Knabstrup horse breed information
The Knabstrup or Knabstrupper is a European horse breed with an unusual range of coat coloration. It shows the same color pattern as the Appaloosa, with coat patterns ranging from solid, through many variants to the full leopard spotted. Leopard Spotting is the most prized color pattern. It has warmblood comformation.
The Knabstrupper horse exhibits various color patterns. The most popular color pattern is the leopard with its solid white background covered with black, bay, or chestnut spots. Other patterns include the blanket, the snowflake, the snowcap, and the “few spot,” an almost solid white horse that, when bred, always produces a foal with a spotted pattern of some kind. However, some Knabstruppers are born with solid colors, such as bay, chestnut, or gray.
The average height of Knabstrup is 15.1 to 16 hands high, but there are also pony sized ones with height under 14.2 hands high.
Knabstruppers are valued for their kind temperaments, high level of trainability, strength, stamina and good health as well as for their wonderful color.
Knabstrup life expectancy
Knabstrup usually live from 20 to 35 years.
Believed to have originated from the prehistoric spotted horses of Spain, the Knabstrupper is one of the oldest breed registries in Europe. Established in 1812, the Knabstrupper started with a single chestnut blanketed mare purchased by a Danish butcher named Flaeb from a Spanish cavalry officer. The mare, who became known as Flaebehoppen (which literally means "Flaeb’s mare"), was purchased by Major Villars Lunn who owned an estate called “Knabstrupgaard” in Holbaek, Nordsealand, Denmark. Flaeb’s mare was bred to a Fredricksborg stallion and produced a wildly colored stallion son who was named Flaebehingsten. Between the two of them, Flaebehoppen and Flaebehingsten were bred to a large variety of good quality horses, producing loudly colored offspring and grand offspring and establishing the Knabstrupper horses as some of the most sought after in Europe at that time.
Danish officers often used Knabstrup horses as mounts during the war 1848-1850. (Schleswig war), but unfortunately, because of their eye-catching color, they made good targets for the enemy. In the Battle of Isted, 1850, two officers rode loud colored Knabstrup horses, and they both got shot. Colonel Laessoee's horse, a colorful mare "Nathalie", escaped unharmed as the colonel was shot, and in the years to come, she went on to raise offspring. One foal was named "Laessoee" after the fallen Colonel.
During the 1870es, began at the Knabstrup stables an unavoidable downfall. At the Lunn family the herd maintained at the time, between the Schleswig-wars, between 40 and 50 spotted horses, all descendent of the "Flaebe" mare. This inbreeding caused great difficulties in retaining colour and quality, and the breed began to regress. 22 Knabstrup horses was killed during a fire in 1891, and this fire, combined with the problems of inbreeding, caused the number and importance of the breed to become smaller and smaller.
1902 a tigered stallion from St. Petersburg was imported to Denmark. He got the name "Mikkel", and he was being bred by A.F. Rasmussen, until he was 25 years of age. Some years he was the father of 60 - 80 foals, half of them were more or less spotted. A Mikkel-son with the right colour, was sold to a dairyowner, and has probably been the foundation for the new generation of Knabstrup horses about 1930.
In 1954 the stud farm was culminating with 15 horses in the stables. It had a great reputation, and people from all over the country came to visit, until the finish in 1959.
"Association for promotion of the Knabstrupper in county of Holbaek" was still fighting, but with the foundation of "Danish Sporthorse Breed association" in 1962, which many Knabstrup breeders joined, everything was close to total chaos.
The Danish Knabstrup Association, known as the "KNN," obtained the European Union distinction as the 'mother organization' which all other EU verbands registering Knabstruppers must follow. The Danish "KNN" classify four types of Knabstruppers: the Sport Horse breed, Classic, Pony, and Minis. The Sport Horse type has been bred to excel in dressage, eventing and show jumping and has been developed by crossing the Knabstrupper with the warmblood sport horses of Europe, most notably the Danish Warmblood and the Trakehner. The Classic type is a shorter, broader horse reminiscent of a carriage horse or war horse and is very popular as a classical riding or even circus horse. The Pony breed type, is smaller still and is a favorite of children all over Europe.
Knabstrup interesting facts
The Knabstrupper received its name because its cradle was the Knabstrup farm in Denmark, and it was created from a chestnut mare with some white hair in her coat, which a Spanish officer left in Denmark after his war imprisonment. This chestnut mare was of roan or frost color which also often occurs in the Appaloosa breed. This mare now was bred to Frederiksborg stallions.
Knabstruppers originated in Denmark, but nowadays are bred in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and most recently the USA.
Knabstrup breed is very rare.
Alpha Omega Ranch
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Carmen, ID 83462 USA
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Waynesboro, VA 22980
Spot Of Luck Farm, USA