The Holsteiner or Holstein horse is the product
of systematic breeding that has been
ongoing in the northernmost province of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein,
since the thirteenth century. This area is one of the most successful
horse breeding regions in Germany and the Holsteiner is one of Germany's
oldest breeds of warmblood. The Holsteiner horse traces its ancestry
to Neapolitan, Spanish and Oriental foundation stock that was carefully
crossed with the native stock of the region.
The breed has emerged
as one of the great German sporting horses,
particularly suited for jumping, dressage, driving and eventing and
has been very influential the the development of other warmblood breeds.
Today, the Holsteiner can be found finishing at the top of the standings
in most international equestrian eventing and driving competitions
including both the Olympic Games and World Championships.
Their temperament is relaxed and willing, with
good character and an eagerness for work. The quality of breeding stock is ensured through
the annual Breeding Stock Inspections or Keurings.
The American Holsteiner Horse Association
was established in 1977 to promote and support the enjoyment and breeding
of the Holsteiner Warmblood horse in North America and is the registry
and studbook for Holsteiners in North America. Its primary goal is
to develop the Holsteiner into the world's most successful sport horse.
The Hanoverian horse is a warmblood horse which is bred to excel
in the equestrian disciplines of jumping, dressage, eventing and driving.
The breed originated in northern Germany in the state of Lower Saxony,
the former kingdom
of Hannover, where a flourishing horse-breeding industry has existed
for 400 years.
Refining stallions, primarily Thoroughbreds were crossed with domestic mares to improve
the quality of horses for cavalry and farming. Through the years the Hanoverian breeding
program has adapted to the need for a more athletic riding horse, introducing other breeds
as appropriate. The result is the modern Hanoverian horse.
Since the end of World War II, the breeding goal has been exclusively to produce a
versatile performance horse. Breeding stock is carefully selected for correct
conformation, athletic ability and inner qualities such as disposition and trainability.
The Hanoverian has natural impulsion and light and elastic gaits characterized by a
ground-covering walk, a floating trot and a round, rhythmic canter. The success of
Hanoverian horses in competition proves the soundness of this breeding program - 13 medals
in the 1992 Olympics and four consecutive World Breeding Championships as well as five
gold, one silver and two bronze medals in dressage and show jumping at the 1996 Olympics.
the American Hanoverian Society (AHS) was incorporated for that purpose.
Over the years the Society has worked closely with the German Hanoverian
Verband (the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzuechter) inspecting breeding
stock, registering horses and licensing and performance testing stallions.