Profile: Trakehners are the oldest European warmblood, with a closed stud book dating to 1732. Over time, Trakehners have been systematically “engineered” for performance—first as cavalry mounts purpose-bred from the best horses moved from seven of the Prussian king’s royal breeding farms to a new royal stud at Trakehnen, in East Prussia, and since then as the refined sport horses that have gained the breed its international acclaim. As late as 1939, the Trakehner inventory was estimated to be more than 250,000 horses, but only about 1,500 could be found after World War II due to massive losses on the Russian front. A few young stallions survived the war by being evacuated to the state stud at Celle, in Hannover, Germany, where they significantly influenced the bloodlines of the Hanoverian breed. Today’s Trakehner, with a population one-tenth the size of other warmblood breeds, continues to be used as a refiner in other registries, but no other warmblood has ever been allowed into the Trakehner breed.Characteristics: Trakehners are characterized by great substance and bone, yet are considered to be the lightest and most refined of the warmbloods, with the head clearly showing the Thoroughbred and Arabian blood in the breed. It is a superb performance horse known for its expressive “floating” trot, elegant canter and powerful hindquarters, making it prized for the Olympic sports. But perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of the Trakehner is its temperament: keen, alert and intelligent, while being very stable, accepting, and eager to please.