Der Löwe

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Der Löwe (1944–1973) was a successful stallion who had a great impact on the breeding of Warmbloods and is thought by some to be one of the most important post-war stallions to stand at stud.[1]

  • Color: Dark brown
  • Markings: Sock RH, Snip
  • Height: 15.2 hh (1.58 m)
  • Sex: Stallion
  • Breed: Thoroughbred (in the Hanoverian and Holstein studbooks)
  • Breeding: by Wahnfried, out of Lehnsherrinl, by Herold
  • Breeder: P. Mühlhens, Röttgen stud


Der Löwe includes in his pedigree Dark Ronald, son of Bay Ronald, both of whom are well known for their profound influence on the breeding of warmbloods. Dark Ronald was successful on the track and in the breeding shed in Britain, before being shipped to the German state stud of Graditz. In Germany, Dark Ronald went on to become one of the most prolific stallions ever imported, producing sons such as Prunus, Herold, and Wallenstein.

Der Löwe's sire, Wahnfried, was the winner of the German St. Leger. Wahnfried's pedigree includes 1903 English Triple Crown winner Rock Sand, who was also grand-sire to Man o' War. Great-grandsire Tracery won the St. Leger and sired many excellent racehorses in Britain.

Pedigree for Der Löwe
1944 Dark Bay

Pedigree of Der Löwe
b. 1961
br. 1918
br. 1909
Rock Sand
b. 1905
St. Simon
b. 1983
ch. 1971
blk/br. 1931
blk/br. 1917
Dark Ronald
br. 1905
Bay Ronald
b. 1908
Ard Patrick
Lapis Electrix
dkb/br. 1920
blk/br. 1906
Galtee More
Leben Und Leben Lassen
b. 1913
Marta Santa
Line of Life

Performance and breeding career[edit]

Der Löwe was used as a racehorse for the first years of his life, and was a successful stakes winner, most notably winning the Grosser Preis von Baden in 1948. He was then sent to the Hanoverian stud at Grossenworden at the age of 7, to begin his breeding career. Der Löwe stood at Grossenworden from 1951 to 1961, before standing at Luhmühlen from 1962 to 1968, Otterstedt from 1969 to 1971, Sottrum in 1972, and Bargstedt in 1973. His breeding career spanned 20 years, during which time he produced 6 state stallions, 158 registered mares, as well as 314 competition horses who earned winning of DM750,000.

In his career, Der Löwe produced many international-caliber sport horses, known for their expressive movement (although they were usually quite sensitive to sound). Show jumpers included Der Lord and Loriot, both ridden by Hartwig Steenken. In eventing, Löwenstern was very successful with Nils Haagensen. He also sired dressage horses such as Karin Schlüter's Liostro, Erika Scharzkopf's Löwenherz, Carola Lampe's Lanthan, Holger& Inge Schmezers' Lady Lou, Hans-Jürgen Armbrust's Leopardin, Marjolyn Greeve's Lucky Boy, John Winnett's and Leopardi.

Perhaps most known were Lugano I and Lugano II, full-brothers sired by Der Lowe. Lugano I sired good dressage horses, as well as superb show jumpers. Lugano II produced the stallion Lombard, making him grand-sire to Lanthan and Leubus.

Although 10 of his grandsons or great-grandsons stood at the Celle Stud in the 1980s, his influence has been slowly decreasing. He has had a more lasting impact on the breeding of Belgian jumpers, through his grandson Lugano van la Roche. Additionally, he is one of only a handful of Hanoverian stallions licensed by the Holstein Verband for breeding.

Der Löwe died at the age of 29. His skeleton is displayed at the Verden horse museum.