Trakehner

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Trakehner is a horse breed. The Trakehner is generally of a lighter type than most other warmbloods. The name derives from Trakehnen, the site of the Main Stud (de:Gestüt Trakehnen) in Prussia (since 1945, Yasnaya Polyana, Kaliningrad Oblast).

The Trakehner typically stands between 15.2 and 17 hands high (1.57 to 1.73 m). Trakehners can be any color, with bay, gray, chestnut and black being the most common, though the breed also includes few roan and tobiano pinto horses. It is considered to be the lightest and most refined of the warmbloods, due to its closed stud book which allows entry of only Trakehner, as well as few selected Thoroughbred, Anglo-Arabian, Shagya and Arabian bloodlines.

Contents

Breed Characteristics

Owing to its Thoroughbred ancestry, the Trakehner is of rectangular build, with a long sloping shoulder, good hindquarters, short cannons, and a medium-long, crested and well-set neck. The head is often finely chiseled, narrow at the muzzle, with a broad forehead. It is known for its "floating trot" - full of impulsion and suspension. The Trakehner possesses a strong, medium-length back and powerful hindquarters.

Trakehners are athletic and trainable, with good endurance, while some are more spirited than horses of other warmblood breeds. Trakehners breed true to type, due to the purity of the bloodlines, making it valuable for upgrading other warmbloods.

Breed History

During their crusade of the Baltic Old Prussians in the 13th Century, the Teutonic Knights discovered the native Schwaikenpferd, a small primitive horse. The Knights used it to breed their military horses, and descendants of the Schwaike were used by German Ostsiedlung farmers for light utility work.

In 1732 King Frederick William I of Prussia established the Main Stud Trakehnen at the East Prussian town Trakehnen (now Yasnaya Polyana, Russia). Soldiers cleared the forest at the River Pissa between Stallupönen and Gumbinnen. In 1739 the king gave it to crown prince Frederick II of Prussia, who often sold stallions to make money. After his death in 1786 it became state property, named Königlich Preußisches Hauptgestüt Trakehnen.

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