The Russian Trakhene - Horse breeds, horse breeding and types of horse.   
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  The Russian Trakehner

Russian Trakehners are superb competition horses.
They are less demanding than their European cousins

The Russian Trakehner is slightly different from its European cousin. It is rangier and lighter and its legs are generally cleaner, especially cannons and fetlocks. It is an excellent mover. The Russian Trakehner is used to herd keeping, and hence is more economical to keep. Although not as enduring as endemic Russian breeds the Russian Trakehner compares favorably with his cousins from Europe.

Average measurements of Russian Trakehners (cm)
Stallions Mares
Height 167.4 163.6
Body length 170 168
Chest girth 195 192
Bone below the knee 21.4 20.8

Performance of Russian Trakehners

The Trakehner is very popular in Russia as a competition horse: whereas in the world Trakehners rank the 10th as dressage and showjumping horses, in Russia Trakehners come second. Some Russian Trakehners have been extremely successful in sports. The famous Pepel was many times European and World champion, Topky and Espadron were placed at Olympics, and Prince (Khokei-Pavana) is now one of the best competition horses in Europe. Other outstanding Russian Trakehner performers were Kover, Epigraf, Epokha, Ghercha, Aeron, Tantal, Paket, Fat, Farkhad, Fokus, and many others.
The field for the Gran Pardubice steeplechase in Czechoslovakia is largely Trakehner.



Because of the influence of Thoroughbred blood, the Trakehner is a highly courageous horse. In Russia Trakehners are carefully bred for performance, trainability, and manageability


The Trakehner originated in what used to be East Prussia and is now a part of Russia. In the early 13th century, the province was colonized by the Order of Teutonic Knights. They established the Trakehnen studs using the indigenous Schweiken as a base. These ponies were plain and often common, but they were also tough and hardly. Schweiken Ponies descend from the Konik Pony — a direct derivative of the primitive Tarpan. They inherit the Tarpan’s extraordinary natural vigor and powers of endurance.
In 1732, Friedtich Wilhelm I of Prussia founded the Royal Trakehner Stud Administration. This stud was the main source of stallions for all Prussia and the area quickly established a reputation for elegant coach horses. Within 50 years, the emphasis shifted to producing army chargers and remounts of a quality unsurpassed in Europe. Thereafter, increasing use was made of English Thoroughbred and Arab blood, which balanced deficiencies of temperament and constitution.
By 1913, most Trakehner stallions were Thoroughbred. The greatest influence was Perfectionist, son of Persimmon, who won the English Derby and the St Leger in 1896. The best of his sons, Tempelhuter, provided a powerful line that is recognized as the foundation for the modern Trakehner.


The Trakehner has an excellent conformation, which, overall, is like that of a Thoroughbred of substance. It is full of the quality that has earned the breed the title of “noble” — a word much used in describing what may be regarded as Europe’s finest warmblood. It also has an unmistakable character and expression, not always so evident in other warmbloods. It is a wonderfully balanced horse — athletic, agile and having great freedom of movement at all paces. Russian Trakehners are slightly rangier, they combine height with a light, powerful build and an overall elegance of conformation.
The refined head of the Trakehner exemplifies the background of English Thoroughbred and Arab blood. There is width between the expressive eyes. The alert, mobile ears are always held well. There is ample length to the elegant neck. The withers are long. The ideal Trakehner has good, well-shaped shoulders. The back is strong and often straight. The loins are muscular. The croup is broad and powerful. Good, strong limbs and joints are a feature of the Trakehner. It stands close to the ground on shortish legs and cannons and has ample bone. The hoofs are often harder than with other warmbloods.

Trakehners in Russia

Trakehners were first brought to Russia in 1925 from East Prussia. Most of them were used as remounts for the Russian cavalry. When bred, the mares appeared to be unsuitable for herd keeping and most of them miscarried.
A second group of Trakehners came to Russia in 1945. They were all concentrated at the Kirov stud on the Don river. Although the bulk of the breed is still at that stud, many good individuals are now produced elsewhere, specifically at private studs. The largest of them is Oros-L near Kaluga, 200 km away from Moscow.


Russian Trakehner Stud Book

In 1974 the first volume of the Russian Trakehner Stud book was issued by the Russian Institute of Horse Breeding. Six volumes appeared ever since. The Russian Trakehner Stud Book is related to the German Trakehner Stud Book.


Russian Trakehner Association

In Russia there is a Trakehner association based at the Russian Institute of Horse Breeding. Its chairwoman is Dr. Dorofeeva.

Trakehner racing in Russia

Russian Trakehners are raced on the flat and over hurdles. The following are some of their records:

1200 m (6F) — 1 min 17.4 secs

1600 m (1M) — 1 min 42.0 secs

2000 m (1M 2) — 2 min 11.0 secs

2400 m (1M 4) — 2 min 34.0 secs

3200 m (2M) — 3 min 37.0 secs

For further information please visit the Oros-L Stud
Troika, the ultimate Russian horse resource centre All the information and photographs for this section were kindly provided by Troika, the ultimate Russian horse resource online. For further information on Russian horses and horsemanship please click here

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