THE HOLSTEINER HORSE
The Holsteiner Horse originated in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Northern Germany and is the product of a systematic breeding program that orignated over 700 years ago. The modern Holsteiner is of medium frame and stands 16 to 17 hands, with a powerful hind leg, strong back and loin. His arched neck rises from a well-angled shoulder to a small head with a large, intelligent eye. This conformation adapts itself easily to "self-carriage" -- that expressive, elegant quality so essential in modern equestrian sport. When the Holsteiner Horse begins to move, his reputation as one of the world's finest sporthorses is understood.
The German Holsteiner studbook is one of the smallest studbooks in Europe with approximately 6% of the total equine population. However, it has consistently produced some of the world's most successful international horses in a range of disciplines. At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Holsteiners dominated the proceedings. In Dressage, Granat won the individual Gold Medal and Madrigal won the Silver. Albrant won the Silver Medal in Three Day Eventing, and Trophy earned a Silver in Show Jumping. The same year, Emil Jung won the World Championships in Combined Driving with a team of four Holsteiners.
That high performance quality has carried on into the present era. Calvaro V, an 18-hand grey gelding, won the individual silver medal in show jumping at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, and was voted Best Horse at the 1998 World Equestrian Games. Despite her Hanoverian brand, Olympic Gold Medalist Ratina Z is by the Holsteiner stallion Ramiro and her second dam is a Holsteiner mare. Ratina Z won the prestigious Grand Prix of Aachen. In 1999, Landlady, an American bred mare, was short listed for the USET Three Day Eventing team for the Pan American Games.
In North America, most of the top show jumping riders have had at least one Holsteiner in their string, including Anne Kursinski (Indeed & Canyon), Margie Goldstein Engle (Hidden Creek Alvaretto, Hidden Creek Christo), Hap Hansen (Roxett 7), Tim Grubb (Elan Coriana, Elan Lorestan), Susie Hutchison (America I), Nona Garson (Capital S), Leslie Howard (Concerto), and Richard Spooner (Ace).
Holsteiner stallions continue to produce some of America's top dressage horses, including Lifetime, USDF Horse of the Year at Second Level. In the Adult Amateur divisions, where good temperament is of the utmost importance, both Contango, USDF Horse of the Year at Grand Prix, and Jagger, USDF Horse of the Year at Fourth Level, are by Holsteiner stallions.