Name of breed: Aegidienberger
Country of origin: Germany
Breed origin: The Aegidienberger was developed in Germany by crossing the elegant Peruvian Paso with the the hardy Icelandic Horse. The first Aegidienberger was bred in the 1980s by a man named Walter Feldmann and his son, Walter Junior. The aim was to breed ‘a natural tölting horse [the tölt is the famously smooth extra gait of the Icelandic horse] who is elegant and easy to ride with a flawless character, energy and nerve.’ This horse needed to be slightly larger than the Icelandic while still being tough enough to withstand Germany’s sometimes-harsh weather. After crossing a purebred Peruvian Paso stallion with a purebred Icelandic mare, successive generations were carefully bred to create the Aegidienberger, whose bloodlines are 62.5% Icelandic and 37.5% Peruvian Paso. The Aegidienberger was officially recognised as a breed in 1994, when a studbook was created.
Distinguishing features: Like the Icelandic Horse, the Aegidienberger is strong and hardy, able to withstand the elements, and can naturally perform a fifth gait, the tölt. Peruvian Paso bloodlines have given the Aegidienberger refinement, elegance, flashy movement and a few extra inches of height. The breed stands between 13 and 15 hands high and can be any colour. It has a short, muscular and upright neck, proud head carriage, a strong and sturdy build and a thick, flowing mane and tail. Aegidienbergers are friendly, willing and full of character and enjoy being around people.
Modern day Aegidienberger: While fewer than 100 Aegidienberger horses registered in the stud book today, these horses are extremely rare. Those who are lucky enough to own Aegidienbergers enjoy using them for pleasure riding, showing and farm work.
Image credits: Gaedingar Group, Equus Forum.