from The American Haflinger Registry
BREED: Haflinger Horses
ORIGIN : The Haflinger breed was
founded on the indigenous small horses of the Tyrolean Mountains oriental half-blood 133 El`Bedavi XXII (1868) with the stallion 249
DESCENT : After the stallion Folie,
crossing with a horse from another breed is not permitted either on the
side of the stallion or the mare. Pure breeding is the
primary guideline for the breeding objectives of the American Haflinger
Color : Color may range pale chestnut
to dark liver chestnut with pale mane and tail. Color impurities in the
base color, as in roaning, black spots etc. are undesirable and
excessive deviations will be judged as negative and strongly discouraged
for breeding animals. Color impurities in the mane and tail are
undesirable and excessive deviation from white or flaxen will be judged
as negative and strongly discouraged for breeding animals.
Markings : Head markings are desirable,
but not a prerequisite, too many markings are undesirable and can go as
far as being strongly discouraged. Leg markings are not desirable: One
white leg will not be penalized, two white legs will result in a one
point deduction, three white legs will result in a two point deduction,
and horses with four white legs or white above the knees or hocks will
be strongly discouraged from breeding. A white leg is a white sock that
extends above the fetlock joint. White markings are signified by a
change in skin pigment.
Size : The desired size is from 54 in.
to 60 in. Non-achievement of the minimum size should result in the horse
being strongly discouraged from breeding. The maximum size may be
exceeded in the case of an excellent or outstanding exterior evaluation.
Type : A desirable
appearance of the horse is one of elegance and harmony. To this belongs
a lean and expressive head with large eyes, well formed neck and supple
mid-section, a good croup not too divided and not too short, a distinct
musculature as well as correct, defined limbs with good joints.
Stallions and mares for breeding should have clearly defined masculine
or feminine features.
Undesirable is in particular a stout,
plump non athletic appearance, a coarse head, unclear contours,
undefined joints, and coarse limbs as well as a lack of defined
masculine or feminine features.
Body structure: A harmonious body
structure that is suitable for all-round pleasure horse. It should have
the following qualities:
- The head should be noble and lean, the size in harmony with the
horse, with large forward pointing eyes and wide nostrils. The
head should have enough poll freedom to allow for correct flexion,
a clean connection of the head to neck through the jowl area and
correct positioning of the ears.
- The neck should be medium long and slimmer towards the head,
with no bulky lower line, not too wide and demonstrate good
freedom of the lower jaw muscles.
- A pronounced withers reaching well into the
back, large diagonally lying shoulders and
sufficient depth of chest are the most striking distinguishing
features of the forehand.
- The back should be medium long and muscular as
well as displaying swinging, load bearing capacity and balance in
- The hindquarters should have a long, slightly
sloping but not too steep with a not too obviously divided
well-muscled croup. The tail should not be set
- All in all a harmonious distribution of the
forehand, mid-section and hindquarters is to be aimed for.
- Front and hind limbs are extremely important and should have
correct conformation and clearly pronounced joints, with a broad
and flat knee-joint and a broad strong hock. A
full range of bone measurements proportionate to height shall be
considered, with special attention to the quality of the cannon
bone, as indicated by an oval shape, clean connection to both the
fetlock and pastern joints, and clear definition of the tendons
and ligaments. Seen from the front and from behind limbs should
show straight conformation, seen from the side a straight standing
foreleg and hind leg angled at approximately 150° at the hock as
well as a hoof angle of approximately 45° to 55° to the ground
are desirable. The pasterns should be moderately long and well
developed. The hooves should be round, distinct and hard.
- The stride should be correct, supple and of a
pure rhythm without serious faults.
- The horse should have as good as possible long-reaching swinging
stride at its disposal with an elastic and not too flat
gait, showing good impulsion from behind.
- In particular an excellent character without
vices and an even temperament.
Not Desirable is :
- A lack of harmony in the body structure and a lack of features
defining masculinity or femininity.
- A head that is coarse or too big, a Roman nose or even a too
wide or too small head are undesirable. In compliance with AHR
licensing requirements, faults of the mouth such as parrot or
monkey mouths will exclude stallions from being licensed. These
faults in mares are strongly discouraged.
- In particular a short, heavy or deep-set neck structure.
- A small, steep shoulder, a short or less pronounced withers or
too little depth of chest.
- A back that is too short or overlong, or soft or too stiff. The
loin coupling is of great importance: The longer the distance from
the withers to the coupling and/or the longer the distance from
the last rib to the point of hip, the weaker the back. A high
waist as well as narrowness from left to right sides over
the loin coupling also indicates weakness. Structural strain or
breakdown is indicated by lumpiness in this area. .
- A short or straight croup with a high set tail or a too broad
and strongly divided croup.
- Incorrect limbs such as the following: small, slim or restricted
joints, too weak or too massive cannon bones and short, steep or
too long or too soft pasterns as well as small or too steep
hooves, in particular with inwards or outwards directed frog as
well as the following conformations; pigeon toed, splay footed or
knock-kneed or bow-legged front legs, narrow or wide at the hocks.
Further undesirable are calf knees or bench knees, steep or
sickle-hocked, cow-hocked or bandy-legged limb conformations.
Movements: The basic gaits: Desirable are hard-working
rhythmic and swinging basic gaits (Walk 4-time, trot 2-time, canter
3-time). The movements at a walk should be relaxed energetic and
elevated. The movements at the trot and gallop should be supple,
swinging, light on the feet with a noticeable swinging phase and with
a natural suspension. The clear thrust of the foot from an active
working hindquarter should be transferred over a loosely swinging back
to the anticipating forehand moving freely from the shoulder. Some
knee action is desirable. In particular the canter should demonstrate
a clear forwards and upwards springing sequence.
Undesirable are especially short, flat and non
supple movements with a stiffly held back, heavy movements falling on
the forehand or movements without rhythm as well as, pigeon-toed,
traveling wide, splay-footed movements, interference, brushing or
INTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS/HEALTH :
Desirable is a horse with a strong character, a good-natured,
strong, all-round, eager and able to perform, an easy feeder,
resistant, and easy to acclimatize that is useful for all purposes. In
particular this is valid for riding, driving and vaulting in the
pleasure and sport sector, but also as a working horse for pulling and
Breeding Horse Classification:
For recognition of the predisposition for performance the following
features will be examined:
- Character and temperament as observed by the judges during the
inspection and measurement process.
- Conformation, shown standing in hand.
- Basic gaits (walk and trot) shown on the triangle
- Free schooling, including canter or gallop
The Classification of breeding horses aged 6 or over are final
decisions, the judgments will not be revised up or down afterwards,
however, an owner is entitled to one appeal and the opportunity to
re-present the horse one time only at a later inspection under
different judges. The decision at the second inspection will be final.
The measurements for entry in classification records are typically
taken at 3 years. These measurements correspond to the minimum and
maximum sizes laid down in the breeding objectives. Failure to attain
the minimum height at 3 years means the animal will be strongly
discouraged from breeding.
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Tyrolean region of Austria boasts the strictest, most rigorous and
oldest breeding selection program in the world.
As is the case in many European countries, the
government controls the breeding of the national breeds. Stallion and
mares must undergo testing and inspection at the ages of one and three
years old in order to be allowed into the studbook. Standards are set
high and no exceptions are made. This strict control has resulted in the
development of superior foundation stock which cannot be matched by any
other country. All other breeding programs world wide can trace their
stock back to its Tyrolean roots. In addition, Austria's Tyrol is home
to the largest and most diverse gene pool. Careful protection of the
rarest as well as the most popular bloodlines in both mares and
stallions play a key role in the Tyrolean breeding philosophy.
Stud farm in Ebbs, Austria, has long been recognized as the hub of
Haflinger excellence in the Tyrol. As well as standing some of Austria's
best stallions, representing all seven bloodlines, it is also home to
many of the most famous mare families in the world. Annually, the select
sale of weanling fillies from the Tyrol and Voorarlberg regions is held
here, with over three hundred of the finest fillies offered for sale.
The Fohlenhof also is the site of the spectacular World Haflinger show,
held every five years, with the next one scheduled for June 1st, 2010.