The Knabstruper breed came about relatively recently and as the result of a single mare's strong characteristics. Spotted coats were evident in cave paintings and have been popular throughout ancient and modern times. The founding mare, Flaebenhoppen, was bought from a butcher who acquired the Spanish horse from a Spanish army officer. The mare produced a line of spotted horses that became popular as circus horses.
The most obvious characteristic of the Knabstruper is that which also distinguishes it from other breeds: its spotted coat. The horse has been bred almost primarily for its coat in recent time; however, this had led to a degeneration in breed conformation. The purebred Knabstruper, although rare, has a kind and intelligent head with a white sclera encircling the eye. The back is generally straight, a peculiarity of the Knabstruper and Appaloosa, and the quarters powerful.
In 1808 the mare Flaebenhoppen was acquired by Judge Lunn. She proved to pass on her spotted coat when crossed with Frederiksborgs. The resulting horses were tough but intelligent and tractable, and, in general, a close resemblance to the Frederiksborg but more lightly built. In recent years, the breed has lost much of its original conformation due to the modern practice of breeding the Knabstruper with the Frederiksborg.
1. Spanish 2. Frederiksborg
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