THE TRAKEHNER

It has been said that the Trakehner has everything everybody is looking for in a performance horse and if you look at the breed's list of attributes it is easy to see why.

The Trakehner is the most important and outstanding of all warmblood breeds, renowned for their grace, power, magnificent movement, outstanding beauty, great ability to perform, they are naturally balanced and free. Best of all, they have an ideal temperament - keen and alert, yet level-headed and able to take intense work. They have a willingness to work and due to their intelligence they learn extremely quickly. The Trakehner, is the warmblood closest to the British ideal of the modern competition and riding horse, whose upgrading influence of bloodlines is evident in most of the continental sports horse breeds today. The popularity of this breed is growing at an outstanding rate.

The Trakehner is the "Thoroughbred" of warmblood breeds, it is more closely related to the Thoroughbred than other German breeds having had major influence in the stud book from the English Thoroughbred and to a lesser degree the Arab and Anglo Arab. Due to selective breeding the Trakehner has retained the best Thoroughbred qualities while keeping its own special character and "type". The "Lloyds Bank Black Horse" is a Black Trakehner Stallion'.

All Trakehner breeding stock has to undergo rigorous grading methods to maintain the high standards and only foals from graded parents on both sides are eligible for "Pink Papers" and the Trakehner Brand. 3 year old mares and 2 year old colts are inspected by a panel of judges and given marks for Breed Type, conformation, movement and correctness. The standards required for stallions to grade are very high and from all colts born, only 1-4% are likely to succeed as 'Graded Trakehner Stallions' world-wide. In Germany after a colt has been accepted, he is required before the age of 4 to undergo a 100 day performance test, where he will have to achieve minimum levels in all disciplines. The performance testing is compulsory for stallions and optional for mares. In the UK a similar grading process is carried out annually in September, when two representatives of the German Trakehner Verband join the judging panel. In the UK there are no stallion testing stations to carry out the 100 day performance testing, therefore it takes place over a two day assessment (arranged by NASTA), following training and preparation at home. Points are awarded for different disciplines including Dressage, Jumping, Cross Country, Paces and other factors such as temperament, attitude and ability to perform are also taken into consideration.

The first Trakehners were imported into Great Britain in 1960 by the Muschamp Stud and since that time they have steadily gained in popularity and have won the hearts of many enthusiasts. Today the Trakehner Breeders' Fraternity (TBF) are the controlling body in the UK, licensed by the Trakehner Verband GmbH in Germany to register, grade and brand horses in the main stud book with the distinctive double Elk horn brand with the inverted 'V' beneath to denote "British Bred".  More recently a Stud Book brand and registration brand has been available to brand horses registered in the stud book, preliminary register and  part bred stud book.

Trak20pc.jpg (1430 bytes)      Pure bred brand            Stud Book Brand                       Registration Brand

Today there are in excess of 400 registered or approved pure-bred Trakehners, with almost double that on the part-bred register. There are 32 graded stallions available either at Stud or by AI in UK -( a full Stallion list is available by sending a sae to Ingrid Christodoulou, Highfields, Withy Hill Road, Bassetts Pole, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B75 6JJU.) and approximately 220 graded mares.

The Trakehner Stallion is one of the most valuable sires used to improve and upgrade stock from mares whose owners want to breed a competition horse (or just a wonderfully reliable friend) from their mare. Whether the mare is of Thoroughbred origin or from a native breed, all have proved to cross extremely well with the Trakehner, bringing better movement, beauty and without fail a good temperament to the offspring.

The record of Trakehners in competition is impressive. Trakehners won every medal for the German Olympic Team in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. In recent years horses such as Abdullah who carried Conrad Homefeld to win a team Gold and individual Silver medal for USA at the 1984 Olympics and Goldkorn by Istanbul winner of the Danish Showjumping Derby 1989 under Hugo Simon. The famous dressage rider Reiner Klimke has ridden many Trakehners to Grand Prix level including the famous Fabian and Biotop. Olympic Dressage Trakehners include TCN Partout and Peron.  The stallion Va Tout (standing in the UK) was the most successful dressage horse worldwide in 1985. In the driving world, Karen Bassett and her team of black Trakehners became Britain's National Champion and the worlds leading lady 4-in-hand driver in 1995. More recently the 2004 Olympic 3DE medallist, German- and American-approved breeding stallion Windfall.  

There are also numerous successful part-bred horses with Trakehner blood including the famous showjumper Milton. Trakehners today are in the Olympic Teams for all disciplines - dressage, Showjumping,  Eventing as well as winning Long Distance Riding and Driving events. Trakehners show more stamina than other warmbloods and have done well in the eventing world (particularly when crossed with the Thoroughbred). The British Trakehner Stallion Fleetwater Opposition by Muschamp Danube (both standing in the UK) was junior Three-Day-Event Champion before retiring to stud. The famous mare Corna by Illuster (now standing in the UK) was the Champion Riding Horse of all breeds in West Germany in 1985. Holme Grove Solomon a British bred Trakehner was awarded the BHF Top British Bred Dressage Sire 1998 for his progeny performance. Holme Grove Solomon and Fleetwater Opposition were in 2004 both awarded a Lifetime Achievement award by the TBF.

Trakehners are addictive, once you have had one your hooked! They are just" very nice people", so willing to please and a pleasure to own.

See another breed profile on Horsehackers - Simply the Best