Knabstrupper

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Knabstrupper
Conservation status
Other names
  • Knabstrup
  • Knabstrupperhesten
Country of originDenmark
DistributionGermany, Denmark, Italy, Australia [4]
Standard
UseRiding, driving, vaulting
Traits
Weight
  • Average 500 kg (1100 lb)[2]
Height
  • 15.2 to 16 h (62 to 64 inches, 157 to 163 cm) [5]
ColourPredominantly spotted[2]

The Knabstrupper or Knabstrup is a Danish breed of warmblood horse. It is principally a riding horse, but is also used as a harness horse and as a circus animal.[6] The breed usually has a spotted coat. Injudicious breeding for this characteristic alone compromised its constitution and conformation;[7][8] in the years after the Second World War the mechanisation of agriculture led to a sharp fall in numbers, and by the 1960s no more than 100 horses remained.[9] In the twenty-first century it is an endangered breed, with a world-wide population estimated at little over 2000.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

The breed is usually around 15.2 to 16 h (62 to 64 inches, 157 to 163 cm), but also pony-sized ones (under 14.2 h (58 inches, 147 cm) are found. 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. 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. They can be any color except piebald or palomino, but are most often spotted.[2]

Breed history[edit]

Mare and foal

The Knabstrupper descends from a single mare believed to have originated in Spain who showed qualities of endurance and speed, and who possessed an unusual color pattern: she was a deep red (German: Zobelfuchs) with a white tail and mane, and white flecks or "snowflakes" over her whole body and brown spots on her back.[5] She was called Flaebehoppen, 'Flaebe's horse', because she was reportedly bought by a butcher named Flaebe from an officer of the Spanish army. He sold her to Willars Knudsen Lunn [da], who took her to his estate at Knabstrup Hovedgård in the kommune of Holbæk in northern Zealand.[8] There, in 1808, after a month of testing of her working capabilities, he bred her to a Frederiksborger stallion.[5][7] The stallion Mikkel, a grandson of this pair, foaled in 1818 and was a noted harness-racer and a foundation stallion of the Knabstrupper breed.[5][7][8] In 1971, three Appaloosa stallions were imported to Denmark to add new blood to the Knabstrupper breed.[10]

Use[edit]

The Knabstrupper has long been used as circus horses, and are well-suited to driving and equestrian vaulting.[7] It is also used in dressage, jumping and eventing.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, Dafydd Pilling (editors) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Archived 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Breed data sheet: Knabstrupper / Denmark (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2022.
  3. ^ Breed data sheet: Knabstrupper / Germany (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2022.
  4. ^ Transboundary breed: Knabstrupper. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d Porter, Valerie; Alderson, Lawrence; Hall, Stephen J.G.; Sponenberg, D. Phillip (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (Sixth ed.). CABI. p. 480. ISBN 9781780647944.
  6. ^ Rousseau, Élise (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton University Press. p. 64. ISBN 9780691167206. OL 26939697M.
  7. ^ a b c d Edwards, Elwyn Hartley (2008) [1994]. The Encyclopedia of the Horse. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 114–115. ISBN 9780756628949. OL 21938319M.
  8. ^ a b c d Edwards, Elwyn Hartley (2016). The Horse Encyclopedia. New York, New York: DK Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 9781465451439.
  9. ^ Irina Wenk (2020). The ideal horse: politics and practices of Knabstrupper breeding. In: Kristen Guest, Monica Mattfeld (editors) (2020). Horse Breeds and Human Society: Purity, Identity and the Making of the Modern Horse. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781032084428.
  10. ^ "History". Knabstrupperforeningen for Denmark. Retrieved 6 October 2023.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]