Holsteiner Broodmare Lines

History & Developments

The members of our breeding district breed Holsteiner horses all over the world.
This is accomplished mostly by means of artificial insemination, providing German and international breeders with almost boundless opportunities. To a great extend, our breeders use mares from well-known and proven female lines. In horse breeding, the female line plays an important role. Originally, important information on female families and relatives was shared in the Holsteiner breeding districts or passed on through the stallion stations. Given today’s great number of breeders all over the world, this is no longer an option.
The history of the Holsteiner horse can be traced back to 1225. As early as in the 16th century, when sturdy yet elegant riding and carriage horses were bred, export was of great importance. The Hanoverian state stud Celle started operating with 12 Holsteiner stallions in 1735. By the end of the 18th century, foresighted Holsteiner breeders had realized the importance of a consistent documentation of the female lines. A simple number code was developed and established. In this context, one name deserves a special mention: Georg Ahsbahs. He published the first volume of the “Gestütsbücher in den holsteinischen Marschen” (studbooks of the Holstein marshland) in 1886. He started collecting pedigree information in the Elbe marshes, attributed the horses to the appropriate female lines and assigned numbers to these lines. Hence the so-called stem numbers evolved, which are still continued. The female lines with the low stem numbers originate from the Elbe marshes, where Georg Ahsbahs started compiling the pedigree information, which means that the consecutive numbering does not involve any ranking of the stems according to value or success.
Stem numbers are passed on through the foals and printed in the registration papers according to the female lines/stems listed in the Holsteiner Verband stem register. Each foal is given the its dam’s stem number.
Upon request, the Verband will assign new stem numbers, provided that the last 4 generations have been registered in the Verband studbook.
So far, 8900 stems have come into existence. By now, due to the great structural changes in farming, most of them have disappeared again.
In 1949, 16376 registered mares were listed, in 1960 only 1300. In 1990, the number had increased to 4800 registered mares. The about 7800 registered broodmares listed in 2006 come from only 515 stems.
The entire breed rests upon the quality of the female lines. Whereas primarily the young stallions representing the crème of the crop used to be presented and commented on in PFERD + SPORT, in issue 9 – 2009, for the first time ever, the 2009 Holsteiner champion mares have been pictured as well, along with interesting information on pedigree and female line.

Present Situation

“In horse breeding, excellence does never happen by chance!“ the great horse expert Maas J. Hell says in the preface to his book ‘Die großen Hengste Holsteins’ (The Great Holstein Stallions), which is definitely worth reading. As a general rule, exceptional breeding stallions and brood mares do come from reliable and well-bred female lines; the same is true for sport horses.

For example, in the last years, horses from the stems 162 and 890 have repeatedly caused a stir due to exceptional results as world-class breeding and sport horses.
The stem 162 has produced several Olympic competitors, Cöster, Carthago Z, Waterford Crystal, and Canturo. The stallion Canturo was bred by Herbert Diederich of Niestetal (Hesse) out of a Calando I mare.
Just now, many hopes are pinned on Cancara .The 2004 born stallion by Cassini I out of a Corofino I mare was raised by August Bartjen of Bad Zwischenahn (Lower Saxony). Two horses from the stem 890 currently compete very successful in the international show jumping circuit, Casall la Silla (Rolf Göran Bengtsson) and Conally (Markus Renzel). For several years, the stem had been successfully represented at international shows and championships by the Cassini I son Eurocommerce Berlin (Wim and Gerco Schröder). Licensed as a stallion under the name of Caspar, he was bred by Josef Unkelbach of Köln out of a Caretino mare. Josef Unkelbach is also the breeder of the Verband-owned stallion Carentan by Caretino out of a Contender mare. The dams of both stallions go back to the mare Frimella by the TB sire Freeman, a mare which competed with great international success under Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst.

What did he say again? “Excellence does never happen by chance!“  
You are interested? Then you may want to take a look at Holsteiner Stutenstämme, a book by Claus Schridde providing more and very detailed information. Published in 2008, 3rd printing, by Asmussen–Verlag.
Sandra @ Asmussen-Verlag.de


04. 11. 2010

!! Neuer Programmablauf !! vom 04. - 06.11.2010 Der ...

04. 12. 2010

5. Forum der Holsteiner Jungzüchter, 14.00 Uhr in Elmshorn

05. 12. 2011

 Vorführung der Verbandshengste in Neumünster