The Holsteiner Horse

Holstein – a breeding concept has established itself

The typical Holsteiner is an athletic, large lined and expressive riding horse with ideal ability for show jumping but also for dressage and eventing. His powerful jumping shows skill and quality.A Holsteiner is uncomplicated, eager to cooperate, has strong nerves and is reliable – and his well-balanced temperament and his excellent steady character are what actually distinguish him.When the historic State Stud in Traventhal was dissolved in 1960, the Verband der Züchter des Holsteiner Pferdes was suddenly confronted with an entirely new situation.The Verband took over the 33 State owned stallions and thus became the most important stallion owner in Schleswig-Holstein. Since competition sport was experiencing an upswing all over the world at that time, Thoroughbreds were used to refine the Holstein breed.Thoroughbred stallions such as Cottage Son, Ladykiller, Anblick and Marlon played a decisive role in changing the type of the Holstein horse. By using Anglo-Norman bloodlines, particularly through stallions such as Cor de la Bryère and Almé Z, a further decisive step was taken to introduce foreign bloodlines that had a positive effect in breeding.

These measures, which were introduced in the seventies, have achieved excellent results without having a watering effect on the best traits of Holsteiners – their traditional capacity to perform.

Recent Olympic Games impressively attest just how successful this performance-oriented concept is: with horses such as Granat and Corlandus in dressage, Madrigal, Floliant, Freedom and Fine Dame in eventing and Farmer, Landlord, Livius, Orchidee, Classic Touch and Calvaro in show jumping, Holsteiners were always well represented among the medal winners.

Breeding: Landgraf I and so on
With the use of heavy machines in agriculture the Holsteiner horse lost its existence as “worker” on the fields in the end of the fi fties. In order to refi ne the heavy horse and form it into a modern sport horse, the breeding directors chose thoroughbred stallions. In the sixties more than 25 thoroughbreds were used in the country between the seas. Among them there was a stallion who stamped the breeding then and still today: Ladykiller xx, who was born in England in 1961. He sired 35 state premium mares, and the same number of approved stallions, among them Landgraf I, who was awarded a statue before the stables at Elmshorn already in his lifetime. Until today his offspring have won more than 7 million of mark in the sport, his numerous sons and daughters are passing on the precious blood. Lord, the second outstanding offspring of Ladykiller xx has also founded his own stallion line, and is the father of famous Livius.

In the same breath you must have also to mention Cor de la Bryère who died in 1999 at the age of 31 years. Besides Ladykiller xx, “Corde”, as he is nicknamed by the breeders, has especially stamped modern sport horse breeding in the country between the seas.

Another stallion that made Holstein breeding history, is Capitol I. He is the father of numerous sporthorses, known world-wide, also among them the World Cup winner of 2001 Dobel’s Cento, and Carthago Z, who both competed in the Olympic Games at Sydney. In addition there was Capitol’s success in the CHIO Aachen of 2000 that had never happened to a sire before, with Cento and Carthago taking fi rst and second place respectively. two stallions are already very successful in the sport.
Meanwhile it is Caretino, internationally successful himself, and Contender succeeding the three heroes with successful offspring in sport and breeding.

The Holstein Horse as Showjumper
The Holsteiner horses are mainly disposing of a great jumping potential and willingness. After World War I the cavalry regiments disappeared. Thanks to the fast development of rural equitation the horses became more sporty. At that time Holsteiner horses were discovered as jumpers. With their enormous muscle power and the unshakeable loyalty and never ending eagerness the former “carrossiers” jumped into the top of German showjumping. We only want to mention Egly, in 1935 winner of the renowned Hamburg jumping Derby, Nordland under Marten von Barnekow, Olympic team champion in 1936 and winner of the Hamburg Derby in 1938, as well as Tora by Capenor, the Olympic individual champion of Berlin. After the total breakdown in 1945 nearly nothing had remained – except a great number of horses. Soon a great number of horseshows was shooting up, and again Holsteiner horses started their success. The fi rst Hamburg jumping Derby in 1949 was won by Käthe Schmidt-Metzger, a lady from Elmshorn, on the Holsteiner Fenek by Fasan. One year later Fritz Thiedemann won the sought-after oak garland with Loretto by Lombard.

It was the unforgettable Fritz Thiedemann who earned world-wide honour and glory for the Holsteiner breed with his horses. No horse in Germany ever was as loved as his Meteor by Diskus. For more than a decade the big bay one – who was awarded a memorial already in his lifetime before the ministry of economic affairs at Kiel- represented the term “Holsteiner”. He and his rider represented the soil they came from in a rare perfection. With Romanus by Ramzes and Fortun by Frivol xx Hans Günter Winkler (HGW) had great success, with Torphy by Reinald xx, however, he won team gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Also unforgettable is Classic Touch by Caletto II who won individual gold under Ludger Beerbaum in the Olympic Games of Barcelona in 1992. In the World Equestrian Games of 1998 at Rome it was Lianos by Landlord who helped Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa to become world champion, and Calvaro, ridden by Swiss Willi Melliger, “the white giant”, was the best horse in the fi nal of the riders. In the Olympic year Dobel’s Cento ridden by Otto Becker caused sensations. The couple fi rst won the world’s still most important show jumping competition, the Grand Prix at Aachen. In the Olympic Holsteiners competed in showjumping, they both contributed a great share to Germany’s team victory with two clear rounds.

At he World Equestrian Games of 2002 in Spanish Jerez everybody was talking about a Holsteiner mare: Fein Cera by Landadel. Under American Peter Wylde and later in the fi nal of the best 4 riders with change of horses, she only had one pole down in 9 rounds. At the European championships in Donaueschingen Cöster was the king. Under Christian Ahlmann he won the individual title and contributed mainly to which also Otto Becker and Cento belonged. At the World Equestrian Games of Aachen Holsteiner horses set standards in show jumping. The Cassini I offspring Cumano became the champion after a thrilling fi nal with change of horses, and with Verelst Curtis by Coriano and Eurocommerce Berlin by Cassini I, two horses from the country between the seas wre part of the winning Dutch Nations Cup team. Games at Sydney , where not less than 16 the gold medal for the German team, to CARLSSON VOM DACH, IN STYLE and CORRADINA

With a fast clear round in the jump-off Will Simpson and Carlsson vom Dach by Cassini I-Grundyman xx (Helmut Horstmann,Tarp) secured Team Gold fpr the Americans already early at the olympic games that took place at HongKong. In Style by Accord II-Lord (Hans Paulsen, Arlewatt) with Ian Millar won the Canadian Team Silver.
Corradina was placed third n the Grand Prix of Aachen under Carsten – Otto Nagel. She is only ten years old and has a future for coming championships.

Holstein Horses in Dressage
Elasticity combined with high gaits and much impulsion represent the Holsteiner’s potential of movements. Formerly the high knee action was met with a pitying smile by outside experts. Nevertheless, these horses were and are still requested by sport riders. Especially dressage riders appreciate these characteristics for an expressive piaffe and passage.

That is why there are over and over again dressage horses to talk about: the unforgettable, much too early deceased Dr. Reiner Klimke celebrated his fi rst important success in the dressage saddle on the Holsteiner Aar by Heissa when winning the German dressage Derby in 1960. Seven years earlier the bay one had won under Fritz Thiedemann the show jumping Grand Prix of Aachen – an impressive example for the versatility of Holsteiner horses.

Also Dr. Josef Neckermann counted on horses from the country between the seas. In 1966 he won Olympic team gold in Tokio with Antoinette by Anblick xx, eight years later – in the Munich Olympics – again a daughter of Anblick xx – Venetia – led him to highest Olympic merits. In the seventies there was Granat by Consul who was unbeatable in numerous championships under Swiss Christine Stückelberger, among others the couple won Olympic individual Gold in 1976 at Montreal.

Holsteiners in Eventing
Also in the third Olympic discipline Holsteiner horses are in the limelight over again. Mainly thanks to two riders. One who has been competing for the Holsteiner Verband for more than 30 years, and Elmshorn can’t be imagined without him: Herbert Blöcker. He owes his numerous eventing results mainly to Holsteiner horses. After having secured already in Montreal the silver medal for the German team with his fantastic ride without stirrup, his furious appearance in the cross country of the 1992 Olympics at Barcelona will remain unforgettable. Then he secured his individual silver and helped the German team to an unexpected bronze medal.

The second is Hinrich Romeike with his Marius by Condrieu xx – Laurin, bred by former Holsteiner Verband’s chairman Hans Werner Ritters. He won Team and Individual Gold medals in the HongKong Olympics 2008.

Holsteiners in Driving

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