Prepared with information supplied by Trakehners Australia
The Trakehner is a pure warmblood horse breed, first imported to Australia in the 1970s. The Trakehner name comes from the Trakehnen Stud, where this high-class, all-round horse was exclusively bred for use by the royal household of Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia.
The Trakehner horse's East Prussian Schweiken ancestors were the preferred cavalry horse of the Teutonic Knights.
In 1944, during the Second World War, the advance of the Russian Army forced the Trakehner horses from their homelands, though what became Poland and East Germany, to safety in West Germany. From an original studbook of nearly 27,000 horses, only 700 mares and 60 stallions survived the harsh conditions encountered during the flight through Russian-occupied territory.
In 1947, in a determined bid to save the breed from extinction, the Trakehner Verband governing body was founded in West Germany, with a structure that would eventually influence all aspects of warmblood breeding across the world.
The Trakehner Verband only allow upgrading of the breed through the limited use of high-quality Thoroughbred, Anglo-Arab and Arab stallions, which are graded into the breeding studbooks alongside stallions with Trakehner blood.
The successful regeneration of the horse from the original small number of survivors is testament to the value of the breed today. Around the world, many Trakehner breed societies work in liaison with the Trakehner Verband in Germany. Trakehners Australia is part of the worldwide Trakehner Verband community.