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|Distinguishing features||Leopard complex colouring common.|
|Country of origin||Denmark|
|Knabstrupperforeningen for Danmark||Breed standards|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
The breed is usually around 15.2 to 16 hands (62 to 64 inches, 157 to 163 cm), but there are also pony sized ones (under 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm)). Coat patterns range from solid to a full leopard spotted coat, with many variants in between. The spotted coat is caused by a genetic mechanism called the Leopard complex and is the most prized color pattern. The spotted color patterns common in the Knabstrupper are seen in other breeds, such as the Appaloosa horse, though the two breeds developed independently of one another. The breed generally has either warmblood or Baroque horse conformation.
The Knabstrupper breed was first established in 1812 in Denmark. A chestnut mare with leopard complex blanket markings was bred to a solid-colored stallion, producing a colt with dramatic spotting. The mare her son were each bred to many other horses, producing many offspring with spotting and establishing the Knabstrupper as a breed.
This breed was once very popular, but later was crossbred with other horses and it is not certain if any purebreds from this breed remain. They do well in dressage and show jumping, and are used in general riding, as carriage horses and as circus horses. In 1971, three Appaloosa stallions were imported to Denmark to add new blood to the Knabstrupper breed.
Knabstruppers today are bred in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, and, most recently, Australia and New Zealand.
- Horse-breeds-list.com. Knabstrup horse breed information. Retrieved 2.8.09 from http://horsebreedslist.com/horse-breeds/53/knabstrup
- Horse-Owners-World. (2007). Knabstrup. Retrieved 2.8.09 from http://www.horse-owners-world.co.uk/breeds/knabstrup.html
- "Some History about The Knabstrup Horse". Knabstrupperforeningen for Danmark. 2005. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
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