Use and characteristics of the Kinsky Horse
The Czechoslovakian for Kinsky Horse is Kůň Kinský. It takes its “Golden Horse” title from the gleaming coats of gold that some individuals of the breed display. Standing between 15.2 hands (62 inches/157 cm) and 17 hands (68 inches/173 cm) high, the Kinsky Horse is suitable for many advanced equestrian disciplines, from racing to dressage. Riders are also known to buy a Kinsky Horse for western riding or polo. They are said to bond closely with humans. The horses with golden coats are very popular, but breeders will also sell a Kinsky Horse that is bay, chestnut or even black.
Origin and history of breeding Kinsky Horses
Although the stud book for the Kinsky Horse was only established in 2005, this was more of a re-establishment, since the history of the breed goes back many centuries. Indeed, the breed's story, like that of the Kinsky family itself, is one of the most colourful in the history of horse breeding. The family is said to have come to prominence in Europe after a young man saved a Bohemian princess from a wolf attack in the 13th century. At this time, Bohemia was a powerful independent kingdom. After this incident, the family bore a coat of arms with three wolf teeth to commemorate their act of bravery. By the 15th century, the Kinsky family were well-known as horse breeders, providing a valuable service in supplying cavalry horses. In 1628 the importance of this role was recognised when they were granted the status of Counts. By the early 1700s, the Austrian Emperor had made them Princes as they were one of the leading providers of horses to the military elite. The story of the Kinsky Horse as modern sports horse began in 1776 when Count Kinsky purchased high-quality English Thoroughbreds. Before long, the Kinsky strain of sleek golden racehorses was causing a sensation in Europe, reaching a peak when, after the end of the Napoleonic War, Countess Kristina Kinsky-Liechtenstein rode a gleaming Kinsky horse to the Congress of Vienna in 1813. In 1832, Count Oktavian Kinsky established the Kinsky Golden Horse Stud and introduced both fox hunting and steeplechasing to central Europe. The first Kinsky Studbook was set up in 1838. By 1874, Europe had its own Grand National, called The Pardubice Grand National, thanks to Kinsky’s enthusiasm for racing. Although the breed was in danger of being lost in the days of the Soviet Union, today the numbers are growing. Now the Kinsky Horse is recognised once again as an important part of Czech heritage.
Kinsky Horses in equestrianism
Kinsky horses have won the highly demanding Pardubice Grand National nine times. A Kinsky mare ridden by Count Karel Kinsky won the Aintree Grand National in 1883. In 1937 the Pardubice was won by Countess Lata Brandisova riding Norma, a gold Kinsky mare she trained herself.