Haflinger: The Haflinger originated in the village of Hafling in the Etschlander mountains in the southern Austrian Tyrol. The steep mountain slopes and thin mountain air contributed to the hardiness of the breed.
Their current conformation and appearance are the result of infusions of bloodlines from Arabian and various European breeds into the original native Tyrolean ponies.
The foundation sire, 249 Folie, was born in 1874, and by 1904 the first breeders' cooperative was formed. All Haflingers can trace their lineage back to Folie, an El Bedavi decendant.
Although the pony is now found all over the world, the majority of breeding stock still comes from Austria, where state studs own the stallions and carefully maintain the quality of the breed. However, there are breeding farms located in the United States, Canada, Germany, Holland, and England.
Today the breed is used in many activities that include draft and pack work, light harness and combined driving, and many under-saddle events, including western-style horse-show classes, trail and endurance riding, dressage, show jumping, vaulting, and therapeutic riding programs. They are used extensively as dressage horses for children, but are tall and sturdy enough to be suitable riding horses for adults. In the 1970s, British Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh competed with a driving team of four Haflingers.
The desired height of this pony is between 13.2 and 15 hands and they are always palomino or chestnut in color, with a flaxen mane and tail.
A strict system of inspection, started in Austria, has evolved to ensure that only good quality stock meeting high standards is used for breeding. This is coupled with close maintenance of the studbook to maintain inspection validity.
Mares must be inspected and registered with the stud book before they can be covered, and multiple forms are needed to prove covering and birth of a purebred foal. Within six months of birth, foals are inspected, and those considered to have potential as breeding stock are given certificates of pedigree and branded. Horses are reinspected at three years old, checked against written association standards, and if they pass, are then entered into the studbook. After their final inspection Haflingers from Austria and Italy are branded with a firebrand in the shape of an edelweiss. Horses from Austria have the letter "H" in the center of the brand, while horses from Italy have the letters "HI". Horses are graded based on conformation, action, bone, height, temperament and color.
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