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Trakehner is a horse breed. The Trakehner stands between 15.2-16.3 hands high and can be any solid color, with bay, gray, chestnut and black being the most common. It is considered to be the lightest and most refined of the warmbloods, due to its closed studbook which allows entry of only Trakehner, Thoroughbred, and Arab lines. Thus, it is used as a "refiner" of other breeds, allowing an infusion of Thoroughbred and Arabian blood without the risks often involved in first generation outcrosses.

Owing to its Thoroughbred ancestry, the Trakehner is of rectangular build, with a long sloping shoulder, good hindquarters, short cannons, and a medium-long, well-set neck. The head is often finely chiseled and dry. Its gaits lack the high knee action often found in other warmbloods, and it is known for its "floating trot" - full of impulsion and suspension.

While Trakehners compete in nearly all equestrian disciplines, they are particularly prized as Dressage mounts, due to their sensitivity, intelligence and way of going.

The breed's origins trace back to the native East Prussian Schwaike, a small primative horse first discovered by the Knights Templar in the 13th Century. Descendants of the Schwaike were used by East Prussian farmers for light utility work.

In 1732 Friedrich Wilhelm I established the Main Stud Trakehnen, and in the early 19th Century Thoroughbred and Arab stallions were brought to the stud. East Prussian farmers were encouraged to bring their mares, by then known for their hardness and quality, to Trakehnen's stallions, which allowed for the rapid transformation of the breed into much sought after army remounts; sure-footed, intelligent, and athletic. By 1918 60,000 mares were bred to East Prussian stallions each year.

In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles limited Germany's army to 100,000 troops and so the breed's focus was again turned to producing horses suitable to farm duties. For this purpose, heavier reinforcement sires were used, the most successful being Ararad, Dampfross, Hyperion, Pythagoras and Tempelhueter. These stallions, while refined, possessed much substance and bone. Their influence is still seen on the modern Trakehner.

World War II nearly destroyed the breed. As the war neared its end and the Russian troops advanced from the East, the Main Stud and local residents were given permission to evacuate. Their journey West, known as "The Flight", sent the horses on a dangerous journey in frigid conditions, across frozen seas, without proper rations or shelter. When the war was over, the breed which once numbered in the tens of thousands was reduced to approximately 600 broodmares and 50 stallions.

The surviving horses were accounted for and on October 23, 1947 the East Prussian Studbook Society was dissolved and the Association of Breeders and Friends of the Warmblood Horse of Trakehner Origin, known today as the Trakehner Verband, was created. Among the greatest obstacles the organization faced was that unlike other German breeds, the Trakehner had no mother state and could not depend on government funding. The re-establishment of the breed originally depended on the determination of its members and the largesse of others.

Today the breed is considered a Federal responsibility, with its governance falling under both the Trakehner Verband and the Trakehner Gesellschaft mbH; the latter handling all business operations.

Stallion inspections are held each October and approved stallions are required to complete extended performance tests, which rate the horses' gaits, temperament, jumping ability, and suitability over a cross country course, before being given full breeding licenses.

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