kinsky horse

The development of the Kinsky horse is closely linked with the history of the Kinsky family and in particular Count Oktavian Kinsky. The family of the Count had for decades predominantly bred Thoroughbreds for horse racing or steeplechasing. The first known mention of the breed term "Kinsky horse" or the now-protected designation "Equus Kinsky" is from the year 1838, with the creation of modern sport horse stud book. Previously, the horses were known only as the special horses bred by Count Kinsky. At the beginning of the Dark Ages circa 1200 it is said that a Bohemian Princess was out hunting when her entourage was attacked by wolves; most of the group scattered but one man called Kinsky (Tynsky) remained to protect his charge and slayed three of the wolves. In gratitude he was bestowed the title of Count and granted a coat of arms bearing three wolf teeth. Now in a higher aristocratic circle he amassed greater wealth and power. In 1516 Count Kinsky founded stud to produce the supreme horse, Bohemia's golden horse. His descendants kept a herd of Bohemian horses on their land and annually would select the best for cavalry. The horses with the best stamina, strength, boldness and amenable personality suitable for battle and loyal to their riders were preferred. Eventually these special horses were noticed as far superior to anything sourced elsewhere in Europe and orders were made to the Kinsky family to provide mounts exclusively for officers of the Emperor's army. In 1813 Countess Kinsky arrived in Vienna for the International Congress riding a golden Kinsky horse; this attracted huge attention and the golden Kinsky became sought after throughout Europe; in 1838 the original Kinsky stud book was replaced by a modern sport horse stud book (Equus Kinsky). Finer boned horses, the emerging thorughbreds of England, brought in from the late 18th century onwards enriched the herd, particularly under the direction of Count Oktavian Kinsky. He may have been somewhat eccentric, an account says Oktavian would drive his coach and horses straight up his castle's steps and into the hall. In 1874 Count Oktavian Kinsky introduced an exhausting steeplechase, the Paradubice where his own horses ran in competition with others and were frequently placed - and sometimes won. Count Charles Kinsky rode the Kinsky mare Zoedone to win the Grand National at Aintree England in 1883 but the next year at the same race event his horse collapsed. The horse was not raced again and was retired to the Kinsky stud. The occupation by the Soviet Union in the late 1940s resulted in an exodus of the Kinsky aristocracy and the dispersal of the Kinsky herd. However, some members of the Kinsky family together with a loyal staff desperately clung to a herd of Kinsky horses and eventually resurrected the breed. Until 1989 the Kinsky horse was lost from the world but after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 new contact with the west brought the breed greater recognition. The people of Bohemia and the Czech Republic consider the breed an emblem of their country and the horses are now protected legally from extinction.

The Kinsky horse or Equus Kinsky Europe's original sport horse was bred until the middle of the 20th century in Bohemia, a part of the modern-day Czech Republic. At one time it was the most prominent breed in that part of the world.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kinsky Horse".