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Dating back to the Napoleonic wars the Knabstrup was founded on a spotted
mare, Flaebehoppen, who was left behind by the Spanish troops. She was
exceptionally fast and enduring and in 1808 her owner Major Villars Lunn,
crossed her with a Palomino-coloured Frederiksborg stallion and named the
breed after his estate. In 1813 the mare gave birth to a colt that later
became the founding father of the Knabstrup breed. It is a well built,
enduring and active riding horse, characterized by speed, strength and good
The Knabstrup is also much wanted because of its interesting colouring,
learning abilities and good temper.
Later, unfortunately too much emphasis was put on breeding the coat colour
and not enough on the conformation and the breed went into decline, though
quite a number of similar spotted horses are still seen in Denmark. Also
crossings back to the Fredriksborg reduced the numbers of purebred
They stand at about 15.2 to 16hh h.h. the original Knabstrup was of good
conformation and was popular as a circus horse as it is eye catching and
easy to train. The head is intelligent with a kind expression; there is
mottled skin colouring on the lips and muzzle; the mane and tail are sparse.
The colour is predominantly white with black or brown spots of varying size
all over body, head and legs.
It is a sound, tough, easy to train horse that enjoys performing.