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WHAT IS THE TRAKEHNER?

(pronounced: tra kay ner)

The original Trakehnen Stud

The correct name for the breed is "the East Prussian Warmblood of Trakehner Origin." It is a European warmblood breed which can be traced back to the main stud farm established in Trakehnen East Prussia in 1732. The breed's name and bloodlines are traceable to this Trakehenen Stud where the foundation for the breed was first established. But the really important and decisive development of the breed occurred in the early 1800's when top quality English Thoroughbred and Arabian bloodlines were introduced into the breed in small quantities with the goal of the Trakehenen Stud being an endurance horse. This horse would prove itself not only as a highly efficient riding horse during war times but also as a working horse on the East Prussian Farms in peace time. The goal, ultimately, was to preserve the nerve, nobility and endurance of the Thoroughbred, at the same eliminating the faults in the temperament and character that also came with the Thoroughbred. Further refinement in the breed came from Arabian blood.

The Trakehner of today is a large horse, standing between 16 and 17.1 hands, although a few horses are 15.2 or 15.3, or between 17.2 and 18 hands. The breed is characterized by great substance and bone, yet displays surprising refinement, perhaps more than any other European warmblood breed. It is a superb performance horse, with natural elegance and balance. It excels in dressage because of its elegant way of moving - light, springy, "floating trot," and soft, balanced canter, made possible by a deep, sloping shoulder, a correct, moderately long back and pasterns of medium length and slope. With its characteristic powerful hind quarters and strong joints and muscles, the breed also produces jumpers. However, perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of the Trakehner is its temperament. Trakehners are keen, alert and intelligent, yet very stable and accepting, and anxious to please.

All over the world today Trakehners continue to excel in equine competition. Since World War II, when they were driven from their East Prussian homeland and almost decimated by the Russian Army, the primary breeding area was West Germany. The breed was first introduced into North America in significant numbers in the 1950's, being imported first into Canada and then into the United States. There are now several fairly large Trakehner breeding farms in the United States and Canada with new establishments appearing each year. Trakehner horses are competing succesfully all over North America.

We and the members of the American Trakehner Association(ATA) believe that the Trakehner is the breed of America's future for hunting, jumping, eventing, driving and dressage. We are proud of our Trakehners and aware of the heritage we are obligated to preserve through these magnificent horses.