The stud farm and the breeding of the Zweibrückener horses emerged during the reign of Christian IV (1740 1775). The duke, an established rider and hunter himself, had encountered the English breeding standards, especially those of the English Thoroughbred during a trip to England. The newly gained insight was to become the foundation of his own breeding program. The year 1775 is considered the official foundation year of the breeding program of the Zweibrückener horse.
Christian the IV released a decree that regulated the access of stallions, owned by the duke, at stud farms outside the dukedom of Zweibrücken. In order to improve the lines of the existing breed the duke introduced bloodlines of Thoroughbreds and Normänner as well as the Arabian stallion VEZIR. The resulting medium sized, sturdy horses, which had to perform well at Parforce-hunts were well suited as courier and cavalry horses.
Duke Karl II August (1775 1795), the nephew and successor of Christian, continued the breeding program according to the standards of his predecessor and he stated in his breeding regulations:
In order to provide our loyal subjects with growing prosperity, and to ensure that finances stay within the state, we will be dedicated to breed equally beautiful as useful horses according to the spirit of the dukedom. This was to become the motto of the breeding program of the Zweibrückener horses.
The importance and appreciation of the Zweibrückener horses was demonstrated by the purchase of 150 stallions and an even greater number of broodmares by the Prussian king.
This period began in 1816, when Zweibrücken became part of the Bavarian kingdom.13 stallions and two mares from the original breeding stock were purchased. Together with some Bavarian, Persian, Arabian and English stallions a new breeding stock was formed. The First World War marked another significant change in the breeding program. Horses were no longer bred for riding purposes. The breeding program focused on horses to be used for agricultural purposes.
The recreation of the breed of due to its temperament, character and Rittigkeit was forced by the industrial revolution, horse were no longer needed for agriculture and transportation. The national stud farm was remodeled according to the dwindling demand for horses. In 1960 Zweibrücken became the stallion depot (national stud farm) and the former main stud farm Eichelscheid was closed and leased to the Trakehner Verband. The last Zweibrückener stallion, FEUERWERK, that carried the Zweibrückener brand left in 1969.
Under the main term Deutsches Reitpferd (German Riding horse) the breeding program of the Zweibrückener horses was strongly influenced by the stallions from Trakehnen and later form Hannovarian decent. The number of stallions at stud established in the 60's (20-25) is maintained in recent days. Determined by the motto; the horse has to prevail the new breed was reborn to serve as partner in leisurely recreation and as a sport horse. The breeding standard thrives for a noble, correct horse of substantial built with fluid, powerful movements with suspension that is suited for riding disciplines of all kinds due to its impeccable temperament, character and Rittigkeit.
The Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar registry now holds 25,000 horses (and ponies), 3,000 brood mares (horse and ponies) (20 25 stallions at stud) for 40,000 affiliated riders.
The breeding program still remains loyal to the original goals and remains thankful to the national stud farm since it provided the breeding program with a backbone in difficult times. They provided a guarantee for a consistent breeding program of the highest standards to promote Sporthorses for riding and driving. Our responsibility is the qualitative and partly a quantitative amelioration of the Sporthorse for the horse enthusiast. The collaboration between the Zuchtverbänden (breeding association) and the Landesgestüt (national stud farm) contributed considerably to the success of German horse breeding and worldwide esteem.
The Pferdezuchterverband Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar e.V. was formed in 1977, and still maintains the registry today. Many out standing and internationally successful horses have emerged from the ranks of this breed. Such notables include Lucky Lord ridden by Margit Otto-Crepin in the 1996 Olympic Games, Romantico a Zweibrucken gelding ridden by Robert Dover at the 1984 Olympic Games as well as Apricot D by Alexis is ranked as one of the top two most successful show jumpers of all time. His rider Hugo Simon of Austria has achieved international success on two other Zweibruckers, Magnum and Amaretto D.
In 1995 the Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar Verband looked to expand its territory to North America and the Pfalz-Saar-Pfalz-Saar International was born. This is not a counterpart but rather an extension of the original Verband. Following the guidelines of the parent Verband, the R.P.S.I. will allow North American horses to be entered directly into the European Studbooks by giving them a life number. The main goal of this breed is to preserve and expand the quality of sport horses in all disciplines. We believe in breeding for character, bloodlines and performance.The information and pictures in this section were kindly provided by the Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar International Registry. To learn more about the Zweibrucken warmblood please visit their website - click here
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Updated: October 2005.