Logo American Trakehner Association

The Trakehner Breeding Goal

As Defined in ยง21 of the Trakehner Verband Bylaws

The breeding goal is a riding and sport horse of Trakehner type, that is rideable and talented for many uses.

Selection criteria are the following:

I - Pedigree
[The breed is] based on the population of warmblood horses of Trakehner origin created in East Prussia, which carry high percentages of Thoroughbred and Arabian as well as Shagya Arabian and Anglo-Arab genes. In the German breeding area the Trakehner horse has been bred since 1945, according to the principles of maintaining a pure breed, from the genetic material of the East Prussian warmblood horse of Trakehner origin that was still available after the war .

II - Outward Appearance

Colors: all colors

Size: The objective is a height of 160 cm to 170 cm measured by stick at the withers (15.3 hands to 16.3 hands).

Type: The Trakehner, embodying the most noble German riding horse breed, is characterized primarily by Trakehner breed type. Desirable is the highly elegant appearance of a noble, harmonious riding horse with great lines, distinguished by its expression, nobility and striking features. Trakehner type is to be evident in a well defined, expressive head, a large eye, and a well shaped neck, sculpted muscles, as well as correct, clearly defined limbs. Breeding stallions and broodmares should also display the typical expression of their gender.

Undesirable are, in particular, a coarse, plump appearance, a big head, indistinct outlines, undefined joints and, in breeding stock, lack of gender expression.

Conformation: Desirable is a large-lined and harmonious body which enables the horse to perform in the disciplines of equestrian sports. This includes: a medium long neck that tapers towards the head; good freedom in the throatlatch; a large, sloping shoulder; well defined withers that extend far into a back that is able to perform its function, meets the requirements for an athletic sport horse and allows for a way of going that combines swinging, thrust, and balance; a long, slightly sloping, power-fully muscled croup as well as a harmonious division of the body into forehand, mid-section and hindquarters.

Also desirable is a well defined foundation matching the body with correct, large joints, medium long pasterns and well shaped hooves, promising long years of use; in addition, the foundation should include correctly positioned legs, that is, legs that are straight when seen from behind; forelegs that are straight when seen from the side, hind legs that have well coupled hocks set at an angle of approximately 150 , with each leg having a straight toe axis that forms an angle of about 45 to 50 with the ground.

Undesirable is an overall unharmonious body, particularly a short, heavy, low-set neck; a short, steep shoulder; short or undefined withers; a short or overly long, soft back; tight or convex loins; a short or straight croup with a high-set tail, no depth of barrel, and tucked-in flanks with a short area behind the ribs, incorrect limbs, including small, narrow or tied-in joints; weak cannon bones; short, steep or overly long, soft pasterns; and hooves that are too small, particularly with inwardly directed walls. Also undesirable are misalignments of the legs, particularly legs that toe in, toe out, are base wide or base narrow, calf-kneed, open-angled or scimitar-shaped, cow-hocked or barrel-legged.

III - Way of Going

Desirable are diligent, cadenced and ground-covering basic paces (walk - four-beat; trot - two-beat; canter - three-beat). The movement should be elastic and energetic, developed from the hindquarters, transmitted over a supple, swinging back to the forehand which freely moves forward out of the shoulder. The direction of movement of the legs should be straight and forward.

At the walk, the movement should be supple, energetic and elevated with clearly defined steps. At the trot and canter, there should be a clearly noticeable phase of suspension, with the movement being elastic, full of impulsion and light-footed, carried with balance and natural elevation of the neck. Some knee action is desirable.

Undesirable are, in particular, short, flat and non-elastic movements with a tight back, irregular movements and heavy movements that fall onto the forehand. Also undesirable are wobbling, rocking, paddling, winging, base-narrow, toeing-in, base-wide or toeing-out movements.

Horses are examined in hand as well as at liberty.

Jumping: Desirable is an elastic, scopey and deliberate jumping technique which displays calmness and intelligence. The jumping sequence should clearly show a collecting, a powerful and quick push-off at takeoff; a distinct, quick angling of the limbs (with the forearms being as horizontal as possible over the obstacle), a rounded back with noticeably projecting withers and a neck that is bent downward while the hind legs open up (bascule). During the entire sequence, the flow of the movement and the rhythm of the canter should be maintained.

Stallions may be examined during free jumping at the occasion of the stallion inspection.

Undesirable is, in particular, careless jumping and lack of aptitude, hanging legs, a high head over the obstacle connected with a hollow back in which the flow of movement and the rhythm of the canter are lost, as well as out-of-control and also hesitant jumping.

IV - Internal Characteristics
(Performance Aptitude, Character, Temperament and Soundness)

Desirable is an uncomplicated, friendly horse that is willing to work, not nervous but reliable, which, in the way it appears and behaves, gives a wide-awake, intelligent impression and reveals a good character and a calm, even temperament.

Undesirable are, in particular, horses that are difficult to handle, are nervous, timid or cowardly.

Also desirable are robust health, good mental and physical stressability, natural fertility and freedom from genetic flaws.

V - Summary

What is desired is a sound, large-frame and correct riding and sport horse of Trakehner type with harmonious lines, rideable, and talented in many ways, with impulsive, ground-covering, elastic movements. A good character, a well balanced temperament, intelligence, willingness to work, as well as endurance and hardiness during work are to be particularly apparent characteristics of its internal traits.

Weighing the various features in accordance with the breeding goal is the duty of the deciding commissions (inspection commissions) of the Trakehner Verband.