Believed to have originated from the prehistoric spotted horses of Spain, the Knabstrupper is one of the oldest breed registries in Europe. Established in 1812, the Knabstrupper started with a single chestnut blanketed mare purchased by a Danish butcher named Flaeb from a Spanish cavalry officer. The mare, who became known as FLAEBEHOPPEN (which literally means "Flaeb’s mare"), was purchased by Major Villars Lunn who owned an estate called “Knabstrupgaard” in Holbaek, Nordsealand, Denmark. Flaeb’s mare was bred to a Fredricksborg stallion and produced a wildly colored stallion son who was named Flaebehingsten. Between the two of them, Flaebehoppen and Flaebehingsten were bred to a large variety of good quality horses, producing loudly colored offspring and grand offspring and establishing the Knabstrupper horses as some of the most sought after in Europe at that time. By the 1870’s the breed’s continuation was severely threatened as the limited number of Knabstrupper horses led to inbreeding. Then in 1891, a fire at the Lunn family stables destroyed 22 of its top breeding horses. By 1900, the breed’s numbers and quality had declined significantly. But supporters of the Knabstrupper horses continued to fight for the survival of the breed, and in 1947 the stud farm “Egemosegaard” attempted to reestablish the breed. In 1971, breeder Frede Nielsen brought three Appaloosa stallions to Denmark to infuse new blood into the breed. This was a logical step, as the American Appaloosa developed directly from the Spanish spotted horses that were brought to the New World from Europe by Cortés and Coronado in the early 1500’s.

The Knabstrup or Knabstrupper is a European horse breed with an unusual range of coat coloration. It shows the same color pattern as the Appaloosa, with coat patterns ranging from solid, through many variants to the full leopard spotted. Leopard Spotting is the most prized color pattern.


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