Europe - Poland

Photo supplied by Trakehner Verband - Germany©
Trakehner Stallion Windfall, best eventer of the world in 2003 (winner of Panamerican Games) and Bronze (Equipe) in Athen 2004, ridden by Darren Chiacchia

The Trakehner is one of Germany's oldest warmblood horses. Breeding of the Trakehner started in 1732 when Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, now Poland, established the Royal Trakehner Stud Administration. Thoroughbreds and Arabians were crossed with local horses, descendants of the Schweikens. The influence of the Thoroughbred can still be seen in the breed's elegant outline. At the end of the 18th century a determined effort in breeding let to a great demand of the Trakehner, which was used as a carriage horse and later in the army. The elegant, tough Trakehner flourished until World War II. During the autumn and winter of 1944 thousands of horses were evacuated before the arrival of the Russian troops. Most of them were mares with foals on foot, who did not survive the 1,450km journey to the west of Europe. More than 25,000 horses were registered in the East Prussian Stud Book but only approximately 1,200 made it to the West. Many more were lost in the difficult conditions of post-war Germany.
Eventually breeding resumed with great effort and success. In 1947 the executive director of the East Prussian Stud Book Society, Dr Fritz Schilke, had located most of the remaining Trakehners in the West and founded the West German Trakehner Verband and Stud Book.
The Trakehner has been used in the development of the Danish, Dutch and Swedish warmbloods.

elegant outline
Head: refined head; large eyes; small, tapered muzzle
Neck: elegant, tapering
Shoulders: deep, well sloped
Body: strong, medium length body; moderately long back; well ribbed; well rounded, strong hindquarters
Legs: hards limbs; short cannon bones, good joints
Feet: extremely sound
Color: any solid color
Height: average 16 to 17hh
Temperament: spirited, alert, intelligent, willing to please
Qualities: endurance, stamina, courage, natural balance, great movement, athletic

Good confirmation, endurance and a spirited temperament makes the Trakehner an ideal horse for equestrian competitions. Stamina and courage make the horse suitable for the tough sport of carriage driving.