The Hessen horse breeding
began at the courts of Hessen's dukes and princes, during the 15th
century. The 'Dillenburger Ramsnasen', a cross-breed of native mares,
Spanish, Neapolitan and Anglo-Arabian stallions bred at today's
still existing State Stallion Depot at Dillenburg, became gifts
for other royalties throughout the world. A couple of stallion depots
have been founded by the dukes and princes. Those in the northern
and middle part of Hessen were joined with the State Stallion Depot
at Dillenburg in 1870. In 1957, the depot at Darmstadt, south of
Hessen, was also transferred to Dillenburg. Now, there is a balance
between the supply of high quality, state-owned, and private stallions.
For a long time, at the Beberbeck stud farm, stallions highly influenced
the Trakehner and Hanoverian riding horses, Later on, the Hessen
breed became more of a workhorse.
During the 1950s, there
was a change in the Hessen from the heavier work and carriage horse
to the lighter, more elegant riding horse. The modern, today-version
of the Hessen Riding Horse is based mostly on the successful genes
of the Hanoverian, Westphalian, Oldenburg, and Holsteiner. All the
major bloodlines are represented in the Hessen. The most famous
Hessen horse of all times has been Hans-Gunter Winkler's legendary
World Champion, and Olympic Champion, Halla. One of the first modern
type sport horses to claim international successes was Floriano,
who became a European Dressage Team Champion in 1987, and the worldwide
highest prize money winner in the same year. Also there was the
prestigious show jumper Intermezzo, who was, for a decade, the most
successful show jumper in Belgium.
The Hessen is an excellent
quality horse that can be used for many disciplines and levels of
equestrian sports...such as show jumping, dressage, three day eventing,
driving, vaulting, endurance, reining, or pleasure. The Hessen has
a good temperament, expressive paces, and great jumping abilities.
The major part of the breeding lies in the hands of rural breeders
with extensive experience in horse breeding, that is quite often
passed on in their families for generations.
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