Another important event occurred in 1861 when an

official “register of origins” was established. Tese processes enabled breeders to quickly mold their breeding efforts to suit the market. In time, the Oldenburg horse and its neighbor, the Ostfriesen, became “luxury horses”—stylish, high-stepping carriage horses, though they were practical farm horses as well. What set the Oldenburg and Ostfriesen apart from

other German breeding areas was the lack of a state-owned stud farm, such as those available in Hannover, Westphalia, Rhineland, Brandenburg, etc. As private breeders, mare and stallion owners in Oldenburg had, and still do, retain great freedom in purchasing breeding stock, and have been able to more quickly adapt their breeding programs to changing market demands. Breeding objectives in the 19th century were to produce an optimal horse for the military and also for heavy work in agriculture and construction. For this purpose, Oldenburg mares were often bred to French and British stallions to produce what became known as the Oldenburg Karossier, a horse that was the market leader of its day.

Te Twentieth Century In 1923, the Ostfriesen studbook and Oldenburg

studbook merged to form today’s Verband der Züchter des Oldenburger Pferdes (“Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society”). Also occurring during the 20th century was large- scale mechanization of transportation, farming, and the military, which resulted in a precipitous drop in demand for the heavier type of horse. At the same time, increases in expendable income and leisure time were setting the stage for recreational riding to come into its own. To meet this new market, Oldenburg breeders changed direction once again, now intent on producing riding horses as renowned as their carriage horses. An extensive transformative cross-breeding program was again underway. Te first foreign stallion imported to improve the riding horse qualities of the Oldenburg mares was Condor, a dark bay Anglo-Norman. He was followed by the Toroughbred stallion, Adonis xx, in 1959. A veritable slew of Toroughbred sires were approved for Oldenburg mares over the next 15 years: Manolete xx, Miracolo xx, Guter Gast xx, More Magic xx, Makuba xx, and Vollkorn xx, who sired one of Oldenburg’s first internationally successful sport horses: Volturno, out of a Manolette xx daughter, won two Olympic silver medals in eventing. Condor’s success with the Oldenburg mare base encouraged breeders to choose additional French sires. Prominent among these were Furioso II in 1968, and Futuro in 1969 (both by Furioso xx); Tiro (by Tremolo xx); and Zeus, who was by the French Anglo-Arabian, Arlequin x. Tere was also the Trakehner, Magister, though Trakehners were not used in Oldenburg to the same extent that they were in neighboring Hannover. In 1972, added flair came

42 May/June 2018 SPECIAL Oldenburg SECTION

to the Oldenburg from the French Anglo-Arabian stallion, Inschallah x, who donated his expressive gaits and dry features to his offspring. By judiciously combining various Toroughbred and

French bloodlines on the base of Oldenburg mares, breeders in a relatively short period of time were able to produce a horse that now belongs to the upper echelons of modern sport horse breeds.

Te “Modern” Oldenburg Sport Horse Oldenburg has seen particular success in the past several

decades with its dressage horses, and it is consistently found among the top five studbooks in annual dressage rankings compiled by Te World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses. Successful Grand Prix horses such as Renoir-Unicef, Sterntaler-Unicef, Gran Gesto, Relevant, Falcao, Don Schufro, Responsible OLD, Augustin OLD and Le Mont D’Or have reliably contributed to Oldenburg’s WBFSH rankings over the past decade. Furthermore, Oldenburg stallions such as Donnerhall,

Rohdiamant, and Welt Hit II appear with regularity at the top of the WBFSH dressage sire rankings, thanks to the successes of offspring such as Don Schufro, Digby, Donnperignon, Damon Hill NRW, etc. (all by Donnerhall); Eremo del Castegno, Responsible OLD, Blue Hors Romanov, etc. (all by Rohdiamant); and Apollo Van Het Vijverhof, Whizzkid, Ayscha, Weltclassiker, Sagacious HF, etc., (all by Welt Hit II). In addition, the Oldenburg

stallions Don Schufro and Sandro Hit finished 2011 in the top 20 of the WBFSH dressage sire rankings based on results from offspring Dorina, Bocelli

ABOVE: Te modern stallion Sandro Hit, who for three years (2010–2012) was rated as the #1 dressage sire in the U.S.

Photos courtesy Paul Schockemoehle

Oldenburg Horse Breeder ’ Sociers’s Society

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