Breed Standard  Outcross List  Performance Test  Foal Registration  KNN Foal List  ZFDP Standard & Rules  ZfdP Grading 2008

Rules & Knabstrupper Breed Standard of the German ZFDP Registry


The ZfdP attends to most of the German Knabstrupper breeders by far.

Therefore, description of common and different details is made in individual associations as per valid breeding standard of the ZfdP.

These rules do not only fix breed description and breed standard but also the performance testing requirements.

The entrance into different parts of the breeding book (main studbook, studbook, preliminary studbooks) is not regulated by the breeding standard rules, but in the individual breeding book rules of the individual associations.

The breeding book rules are valid for all breeds and do show partially special rules for the “special breeds”.

Breeding Standard Rules of the ZfdP (valid since May/1996, supplemented April/2000)


The Knabstrupper is an old Danish cultural breed, that has been bred of the Frederiksborg breed base on the colour variant and with influence of the old Spanish Horse breed. After the end of breeding on Knabstrupp farm different types developed.


2.1.: COLOUR:

Full leopard, blanket leopard, snow flake, white born / few spot, solid colour (except grey gene!)

Full leopard:

One-coloured white with black, brown or red spots that are purely shown and spread equally on the head, neck, body and legs.

Blanket leopard:

One-coloured black, brown or red at front part of the horse. On the hind part of the horse are black, brown or red spots on white base/blanket.

Snow flake:

One-coloured black, brown or red with white spots.

White born / Few Spot:

White born horses with or without roans or few spots.


One-coloured black, brown or red; no grey gene!

Differing of leopard colours and patterns are possible and have to be notified in the pedigree papers.

The following secondary characteristics are desired to be shown with all colour variants: mottled mouth, mottled genitals and/or anus, white sclera and/or mottled eyelids; vertically striped hooves.


Knabstruppers exist in horse type and pony type. Both types can vary from modern (sportive) up to baroque.

Classification of type will be fixed at registration in studbook earliest. If it is not possible to state a type clearly no type classification will be noted in the pedigree papers.

For notification of “Classic Knabstrupper” in pedigree papers of a horse in question at least six of eight ancestors shown in the third generation have to show the breed description Knabstrupper.

For notification of “Original Knabstrupper” in pedigree papers of a horse in question all ancestors shown in the third generation must show  the breed description Knabstrupper.

For fixing up ancestors in the third generation fundamentally for pure bred breeding programme an unknown mare that in following up was or is used in Knabstrupper breeding is to be noted as equal to a Knabstrupper. Same rule is valid for mares with pedigree that, due to the fact that the studbook registration was interrupted in Denmark, also had to be registered in another studbook (Oldenburg/Frederiksborg).

Regarding the pure bred breeding programme referring to the “Original Knabstrupper” further rules have to be fulfilled as per addition of these breeding standard rules.



Utmostly correspond to the breeding standard of the “Original Knabstrupper”.

Modern (sportive) Type:

Utmostly correspond to the German Riding Horse and German Riding Pony.


Due to his sociable and friendly character as well as his docility during training the Knabstrupper is especially distinguished of being used as Riding Horse, Carriage Horse and Voltigating Horse. The baroque types are furthermore particularly suited for the lessons of Classical Dressage (in the air above ground)


Within Knabstrupper breeding draft horses, trotters, any kind of jennet horses, horses with painted colour and horses with grey genes mut not be used.

Normally all breeds can be used as long as they are of purpose for producing one of the pony or horse types.

Broodhorses of allowed other breeds will be registered in the additions of the respective divisions of the Knabstrupper studbook.

Exceptional rules regarding complete pedigree requirements for grading and licensing of stallions are possible in case of being an advantage for the Knabstrupper breed.


Not required as long as there is no performance test introduced for “leisure horses”.



The breeding programme and the breeding standard for the “Original Knabstrupper” has been developed to advance and to preserve the original type.


Pedigree requirements as per 2.2.


The exceptional rule refers to stallions and mares of the following breeds:

- Frederiksborger
- Andalucian (P.R.E., Cartujano)
- Lusitano
- Lipizzan
- Old-Oldenburger
- Kladruber

Whereas Grey Gene is excluded.

Regarding outcrossing of a registrated Original Knabstrupper by a stallion or a mare of one of the breeds mentioned above it has to be applied for single breeding licences as per §3.5 of the studbook regulations, so that the exceptional rule can be used. Offspring resulting to such outcrosses do not fulfill the pedigree requirements for being registered as Original Knabstrupper themselves, but the generation following them will be, in case of meeting all other requirements, registered as Original Knabstrupper. Furthermore their outcross blood in the third generation must not be more than         12.5  %.


Knabstruppers that fulfill all pedigree requirements and that show all chracteristics as per the following breed description at the time of their registration at the main studbook of the stallion book I will receive the notification “Original Knabstrupper” in their pedigree papers. Pedigree papers issued for foals can show the notification:

Pedigree requirements for “Original Knabstrupper” are fulfilled.


Any colour of the Knabstrupper breeding, without discriminating against solid coloured.


Full hair with sufficient growth. Not desirable is sparse hair with insufficient growth.


Aim: 150-160 cms; slight deviations can be tolerated.



Expressive, strong head with large, calm eye and slightly convex nose line. Not desirable is an inexpressive head which is too small in relation and shows a concave nose line and small, concealed eyes.


Strong, muscular neck with curved top line, and proportionally high head-raising with sufficient space in curb-groove. Not desirable is a short, low-set, insufficiently muscular neck lacking a raising line, and heavy poll.


Square to rectangular shape; long, slanting shoulder, broad, low chest, sufficiently marked top line, compact back; rounded croup with tail root not too high.

Not desirable is a body too short or too long, small, steep shoulder, narrow chest, long back, straight, short croup with high tail root.


Fitting, well-built frame with large, correct joints and correct position of extremities; pastern of medium length, correctly shaped, hard hooves. Not desirable are incorrect and deformed extremities, small, narrow joints, too short or too long pasterns, too small hooves.


Movements at level rhythm, elevated and slightly high in knee action. Not desirable are flat, unelastic or heavy movements lacking rhythm.

Distinguishing features:

The Original Knabstrupper is a friendly, docile and easy-to-handle horse, which is suitable for carriage, leisure and show riding and especially Classical Dressage (in the air above ground).

Translated from German by Patricia Fallows.

The translation of the German context has been made strictly and is not to be interpreted. In case of misunderstandings or translation faults the German text of these rules has to be understood as full priority.

5 November 2003 / updated August 2006