Haflinger Horses in Australia
History of the Haflinger
A Haflinger Horse is defined as: The progeny of a registered classified Haflinger stallion and a registered classified Haflinger mare and shall conform to the standard description of the World Haflinger Breeding and Sporting Federation.
The Haflinger Horse was originally from the town of Hafling in the South Tyrol Mountains. The Haflinger Breed originated in 1874 with the birth of the stallion Folie who was sired by an Arabian stallion and a mare from a Tyrolean indigenous mountain breed. All subsequent Haflinger stallions and mares can be traced back to that mating.
The Haflinger Horse was a workhorse used mainly in the high mountains as a helper for the farmer. It is this close association with man that Haflinger horses really excel. At high altitudes in the European Alps, the Haflinger horse was used for pack and draught work in the fields and forests as well as recreational work.
The Haflingers were especially useful in the mountains because of their sure footedness. They are also known for their calmness and friendliness with children.
The first studbook was established in Tyrol in I921. The breeding of Haflingers has since then been consistently monitored and records kept in the studbook. This forward-looking breeding work and constant recording of the Haflingers has contributed to the success of Haflingers for more than 20 generations.
After the Second World War the Austrian government established the Haflinger Breeders Association of Tyrol. From then on the breed has become one of the most strictly examined and highly selective in the world.
The Haflinger must pass extremely rigorous inspections before they receive the Edelweiss brand of approval. Inspections take into account the horses conformation, soundness, size, movement, temperament, colour and fertility. Horses with undesirable characteristics are not passed. This has produced a breed that is guaranteed to be good-natured, sound, fertile and hardy.
Haflingers in Australia
The Dalgety Land Company imported the first Haflingers from Austria to Australia. The stallion Narrogal and 5 mares; Ditha, Liebkind, Morena, Orsi and Siena, as well as 2 fillies; Elflein and Gaby were imported. Two of the mares Morena and Siena, were bred in Austria and gave birth to the fillies Merinda and Sorena in quarantine in England en route to Australia.
All the horses arrived safely in Australia. After quarantine in Adelaide, they were then taken to the Dalgety property ‘Yammatree’ near Cootamundra, NSW, in 1974.
In 1979 the Dalgety Company decided to sell all the horses at an auction at ‘Bibaringa Stud’ in Canberra. By 1981 it was apparent that there was a need for another male bloodline in Australia. The stallion Admiral was imported from Holland. This was also the case in 1988 when Wintersun was imported from Austria.
The cost of importing horses from overseas was high so it was decided to import frozen semen from Haflinger stallions in England. This took place for the first time in 1994 from the Austrian born stallion Alpine and later in 2000 from the stallion Marlon. 2009 saw more frozen semen imported from Germany. Between 2010 – 2012, ten new bloodlines were imported – one German Stallion and a number of mares in foal to top European stallions, creating a new genetic pool to further develop the Haflinger in keeping with it’s outstanding temperament and looks.
All registered Haflingers must be bred from two pure bred registered Haflingers, in accordance with Tyrolean guidelines.
The Australian Haflinger Breeding and Sports Association is a member of the Haflinger World Breeding and Sports Federation and keeps all registration details while promoting the Haflinger Breed in Australia. In July 2013 there are approximately 450 Haflinger horses in Australia.