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This page has been sourced from REC.EQUESTRIAN, the body of the text has been unaltered as far as possible. The information is for use at own risk. Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1993 15:05:57 CET From: Dr. Lutz Massonne Newsgroups: rec.equestrian

The Westphalian
Der Westfale

Like its neighbour state, Hanover, also Westphalia has a jumping horse on its coat of arms, and in both states horse breeding has a long standing tradition. In 1826 the state stud ("Landgestuet") at Warendorf was founded, and in March 1904 in Muenster the Westphalian Breed Registry opened. In the beginning the Westphalian was bred based on Oldenburg blood, also Anglo-Normandy stallions were used. But since 1920 the Westphalian warmblood breeding is based on Hanoverian blood.

The goal is a character-wise flawless, large riding horse with quiet temper, usable for shows as well as for pleasure riding. Lately, some excellent showjumpers of Westphalian breed have been found, an important marketing factor at the promotion of this breed. Also in the most difficult section, in combined training or military, Westphalian horses have shown their high quality. A gathering point for thousands of horse enthusiasts is the yearly stallion parade at Warendorf. Well-known Westphalian horses were the showjumper "Rasputin", the military horse "Sioux" and the dressage horse "Mariano" (not to forget "Rembrandt" - LM). After Hanover, Westphalia has the largest number of registered broodmares in Germany.

Exterior: Noble head, long neck, long sloping shoulder, high withers. Well muscled back, long muscular croup. Strong legs with massive joints. Size: 165 to 175 cm Colour: all colours Usage: Sport and pleasure horse for all purposes

Westfale: warmblood breed, local in Westphalia. In the old horse breeding state of Westphalia already in Roman times horses were bred. In the course of the centuries wild horses survived in marshy parts unsuitable for farming, five of these wild herds existed until the 19th century. The last of these regions today is the "Merfelder Bruch" near Duelmen, known far across the borders of Westphalia (featuring the last herd of (semi)-wild horses in Germany. The annual catching of the young stallions and subsequent auction is a public attraction - LM). Many clueless breeding attempts, lasting until the turn of the century, did not form a unique and stable horse breed, although already in 1826 the state stud at Warendorf was founded and breeding regulations had been issued to start planful breeding.

A breed based on Oldenburg and Anglo-Normandy blood started in 1900 ended with the first world war, as those horses were not suited for the Westphalian soil. The draft horse breed founded at the same time, however, earned world-wide recognition until the second world war. After the first world war the warmblood breeding was started again, based on Hanoverian blood with some Thoroughbred and Trakehner influence, which was very successful. Second to Lower Saxony, Westphalia is the second important horse breeding region in Germany with 10,000 broodmares, about 120 state stallions and many private stallions. The exterior of the Westphalian is similar to the Hanoverian.

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Updated: October 2005.