This breed was created by the German zoologists Lutz Heck and Heinz Heck in their attempt to recreate the tarpan. They started their back breeding programme in the early 1930s. They believed that all living creatures were the result of their genetic make-up and that genes could be rearranged like the pieces of a puzzle to recreate certain vanished species. Only breeds that still had living descendants could be recreated because those living breeds would be a source for genetic material. The tarpan still has these living descendants in the form of domestic horse breeds. The brothers selected Polish Koniks, Icelandic Ponies, Swedish Gotlands and Polish Primitive Horses from the preserve in Bialowieza. Mares from these horse breeds were then mated to stallions of the Przewalski horse, because the Heck brothers felt that the blood of this wild horse would serve as a catalyst to draw out the latent tarpan characteristics dormant in these more modern breeds. At first the Przewalski horse influence was too strong, but by 1960s the brothers succeeded to produce a horse, which resembled the skeletal evidence of the extinct tarpan in the archives of Munich Zoo. One characteristic of the true tarpan that the Heck brothers did not succeed in recreating are the upright manes. The first bred back "tarpan" or Heck horse, a colt, was born May 22, 1933 at the Tierpark Hellabrunn in Munich, Germany. These horses still survive as Heck horses.
The Heck horse is a breed of horse that resembles the extinct tarpan. This breed was created by the German zoologists Lutz Heck and Heinz Heck in their attempt to recreate the tarpan.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Heck Horse".