Name of breed: Knabstrupper
Country of origin: Denmark
Breed origin: This breed of horse was originally established in 1812 in Denmark when a chestnut mare with leopard complex blanket markings was bred to a solid-coloured stallion, producing a colt with dramatic spotting. The mare and her son were each bred to many other horses, producing many offspring with spotting and thus establishing the Knabstrupper as a breed.
Once a highly popular breed, the Knabstrupper was later crossbred with other horses and it is now not known if any purebreds remain. Today Knabstruppers are bred in Europe, UK, USA and most recently Australia and New Zealand.
Distinguishing features: Spots, spots and more spots is what this breed is known for. Coat patterns range from solid to a full leopard spotted coat, with many variants in between. The spotted colour patterns common in this breed of horse are also seen in other breeds, such as the Appaloose horse, though the two breeds developed independently of one another. The Knabstrupper generally has either warmblood or Baroque horse conformation.
Modern day Knabstrupper: Knabstrupper’s are used for general riding and do well in dressage and show jumping. They are also used as carriage horses and some can be seen in the circus.