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may include older mares which for some reason were not inspected previously. As with the stallions, the mares are judged and scored on seven different criteria as they are presented on the triangle. The seven scores are always given in the same order: type, topline, front legs, back legs, walk, trot and canter. Mares scoring well in their regional presentations will then be invited to an overall championship held at the Elmshorn center each June. In the United States mares are presented on the

triangle and at liberty at each inspection site. Based on the total score received the mare may then enter the stud books with a special designation of Premium or Premium Select. The AHHA recognizes that there are quality mares of other breeds which would be an asset to the U.S. breeding program and therefore will inspect Thoroughbreds and other documented Warmbloods for inclusion in its studbook.

n FOALS The Verband inspects foals annually during the summer months. Given the close proximity of farms, the judges can evaluate dozens of foals at multiple sites in just a few days. The best foals are invited to regional championships where a top colt and filly will each be awarded special designation. A foal must be presented along side its dam and once its identity is properly verified it receives the Heraldik “H” Holsteiner brand on its left hip. Special attention is paid to the foals from young stallions so the Verband can assess the attributes being passed on and better apprise the breeders of tendencies being

Holsteiner Mares and their Stamms

his hat.” Holsteiner mares have always held a very special place in


the hearts of the German breeders, not only for their beauty and ability to replicate their quality in their foals, but also for the special genes that they pass on through their DNA. Science has confirmed that Mitochondrial DNA can only be passed from a mare to her offspring; the stallion will never transmit this part of the breeding code. During the latter part of the nineteenth century one

particularly astute horseman from Holstein went about the task of listing each mare into a breeding register and assigning her a number. As the mare produced offspring, this particular unique number was passed on to her offspring. Her daughters who in turn produced offspring passed on their dam’s number, called a stamm in Germany or a stem in the

eeing the Grand Champion Holsteiner Mare in 1890 Count von Lehndorff removed his hat and said, “In front of such a beautiful mare, a gentleman should take off

transmitted. American born foals are also

inspected during the AHHA’s autumn tour. They may be shown without their dams and have the option to be branded or not at the owner’s discretion. They receive two scores only: a mark for type/ conformation and a mark for gaits. A foal scoring a combined total of 15 or higher

is designated as premium. Holsteiners can be either bay, brown, black, chestnut or gray. High white markings on the legs are frowned upon as are white spots anywhere on the body of the horse. The naming convention of U.S. bred foals follows the same rules as in Germany. Colts are named with the first letter of the sire’s name while fillies are named with the letter of the alphabet the Verband designates to represent a particular year. In 2010 filly names start with the letter C and in 2011 they start with a D. v

PHOTOS Opposite: Wild Turkey Farm’s Nelke I a.k.a. Corey is approved by the AHHA with a score of 55 and has been entered into the Main Mare Premium Select. In 2009, Nelke produced this Premium Foal WT Lillix by Liocalyon. Photo courtesy Barbara Ellison

Above: A new arrival at Branscomb Farm. This filly will be called Dominique BF, since she is born in 2011 and therefore her name must start with a “D.” She is by Contiano BF, last year’s winner of the 70-Day Stallion Test, out of the premium mare Veronique BF.

U.S., to their offspring. This stem number is listed near the horse’s name on all registration papers of Holsteiners. As generations of Holsteiners entered the breeding

ranks and sporting arenas, it became apparent that certain stamms carried particularly noteworthy traits. These stamms flourished and in many cases were assigned additional identification letters to be used with the original number indicating a certain branch of a particular stamm (i.e. 104a & 104b). Since the original listing of approximately 10,000 mares, many of the stamms have died out but those which produced well for the association flourished and became treasured members of the breeding program. Farmers took great care to perpetuate “their stamms” which had been assigned to their horses generations earlier. Horses coming from highly successful stamms command

a premium price in Holstein where breeders understand the value of these numbers and the quality that they represent. An example of this would be stamm 162 which has produced high numbers of international jumpers including three horses which participated in the Athens Olympics. v


American Holsteiner Horse Association

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