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The History of the Haflinger Horse
All haflingers are descended from the stallion Folie 249 who was born in 1874, the result of a cross between a Tyrolean mountain mare and an Arab stallion. There is a common misconception that the Tyrolean mountain horse was a heavy draft or pack horse, this was not the case. Records indicate that this mountain horse was of warmblood origin and was not related to the commonly seen Noriker horses of the area.
At around the turn of the 20th century the Haflinger had a typical height of 150 cms (approx 14.3hh) and 18-19 cms of bone (approx 8 inches), so the basic foundations were of a reasonably lightly framed horse. It was during the Second World War that the breeding programme became sidelined and the Haflinger became the smaller stockier horse that we often associate with as the founding type.
The North Tyrolean Breeding Association was founded in 1921, and after the Second World War the Association reformed in 1946 to implement a breeding programme to restore the Haflinger to a lighter framed animal and to manage the Stud Book for pure bred haflingers.
The seven blood lines for stallions (A, B, M, N, S, ST & W) originate from the founding stallion Folie. Five of these lines can be directly traced back to the stallion Liz. 42 Mandl (1904) and from him back to Folie’s son 54 Genter (1897).
Only the A and W line can be traced directly to Folie.
The Haflinger was used as a light workhorse in the high mountains, to carry supplies to remote villages and farms and for working in the forests. With advances in machinery the Haflinger had to find a new purpose as a leisure and recreation horse.
After many generations of selective breeding the pure bred Haflinger has now become a versatile all round athlete with good character.