The Russian Trakehner
Mister X is referred to as a Russian Trakehner based on the fact that he is a Trakehner born in Russia, and of the same genetic background as Trakehner horses elsewhere. So how did a separate Trakehner studbook come about in Russia? Prior to World War II, there was only one Trakehner studbook, which existed to produce the most versatile riding horse at the time. Only horses born at the Main Stud Trakehnen in East Prussia, founded in 1732, were called Trakehners—their blood-identical relatives that were born at the farms of private breeders in the East Prussian province were called East Prussian Warmbloods.
After the Main Stud had to be evacuated before the advancing Red Army in the winter of 1944–45, a large number of the best horses were loaded onto trains, but were eventually lost to the Russians because their trek ended just behind the Eastern lines in what would become the German Democratic Republic. Consequently, some of the best breeding stock from Trakehnen landed in the Russian Kirov stud, where a Trakehner herd was maintained for decades, producing some of the best sport horses the breed has ever had. Looking at Mister X’s pedigree, you can see that after 1944 many of the registered German Trakehners suddenly have their offspring registered as Russian Trakehners. Today, Trakehners are bred in many Russian programs and Mister X is such an example. His genetics trace straight back to some of the best original Trakehner blood available after 1945 and, therefore, he shares bloodlines with other Trakehners worldwide. —Dr. Maren Engelhardt