The RHINELANDER and the WURTTEMBERGER are competition horses bred in Germany. The Rhinelander is one of the most recent breeds, developed in the 1970s, while the Wurttemberger is one of the oldest, having been bred at the Marbach Stud since the early 19th century from stock that had been established there for over 200 years.

THE RHINELANDER
The best of the German coldblood horses was the old Rhenish-German or Rhineland heavy draught horse, based largely on the Belgian Brabant It was once a popular workhorse in Rhineland, Westphalia, and Saxony, but with modern agricultural practice the breed became redundant and is no longer recognized in Germany.

Nonetheless, the Rhenish Stud Book was never closed and breeders, using the lighter specimens of the old breed, moved towards creating the warmblood riding horse now called the Rhinelander.

By the 1970s there were programmes to produce a recognizable type of riding horse for the growing leisure market. Stallions from the Hanover-Westphalia area were used onwarmblood mares sired by Thoroughbreds Trakehners and Hanoverians out of dams claiming a relationship with the old Rhenish breed. From this mix of bloods half-bred stallions were selected from which the modern Rhinelander has been developed.

The result is an undistinguished, but not unattractive, riding horse of about 1.68 m (16.2 hh), often chestnut in colour, which is well-suited to the needs of the club rider. The early specimens lacked bone, but that failing has now been eradicated. Breeders have concentrated on improving conformation and establishing the straight, elastic action for which the German breeds are particularly noted. As always, emphasis is given to an equable temperament. The Rhinelander may not yet be in the same class as the better-known Hanoverians and Holsteiners, but it is, nonetheless, a useful, if unpretentious, riding horse.

THE WURTTEMBERGER
The Marbach stud, one of the greatest of the European breeding centers, was founded in 1573. Early in its history it had established a reputation for good utility horses suitable for both riding and light harness work. These were produced by crossing the stud’s various breeds, which ranged from Spanish and eastern stock to heavy horse breeds.

The Wurttemberger, regarded as one of Germany’s classic warmbloods, evolved in the 17th century, when local mares of mixed origin were crossed with Arabs Spanish and Barb mares and Friesian stallions were also used in the 17th century. Without losing its Arab background, the early Wurttemberger was indebted to Anglo-Norman blood through Faust, a horse of cob type. However, the greatest influence on the modern breed is the Trakehner stallion Julmond, who came to Marbach in 1960 and is considered to be the breed’s foundation sire.

The modern Wurttemberger has lost some of its stockiness, but is noted as a very correctly proportioned riding horse. It is hardy, long-lived, has a quiet temperament, and is economical to keep. The action, which is energetic and true, reveals the Arab influence. Ht is a medium-sized horse, of good substance, standing at 1.63 m (16 hh) and upwards.

The Marbach stud, one of the greatest of the European breeding centers, was founded in 1573. Early in its history it had established a reputation for good utility horses suitable for both riding and light harness work. These were produced by crossing the stud’s various breeds, which ranged from Spanish and eastern stock to heavy horse breeds.

The Wurttemberger, regarded as one of Germany’s classic warmbloods, evolved in the 17th century, when local mares of mixed origin were crossed with Arabs Spanish and Barb mares and Friesian stallions were also used in the 17th century. Without losing its Arab background, the early Wurttemberger was indebted to Anglo-Norman blood through Faust, a horse of cob type. However, the greatest influence on the modern breed is the Trakehner stallion Julmond, who came to Marbach in 1960 and is considered to be the breed’s foundation sire.

The modern Wurttemberger has lost some of its stockiness, but is noted as a very correctly proportioned riding horse. It is hardy, long-lived, has a quiet temperament, and is economical to keep. The action, which is energetic and true, reveals the Arab influence. Ht is a medium-sized horse, of good substance, standing at 1.63 m (16 hh) and upwards.

Neither breed has as yet made its way to Australia though with the increasing popularity of breeding warmblood horses in Australia for horse competitions this is likely to change in the near future.