trakehnen used Eastern stallions, between them stood the stallion Turk Mayn Atty, at early nineteenth century. Then in the 60s, the direction of breeding changed and the stallions that they used for breeding were mainly crossed English horses. The goal in that moment was to produce stallions whose foals would be appropriate as a military saddle horses. Until the beginning of World War armies were getting a good fresh horse for travel and began breeding looking for a horse that truly reached your expectations.

The new cavalry horses had to be attractive and would be horses with the level of their officers, but also they should be sturdy enough to survive in the harsh conditions of war and stand the loud roar of guns fearlessly. Through his efforts, the Trakehner breed was finally fully developed.

At the same time, the East Prussian farmers bred horses with the same genetic basis, but only for everyday work in the fields. The soil in East Prussia was always heavy and deep, may seem strange that the noble Trakehner horses tugging at plows fields with thick mud, but from the point of view of breed selection is an important fact because Trakehners soon had a reputation as a worker animal with low maintenance. They did not need much time to acquire notoriety as elegant horse for carriages.

East Prussia had two separate breeds, but both were outstanding as riding horses. Herds of military and civilian horses were often mixed, consolidating best traits for the future. The Main Trakehner Stud for breeding was a huge farm, covering about 15,000 acres. A part of the main complex, was sixteen large "Vorwerke" (barns) of food supply and stables of the famous stud herds.

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Selective breeding of Trakehner

Trakehner horse was bred considering the color of his coat; This may seems strange but it was considered that the herds showed certain traits depending of color coat, they were different at physiological level.

The herd of black color, on the Gurdzen Stud for example, consisted mainly in mares and they were "very strong and exceptional workers". The famous stallions as Ararad and Jagdheld were crossed with these mares, mainly to maintain balance in the Trakehner that otherwise would have been very refined. Even today, these genes "heaviers" (heavy horses) may come from the descendants of this great herd.

Mares of bay coat were took in Trakehnen Foundation. Descendants of a famous Thoroughbred, Thunder xx. These bay mares were smart, sensitive and exhibited a potential for increased functionality. One of the most successful for dressage of all Warmblood lines that were bred, it was also the only line that descends the Hanoverian, founded by the Trakehner stallion Abglanz, originally from the bay coat herd .

The bay color and chestnut were took in the Kalpakin Stud. They were known for their outstanding temperament and again, excellent handling and treatment.

And it was in the Bajorgallen Stud where all herds were crossed. The mares of all coats, including gray horses, were bred and crossed there with many imported Arabian stallions. The foundation mares as Kassette and Donna emerged from that exquisite group of horses and even today, 60 years later, their names are remain the most important in the history of the Trakehner breed horses.

- Kassette and Donna

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Trakehners International

A great value stallion lived in Trakehnen like a king. Each stallion had a huge meadow surrounded by trees and shrubs. His stable was a rounded stone house, opened for one side with a full luxurious steel ornaments on the roof. Each stallion was assigned to a caregiver, always older workers who had spent their lives in Trakehnen and had that special sixth sense with horses. It must have been quite an experience for those men. They opened the huge stables doors each morning in Trakehnen and glittering waves of horses ran through the trails to the prairies.

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Trakehners International

There were no fences in Trakehnen, horses were monitored by a rider, and he observed and cared daily for his equine "mates".

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Trakehners International

They kept large herds and foals were weanlings with all the freedom that a young horse could dream. In three years the foals were initiated with the saddle and fully tested to determine their future: cavalry, riding horse or future stallion in Trakehnen and local studs of East Prussia. Obviously with so many high quality horses, only the best were chosen as future stallions. They - the cream of parenting - experienced after testing functionality as stallion. The functionality test lasted a full year and was held in Zwion, and was the functionality testing of State stallions and the first of its kind in the world. Young horses were mounted in competitions, used for hard fox hunting, trained in dressage and many tests of jumping. All youngs were evaluated thoroughly in character, manageability and temperament. Only the best of these magnificent animals would be chosen to contribute their genes to the prestigious Foundation in Trakehnen.

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Trakehners International

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More mares were distributed among small studs of farmers of Prussia East than the Trakehnen Stud. This resulted in a breed, which was the great advantage of local breeders, because they got great regularity of breeding. Their quality improved when Trakehnen and bigger studs bred many of his foals. Public services of stallions and riding clubs, molded its central node. In local and national competitions, they competed with great breeders.

But Trakehnen was much more than horses and the people who lived there, it was also one of the largest farms in East Prussia with 900 cows, 600 sheep and other farm animals. In it, 500 Trakehner horses were used only for farm work.

Incorporation of Arabian and Thoroughbred blood

By incorporating genes Thoroughbred and Arabian, Trakehner horse achieved great beauty, her legendary courage and the magnificent floating step acquired and his great capacity to jump, which made Trakehner horse one of the most famous breed of the world.

Today, quality of Thoroughbred and Purebred Arabian horses is showed in the breed genealogical book. This convenience of support of genetic breeding, keeps the "stamp of Trakehner" refreshes the blood lines and adds strong capabilities in handling and sensitivity.

The Trakehner horse was the most complete horse in the world for sport between the two world wars. Olympic gold in dressage was for Piccolomini in 1924 and the silver medal was for Sabel.


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In 1936, dressage gold medal was won by Kronos 7 years, the gold medal of Concours Complet was won by Nurmi and a Complet German Team was formed, who had two Trakehners and one Thoroughbred. Warmblood of East Prussia was exported not only to Europe but worldwide.


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Trakehners International

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Trakehners International

In 1938, some 478,000 horses lived in East Prussia with 1,289 stallions breeding with 89,628 mares. Trakehner horse was used for all purposes: to farm work, in the war, showing be a courageous and strong horse, in fox hunting, and sporting events. Between 1921 and 1936, the toughest steeplechase horse racing in the world, "The Steeplechase Horse Race of Pardubice" was won 9 times for East Prussia's horses.

Founders Stallions and Mares

That breeding and careful selection of stallions created some legendary lines. These stallions had a dominant influence in breeding East Prussia horses, which still can be seen in the magnificent features and qualities of the current Trakehners. Among these stallions are included:

Perfectionist XX
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Trakehners International

Born in 1899 in Britain. Georg von Lehndorff bought him in 1903 and left him in Trakehnen Stud for three years, from 1904 to 1906. He was the most influential stallion, his sons Tempelhüter, Jagdheld, Irrlehrer, and her daughter, Posthalterin, dam of Parsival, stallion that belonged to the Foundation.

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He was the main stallion in Trakehnen (1916-1931), he was considered as the perfect example of Trakehner horse. A statue of this magnificent stallion was erected in front of the castle where he remained until Trakehnen be taken as booty in the war with Russia after World War II. It was placed in front of the Russian Horse Museum in Moscow. It was possible to make an exact replica of it in the early '70s thanks to the efforts of Hans-Joachim Köhler, and in a very special moment, it was presented to the public in front of the Museum of the Horse in Verden, Germany.

Photography belonging to Blacktree Farm

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Blacktree Farm

This stallion reproduced his own image and action in their foals - strong, with good and correct movements-. All his descendants inherited his talent, jumped and were good for fox hunting. Today, this line is represented by stallions as Friedensfürst, Graditz, Charly Chaplin or Mackensen, sons of Tempelhüter; Tenor, Itaxerxes, Suchard, Königsstein and Impuls, sons of Jagdheld; Carino son of Irrlehrer; Heling and Asher sons of Parsival, and finally Horalas, Biotop , Barajan Posthalterin sons.

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Trakehner Sires International

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-Charly Chaplin-
Charly Chaplin
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Holme Trakehners

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Reiterhof Henninger

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Trakehners International

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American Trakehner

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American Trakehner

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American Trakehner

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Trakehners International

Dampfross, came particularly from Lauszus Stud in Stepponaten, county Ragnit in East Prussia.He was born in 1913 and was acquired by Trakehnen as one of the main stallions in 1923, where remained active until 1933. He coincided with Dingo, a son of the legendary stallion Flügel. Flügel was a stallion that today it thinks that he created his own type of breed, and now his descendants are called as "Flügel" type. Dampfross was the prototype of Warmblood Horse, tempered, impeccable behavior, with outstanding movement, powerful, good health and great athlete in general.

Dampfross Dampfross
Photographs from Trakehners International

Experts believe even today, he would be over any other breed of Warmblood. He proved to be a stallion that leaving heirs with his good looks. He fathered 38 accredited foals and none were took for the breeding excepting 35 fillies for the famous mare herds of Trakehnen. The most influential horse for Trakehner breed was Pythagoras. In Hannover, another horse, Semper Idem, redefined the meaning of "Jumping Horse" even today his son Stakkato is in Celle as stallion. Trakehner lines now include Ablganz (also very important in Hannover), Donauwind and Altan.

-Semper Idem-
Semper Idem
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Horse Magazine

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Luxe Sport Horses

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Pythagoras, son of Dampfross. Important stallion 1933-1944. He carried the blood of two stallions of the century, Dampfross and Tempelhüter. Pythagoras was Trakehnen stallion before the Second World War. His son Totilas and his daughter Tapete were important in the revitalization of the breed after the war.

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Trakehners International

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Cornerstone Farm

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His influence continues even today strong and right in his foals Guido, Creon and Eifel. Guido was the father of Marduk EH, EH Anduc, EH hyllos and Solero TSF; Creon begat Komet, Doruto (KWPN), Gunnar, Herzbube, EH Leonardo, and Eifel became a stallion for Russia Stud with other stallions as Waitaki and Abrek. The daughters of Pythagoras, Hansastadt, Isola Madre and Alraune, were of great importance to establish strong bloodlines, and in addition to the above named stallions, so were his sons Keith, Markwart, Sporn, Suomar and El Peregrino.

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Blacktree Farm

-EH Marduc-
EH Marduk
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Luxe Sports Horses

-EH Anduc-
EH Anduc
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Luxe Sport Horses

-EH Hyllos-
EH hyllos
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-Solero TSF
Solero TSF
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Trakehner International

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Cornerstone Farm

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Camrose Stud

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Wild Rose Equine Services

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Am Trakehnerzucht Bürgerbusch

Cancara represented the idea of crossing the blood of Trakehner breed with Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred optimally. He was the main stallion for sport horses of Trakehnen. Cancara was carried to Trakehnen in 1917, sired by Master Magpie. He was in Trakehnen from 1921-1922 and on another occasion in 1932 until his death. An extraordinary horse, Cancara was a tireless saddle horse, and transmitted these qualities to his progeny. His daughters Donna and Kokette were two of the most outstanding breeding mares of the history breeding in R.F. German of Trakehner. His daughter Pergamon produced two of the most important mares of "Century": For Adresse, which is the mare of Family Peraea Stud and Pelargonie, mare of Family Peron TSF and EH Partout Stud. The influence of Cancara lives in his foals but he did not survive World War II.

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Trakehners International

Fetysz ox was born in Janow Stud in Poland in 1927, which was famous in the world, and was acquired by Trakehnen in 1936 to cross with the mares herd. It was Famulus, his son, who established the best line of dressage for the Trakehner breed.

Fetysz ox
Fetysz ox
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Trakehners International

The line descends to Flaneur and his son EH Arogno, also his daughter Flaneur ES Maharani II, who carries blood of the three stallions Mahogany, EH Mackensen and Mahon less known in dressage. The Fetysz ox was tragically shot by the invading Russian army, but nevertheless his legacy continues, even horses competing in the Olympics now carry his precious blood. Adresse and Perina were daughters of this legendary Purebred Arabian stallion.

Trakehner in the First and Second World War

During World War II, Trakehner horse population was halved and it was required a great efforts by farmers to carrying the breed back to its previous state regarding number of individuals and quality. But in 1944, in the days following the end of World War II, it seemed that these heroic efforts had been in vain.

The hard winter, and the Russian army crossed the first lines of fire and invaded East Prussia, what led people to leave their land and belongings, carrying not much more than their own lives. In October 1944 it was decided to evacuate the Foundation of the main stud, Trakehnen. A total of 800 of the best mares, stallions and young foals were loaded on trains and carried to the west. Most of these horses were lost at the hands of the Russians.

To local breeders and their horses it were not allowed them to leave until January 1945, when it had almost no time to escape. In the terrible cold winter, the "migration" began; ten thousands of people put their most precious belongings in wagons and began heading west road carrying 18,000 East Prussian horses. For many, that included a trip on the East Sea just frozen by the phenomenon of "Frisches Haff" where the caravans were formed on thin ice.

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Trakehners International

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Different Great War

They tried to avoid the mornings because they were easy targets for bombers that came and shot many times to break the ice, and a lot of humans and horses finished their life floating in the icy seawater.

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Trakehners International

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German tragedy of destiny

Photography belonging to
German tragedy of destiny

The mares were slow because many of them were pregnant and sometimes there was no food for days. Thousands lives were lost, the horses could not go forward it had to be left behind. However, most of the East Prussians reached the safety of the west, but at a terrible price. At the end of the Second World War, Trakehnen was nothing. The "Horse Paradise" which was once it was a ruined "horses town", and only a handful of Trakehner horses survived this horrific resistance test that was "emigration". Of the great and legendary herds of mares Trakehnen - once grouped by color - only survived the strongest mares. There were only remaining 21 main mares.

Trakehnen and horses seemed to have been lost forever. Only thanks to some dedicated people, that struggled to save this great treasure, the Trakehner is not a footnote in history page now. The most important stallions were lost during the migration. Some - like Feytsz ox- were shot by the Russian army, others were captured and carried to Kirov, where they established a new Trakehner type which today keep the high level in sport, the Russian Trakehner.

Today, Trakehnen no longer exists. However, the influence of these impeccably bred animals can be felt today, 70 years after its fall. The level of quality achieved in breeding sport horses, with high amounts of Trakhener blood and Purebred Arabian blood, is very good.

Here are some historic videos about Trakehner horse.

New Beginning after the War

Of the 1,100 beautiful horses of the main Trakehnen Stud, survived only about 100 horses, many of them suffered serious injuries. In addition, East Prussian horses belonging to private breeders who had emigrated, were scattered all over Germany. The following years were an attempt to re-register and catalog these few Trakehners. In October 1947, it's established the "Association of R.F. German of breeders and friends of Warmblood horses sourced of Trakehner", now known as the "Trakehner Verband", replacing the stud book of East Prussian Society. Along with the Trakehner horses from private breeders of East Prussia, some hundreds of Trakehners were in readiness to restore the breed. Now, the biggest problem was the huge famine that people in Germany had to suffer from in the years after the war. The number of slaughtered horses is unknown, but it led to Trakehner breed even closer to extinction.

The first president of the Verband, Baron von Schrötter and his manager, Dr. Fritz Schilke, spent most of his time in the years following the war, to searching, finding and gathering the horses. In 1950, the state government of Lower Saxony and the German government helped the cause providing the Trakehner Verband of breeding facility, that was focused on Hunnesrück, Lower Saxony. Along with Rantzau and Schmoel farms of Trakehner Stud, Hunnesrück became famous soon. The original stud-mares of Trakehnen main stud were collected here and used to breed future generations. Large foundation mares were: Kassette, Polarfahrt, Donna, Mat, Halensee, Herbstzeit and other found a home in the old Trakehner farms, along with some old stallions rescued from the main stud, as Pythagoras, son of Totilas that was the most important of Trakehners in the Federal Republic of Germany.

A private breeders of smaller studs were given the opportunity to bring their mares there, the foals born belonged to "Gesellschaft of Trakehner", an Association founded to promote the Trakehner breed in the Federal Republic of Germany and later for all the world.

In the previous German Democratic Republic (GDR), the situation was similar. After the Soviet forces shut borders, Trakehner horses that were collected in the GDR ended up scattered across the country and again, lovers and enthusiasts, and many of the Trakehner breeders East Prussia, who had lost everything, began to collect and breed these horses and maintained a good number of high quality Trakehner until the reunification of Germany in 1991, when the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was united again, and this breed was unified.

It was thanks to another exceptional person, Dietrich von Lenski, which resulted in the largest stud of East Prussia, Kattenau, as established by "Trakehner Förderverein". The Förderverein is an organization that helps promote Trakehner in the world of international sport providing exceptional horses to riders internationally. Also, talented young horses were helped and theirs owners were funded to maintain a high standard of training for these horses.

Here is a video about Dietrich von Lenski Kattenau.

The most prominent example of this type of horse, ownership Förderverein, was the black Trakehner stallion called Habicht. Habicht was given to the stud Trakehner Verband in Hunnesrück, to breed but at the same time, the Förderverein provided the young German rider Martin Plewa with this amazing stallion. The results were outstanding: Habicht won the International CCI *** in Achselschwang and also established a famous genetic line, which today represents for example his son Sixtus of sports elite and the German horse Windfall, stallion of the year in 1999 and Olympic winner of the bronze medal for USA.

In the 80s, the Trakehner Verband breeding had three places: Hunnesrück, Rantzau and Birkhausen, a wonderful stud farm in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. With the Birkhausen stud, Trakehner breed conquered the world. It was in 1970 Birkhausen, the grey mare Abiza who was covered by the bay stallion, Donauwind. She was pregnant when she was exported to Canada and the resulting foal was nothing more or less than Abdullah, famous stallion internationally.

Abdullah horse

Birkhausen addition, several private breeders established new stud farms, some of which earned worldwide fame. Webelsgrund for example, founded by Fritz Bähre in the 50s, with his own stallion, the legendary Impuls. Also, Hämelschenburg of Langels family, in Emmerthal, provided several registered high level mares and exceptional stallions like Kostolany. Vogelsangshof of Gottfried Hoogen was the origin of the best stallion of all, Mahagoni, he surpassed to another famous stud in dressage, Horem of Hubertus survey, which years ago had incredible stallions available such as EH Consul, EH Rockefeller and today, Buddenbrock. And of course Hörstein, founded by Adam Dreßler in 1962 and now run by his daughter Christa and her husband Wolfgang Diehm, famous nationally and internationally, and had the stallion Habicht in the stud for many years. Habicht should also be considered as one of the best stallions in Germany. National and international competitors are Konvoi, Grand Prix, Starway and Windfall who came from Hörstein.

American Trakehner Association (ATA)

In 1957, the German Gerda Friedrichs, a breeder who traveled from Germany to Canada began importing West German Trakehner horses. Four stallions traveled on the first transport: Antares son of Kobalt, Prusso son of Totilas, Slesus son of Tropenwald and Tscherkess son of Tropenwald. Even today, the descendants of these stallions are present in the books of ATA and specifically the first three stallions were very important for establishing Trakehners in North America.

But Gerda Friedrichs not only imported stallions, he also bought mares. A total of 23 Trakehner mares which he imported from 1957-1963. Also in 1963, the stallion Carajan II, son of Carajan, was imported. The stallion Mikado son of Impuls was imported in 1968. With the breeding program to expand, the interest in these horses grew. Soon, the number of fans, riders and breeders was quite large. Just as the R.F. German in the early 50s, the Friends of American Trakehner Horse faced the problem of having many people interested in the breed, but scattered around the country. These future ATA members had few knowledges and lacked a centralized organization in one place. However, these individuals had a strong dedication to horses in which they firmly believed and, thereby, american breeders and owners of Trakehner horses grew at a time. On May 23, 1974, the "American Trakehner Association" was installed in Ohio but was a public corporation, nonprofit. In 1979, a cooperation agreement between the ATA and German Trakehner Verband, ensuring the ATA support and the support of the German Association in accordance with its own guidelines was signed.

This agreement also granted ATA employment the iron mark "two moose antlers", famous landmark in the world belonging to East Prussia and its people, as if a mark of official factory it were, for all Trakehner horses in North America. In North American it put on the Trakehner horses of early age just when they have been approved and reviewed by the standards of the West German. In addition, the ATA publishes a magazine and informative newsletter, offers a great annual convention, performs Trakehner displays and provides a central information and advice for Friends of Trakehner Horse. One of most important innovative points of the ATA is offering an annual concession system for horses registered association members.

Besides North America, the Trakehner Verband has several international registered secondary members, the most influential are in Denmark, Britain, the Netherlands, Russia and Austria. Trakehner breed horses are bred in all continents of the world, in North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia, often the breed also improves with the local transport of Trakeheners in these countries. A stunningly beautiful feat for a breed that was almost destined to be lost forever ...

Morphological Characteristics of Trakehner


The influence of Thoroughbred provides Trakhener a remarkable courage but of a more tempered and thoughtful. Your selective breeding has ensured the maintenance of high hardness and strength, as well as an exemplary conformation.


The refined head of Trakehner denotes the presence of Thoroughbred and Purebred Arabian in their ancestry. It has a great quality, which has provided the breed the title of "noble", a word often used to describe the best European Warmblood. His character and expression are equally characteristic, which in other Warmbloods is not so obvious.


They are awake, mobile and impeccable demeanor.


The eyes, very expressive, are well separated.

Photography belonging to
Esther Mortimer Dressage


Elegant and length.


The Trakehner has shapely and high quality shoulders.


Other features of the Trakehner are quality and the strength of their limbs and joints. The short length of his canon makes the horse is near the ground.


Remarkable quality and highly resistant in comparison with other warmblooded breeds.


The hindquarters are particularly potent. Interestingly, the fact that the field of steeplechase of Great Pardubice Czech is, for the most part, Trakehner horses.


The Trakehner can display any of the solid colors of coat.


The height may vary between 162.5 and 165cm.

Videos of the Breed


The Flight Across The Ice: The Escape of the East Prussian Horses, Patricia Clough, 2010, Haus Pub.
Ultimate Horse Book, Elwyn Hartley Edwards, 1992


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