The Holsteiner is one of the most well-known show jumping horses on worldwide level in the stud. This success is based partly on the introduction, in the past, of thoroughbred blood.
This created, in the 19th century, the Holsteiner breed.
In an article in the review "Sport Horse Bering", Dr. Thomas Nissen states:
'…many Holsteiner brood mares have the blood of famous thoroughbreds.
Marlon XX, Ladykiller XX to name but a couple; the stallion Grundyman XX, who sired many extraordinary brood mares, which in turn gave birth
to excellent performers, such as the champion CANDILLO, out of the brood
(Today DESY is owned by the Stud Farm J)
In any case, one of the formulae that has never changed in the Holsteiner breed is the quality of the brood mare, continues Dr. Nissen.
The breeder must use only top quality brood mares.
A Holsteiner breeding programme is based on the dams.'
Here we are talking of families, called “Stamm”, i.e. maternal strains.
The first genealogy book "1 Gestütbuch der Holsteinischen Marschen" was published in 1886, but the first registrations of brood mares started only three years later, and since then the numbering system has never been changed.
In 1885 agricultural horses were bred in the Schleswig-Holstein region. It was Georg Ahsbash who divided the brood mares into “families”: they started out with 1777 families and today there are 515.
After WW2 there were only 1000 brood mares. The breeders set up a federation, purchased the Pferdezentrum and its stallions and subsequently founded the Holsteiner Verband.
Maas J. Hell was revolutionary for the Verband, and started to sell Holsteiner horses, organizing events and competitions.
Today the Bundeschampionat Warendorf is increasingly a showcase for breeders.
We owe the discovery of the great progenitor Cor de la Bryère to him. Mass J. Hell died in 1997, leaving his mark on the Holsteiner breed; Thomas Mohr continues this work.
Today there are many breeders who breed as a hobby and for tradition!
The Holstein region is between the outskirts of the city of Elmshorn and the Elbe river where… “the wind sweeps the marshy areas”!
The first Holsteiner Stallion Station was Haselau, founded in 1906.
Top ranking founding stallions were stationed here: Amblick XX, Marlon XX and Ladykiller XX, founder of the "L" line, sire of the stallions Landgraf I and Lord.
Cottage Son XX co-founder of the "C" line, descending from whom are stallions of the calibre of Capitol I, in turn the sire of stallions like Cento, Carthago, Cassini I and II and Indoctro…
The first time I set foot on the Harm Thormählen stable-farm I found myself back in the 18th century, represented by a traditional period stable with
a charming attached house filled with trophies.
I had a sort of “illumination”, the feeling that this was the sacred place I had been looking for.
At the time horses were used in place of tractors, and this meant hard work. When the first tractor arrived in 1950, the farmers sent their horses to the slaughter, but Harm Thormählen’s father, who was a rider whose hobby was jumping, continued to use his jumping mares, which were also used for work.
So he kept all the brood mares and left Harm a genetic heritage that allowed him to continue the stud farm that produced CAPITOL I, a great success for the Holsteiner Verband, as he sired excellent foals and also won more prize money than any other stallion in the world!
It goes without saying that I fell in love with the history of the Holsteiner and immediately made it mine. Without delay, I started to study their history and lines, their show jumpers, their brood mares and the various cross breeds, above all with thoroughbreds and then with Anglo-Arabs and Anglo-Normans, as well as the lines with French blood.
Harm Thormählen is considered one of the most intelligent breeders of show-jumpers in the world today.
The selection of stallions and brood mares in this Holsteiner stud book is made with rigor and skill; it is a true selection, where only the best enter the breed, to allow constant improvement of the lines.
Being light years away from this organisation, we can but admire these greater breeders and try to understand their secrets and imitate their work. Today, 60-70% of show jumpers have Holsteiner blood.
what I think I have learned...