125 years Holsteiner Verband

    Breeding better horses together since 1883

    In 1883, the horse breeding societies already in existence in the 19th century united to form the first horse breeding association in the Kremper Marsch. In 1935, this association joined forces with the "Verband des Schleswig-Holsteiner Geestlandes" established in 1896 to form the "Verband der Züchter des Holsteiner Pferdes".




    More Recent History

    In 1944, the brand still in existence today was introduced. After World War II, the land between the seas saw an alarming decrease in horses. In 1960, with only 1311 Holsteiner mares left, the Schleswig-Holstein Parliament decided to dissolve the Traventhal state stud established in 1874. After a great deal of discussion, the Verband took over almost the entire Traventhal stallion portfolio and went on to build the Elmshorn stallion depot over the years. Currently round about 70 Verband-owned and approximately 200 privately owned activated Holsteiner stallions are bred, with about 8000 brood mares registered in Holstein today.


    Holsteiner Breeding

    In 1883, Georg Ahsbahs of Sommerlander Riep issued the first stud book. The mare families or stems still in existence and continued today that form the basis of today’s Holsteiner breeding originate from this systematic breeding records.   

    The middle of the 20th century has seen the adaption of the breed from agricultural horse to sport horse. Again, primarily English Thoroughbred stallions were successfully used to improve and refine the Holsteiner breed as they found an excellent basis in the consolidated Holsteiner mare families.

    During the 1960s alone, more than 25 TB sires were put to stud in the land between the seas, with one stallion in particular to put his stamp on the breed at this time: Ladykiller, a TB stallion born in England in 1961. He is the sire of Landgraf I, who had his monument erected in front of the Elmshorn stables already during his lifetime. Cor de la Bryère, who died in 1999 at the venerable age of 31, must be mentioned in the same breath with Landgraf I. Along with Ladykiller, "Corde", as he is affectionately called by the breeders, has had the greatest impact on modern sport horse breeding in the land between the seas. Another stallion to have made Holsteiner breeding history is Capitol I. Capitol I has sired numerous jumping horses and stallions known all over the world, like for example Cassini I, Carthago, and Dobel's Cento, to name only a few. 

    Due to existing breed characteristics including willingness to perform, hardiness, and jumping ability the Holsteiner sport horse has gained a foothold on the competition scene very quickly.

    The Holsteiners take a top position in the worldwide jumper stud book ranking of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horse (WBFSH). Holsteiner sport horses have made it to the forefront in the disciplines dressage and eventing, as well. This success is due to the consolidated Holsteiner damlines bred to English Thoroughbred improvement sires and the selective inclusion of French sport horse performance genes. Moreover, exceptional performance stallions have been selectively included into the breeding programme on a trial basis.