The Hanoverian Horse and its New Zealand Bloodlines

Written by on August 26, 2001 in Bloodlines with 0 Comments

The year was 1735 when George II – Archduke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, also King of England, established the State Stud in Celle with 12 Stallions “for the good of our Subjects and maintenance of good horse breeding in our German Land”.

266 years of Studbook and breed development – 
What a superb feat and proud record.

The Hanoverian Horse is a Warmblood, “warm” relating to temperament rather than temperature. The Draught is a cold- and the Thoroughbred a hot-blooded animal and the European Warmblood, of which there are many, are a mixture of those “pure breeds”.

14 November, 2010

14 November, 2010

Warmbloods are bred on the same principle as our NZ Sheepdogs, to achieve utility and performance. What we can expect of them is already genetically embedded and needs only development and training to maximise this inherent potential into an absolute top class riding horse.

The differences between the Thoroughbred (xx) and Warmblood are obvious in temperament and conformation.

The TB is a racehorse bred to go as fast as possible from A to B.

The Warmblood is a work and nowadays riding / pleasure horse, which could never win a race, but gives the rider an utmost comfortable ride (most of the time).

The body angles between frame and limbs are more sloping.

The strong neck is set high and the back is rather short than long but strong.

The shoulder, rather long connected to long upper arms with relatively short cannon bones, allows the front legs to reach far forward and move freely and high. The hindquarters are connected by powerful long upper legs with “low set hocks” to a short cannon bone. This construction allows the hind leg to reach forward right under the centre of gravity carrying the horse in suspension, lifting ideally the front just about off the ground. Thus creating through the power from behind and the lightness in front the typical Warmblood movement, which gives spectators and riders Goosebumps.

The Hanoverian has made a significant transition from the old farm work horse and mount for warfare to a modern riding horse – willing to work, trainable with correct foundation, supple yet powerful movement enhanced by a stabile temperament.

A Thoroughbred just goes forward – by nature.

A Warmblood wants to be ridden forward – by the rider.

And have no doubt about it – all of them can be resistant and stubborn at times.

Due to the fact that the Warmblood is not a purebred animal the interior and exterior can be changed “at will”.

The refinement of blood in the Hanoverian mares was until recently achieved by using Trakhener Stallions, which have been replaced in modern breeding by Thoroughbred Stallions.

This is where New Zealand and Australia come in.

The exception to the rule, made by the German Hannoveraner Verband, was that only these two countries in the world were allowed to use selected TB mares for breeding to Hanoverian Stallions, whose progeny are registered in the Hanoverian Studbook.

When the first Hanoverian Stallion came into our country it did not really matter what bloodlines were brought in. The criteria at the time (1977) were conformation and general suitability to cover strong NZ Thoroughbreds.

At this point it is time to thank Kalman de Jurenak and our very own Eric Ropiha for their foresight in gathering interested breeders into a syndicate importing the first Hanoverian Stallion WINNEBAGO. A proud bay, 16.2 hh by Winnetou – Ferdinand – Goldfisch II, a pure Hanoverian with no TB content. Unfortunately Winnebago had a very limited career – he was gelded and sold as a riding horse to the USA.

In 1978 the NZ Hanoverian Society received a replacement stallion for Winnebago: WITZBOLD also by Winnetou. But with a difference his dam-line made via Lugano II, Domspatz, Doemitz I.

We had movement and very good jumping ability in Winnetou, which now in Witzbold was more than doubled up.

Lugano II is by DER LOEWE xx, a TB stallion, invaluable for the Hanoverian breeding directly after the WW II. This stallion was a “Veredler”, a horse which refined and made the hanoverian progeny more noble – a feature very much needed, as the purpose of the Hanoverian horse changed drastically from a working farm and war horse to a riding / pleasure horse.

The TB content in Witzbold’s blood was the secret to his instant success in NZ.

The possibility with blood connection combined with conformation selection of a mare to a specific stallion is the unshakeable concept of Warmblood Breeding.

I save lauding Witzbold’s progeny; we do know his exponents in Dressage as well as in Show Jumping.

In 1983 Kevin Cholmondeley-Smith stood the 16.2 hh chn stallion ALLERMUND by Absatz / Alcantara / Aumund only had two seasons.

He died in 1984 of a twisted bowel.

For us as breeders the next stallion import to NZ was important:

The syndicated DISTELFINK standing at Longspring Stud Masterton, a 16.2 hh chestnut by DISKUS had his first season in 1982.

Diskus is by Domspatz / Doemitz I, the blood connection to Witzbold was there as far as jumping was concerned. Distelfink carries in a latent way a valuable gene for dressage/riding ability in his dam line in Duden II and Duellant as well as Mongole being a son of Monitor xx.

This is important to note as this bloodline will connect perfectly with Dynamit and produced both jump and movement.

Distelfink has proven to be the show jumping sire in NZ.

In 1984 GENIUS arrived at Te Peka Stud, Wyndham. A 17hh bay by Garibaldi I (Grande – Graf – Goldfisch II) Marcio xx and Duellant. His dam is by Diskus (Domspatz/Doemitz I) and Cypern (trak.).

As you know by now, this was connecting blood.

In my book GENIUS gives size to his offspring. He has extremely good jumping and dressage bloodlines, however confirmation matching is of importance with this representative of the famous “G”line.

In July 1991 Vollrath Stud purchased DYNAMIT black, 16.3 hh who started serving on his arrival in January 1992. He was line-bred on Doemitz I four generations back, the connection to Witzbold, Distelfink, Genius and the stallion to arrive Anamour.

Further connecting blood is via Goldfisch II and Duellant. Eger II / Agram, a grey show jumping magnate in the 50s, introduces new blood via his dam Elfie.

Outstanding is Dynamit’s sire Dynamo having had a breed ranking of 5th in show jumping and 8th in dressage. Dynamit himself continued to do what he did in Germany: leaving tremendously gifted dressage horses.

1995 heralds ANAMOUR, black 16.3hh by Aalborg / Lombard. This syndicated stallion is an absolute complement to all resident Hanoverian bloodlines in NZ.

Here are names in his pedigree, which you have read before:
Absatz / Dynamo / Lugano II / Der Loewe xx / Duellant.

This young stallion had in his first crop Adagio, a foal at foot, as the Supreme Champion at the Warmblood Show 1997 in Christchurch followed by the Junior Champion Davanti by Dynamit. Both offspring are out of the Vollrath Stud bred mare Drummer Girl by Distelfink / Llanstephan xx.

It is the breeding up the line past the first TB cross that will make future outstanding sport horses.

At Vollrath we are only too pleased not to have any TB mares left in the breeding programme. The initial TB mares have served their purpose – the immensely valuable starting block in the much-wanted TB blood connection. This however more and more in the background of the dam lines, which provides still a beautiful link to the TB blood in Hanoverian stallions.

In 1996 Vollrath Stud purchased the 2 ½ year old Colt WORLDWIDE PB liver chestnut, 165 cm licensed and ready to go to the 100 day test, where he was placed 16th of 40 in ride ability and 34th in jumping denying him the license from the Verband.

Dressage blood, never before on foot in NZ, is united in WORLDWIDE, 16.2 hh by Weltbuerger / Weltmeyer / World Cup I and Eisenherz I / Absatz and in his dam line with Brentano II / Bolero / Pandur / Grande / Garibaldi II.

Eisenherz I and Pandur providing the jumping genes.

Worldwide is the only Hanoverian stallion in New Zealand who is being competed, and on his very first attempt he scored the NZ National Novice Dressage Champion-ship 2000 as a 5 year old.

The latest import by Shelley Williams into this country is the performance tested (27/43) DREAMBOY born 1995 chn. by Dream of Glory / Donnerhall / Pik Bube out of Erntekrone by Eisenherz II / Lukas.

He provides the breeder with potent blood for dressage and jumping.

Dedicated breeders have also imported well-bred Hanoverian mares by Don Primero, Donnerhall and Weltmeyer.

In closing I would like to say:

Since the floodgates of breeding have been opened via frozen semen the potential for breeders seems to be unlimited — one would think! However to breed a super foal you do not only need a stallion but a super mare as well — and truly I wonder where are all the Hanoverian mares 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation. We need deeply bred Hanoverian Mares to be able to go back to the TB.

Blood over Bone – is the way to go.

Are we at Vollrath the only ones who have them? Please tell us about your mares!

First published in Impulsion magazine, 2001


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