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other Warmbloods, and in order to keep the breed “pure,” stallions from other Warmblood breeds cannot be used in Trakehner breeding. One of the main reasons for that refinement has been the historical infusion of a small number of English Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Horses with an approved Thoroughbred or Arabian parent were not considered crosses, but rather as part of the “pure” breeding method. That standard remains true today with the Trakehner Verband in Germany as well as with the American Trakehner Association (ATA) in the United States.


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A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY Patricia Goodman writes in the article, “The Trakehner Horse—A History,” that ideal Trakehner horses have “size, bone, and correctness of conformation, yet are extremely breedy and beautiful. They are very athletic, with magnificent movement that is comfortable, balanced and


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he modern Trakehner has both a unique history and a unique set of breeding guidelines. Typically these beautiful horses aren’t as tall and heavy as


by Stephanie J. Corum h


free. And best of all, they have an ideal temperament— keen and alert, yet level-headed and able to take intense work.” The Trakehner’s correct name is actually the “East Prussian Warmblood Horse of Trakehner Origin,” but most people refer to them as Trakehners. The breed originated in the 1700s out of a need to breed a lighter, more comfortable horse for the Prussian army. King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia chose the best horses from seven of his breeding farms, moved them to the new Royal Stud at Trakehnen and then started selectively breeding them. The Trakehner horse population unfortunately was cut in half as a result of World War I but managed to recover. The real challenge in keeping the breed viable came during World War II. In October 1944 the Soviets were closing in on Trakehnen. Even though hundreds of horses were evacuated, most were eventually captured and sent to Russia. Then in January 1945, the East Prussians fled with 800 horses and embarked on what became known as “The Trek.” For two and a half months they covered 600 miles during a brutally severe winter while being pursued


When comparing the manyWarmblood breeds, one breed stands out as being quite different than the others.


Left: Trotzköpfchen, born 1936 by Cancara out of Tropenzone by Pirol (name translates as stubborn lady) was designated as one of the best mares of the chestnut herd in Trakehnen. Her sire Cancara is Anglo-Arabian by Master Magpie xx out of Cymbal by Nana Sahib. Her dam Tropenzone carries through Mwaster Magpie xx, Pomp xx and Cliff’s Brow xx, even more Thoroughbred in these earlier generations. Trotzköpfchen was lost in the last weeks of World War II. Center: Kokette, a bay born 1938 by Cancara out of Kokarde by Ararard, was part of the small group of 27 mares of the main stud Trakehnen which were rescued. As a Cancara daughter, her dam line contains Perfectionist xx, Parsee xx and Rhamsès xx. Kokette was nominated as the best mare of all German Warmbloods in the1950s. She essentially founded a mare family which is still blossoming and has a lot of influence in the present breed. Right: Maharadscha, born 1957 by Famulus out of Marke by Marktvogt, was a paternal grandson of the Polish bred pure Arabian Fetysz ox, who became a highly reputable sire at the main stud Trakehnen in the 1930s and 40s. He was lost during the end of World War II. Maharadscha founded the most important stallion line in West Germany. His son Flaneur and his grandson Arogno and their offspring are responsible for a high number of well known international Grand Prix dressage horses like Partout, Schwadroneur, Hertug, etc. Mahardscha is also the maternal grandsire of Abdullah. Photos courtesy of Erhard Schulte


Warmbloods Today 37


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