Keystone Haflinger Association


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the Haflinger

Horse running  The History and Origin of the Haflinger



The story of this hearty breed begins in the rugged mountains of Tyrol, Austria. Documents from Medieval times told of an Oriental breed inhabiting the Southern Tyrolean Mountains of what is now known as Austria and Northern Italy. Traveling the narrow Tyrolian paths required an agile, sure-footed horse for transportation and packing and the residents preferred these lighter smaller horses as they were well suited for maneuvering the narrow mountain trails.

Artists of the era depicted a small, noble chestnut horse bearing riders and packs and traversing steep mountain paths. In 1874 "249 Folie was born in the village of Hafling Austria as the first registered Haflinger horse. He was sired by a half Arabian Stallion 133 El' Bedavai XXII and his dam was a refined Tyrolean mare. All modern purebred Haflingers can trace their ancestry directly to Folie through seven different stallion lines: A, B, M, N, S, ST, and W. stallion

The signing of the Treaty of St. Germain in 1909 relinquished the home of the original Haflinger to Italy which has retained control of the Haflinger breeding. However the division of Austria separated the primary breeding region, with the majority of mares residing in southern Tyrol now Italy and breeding stallions in North Tyrol, Austria. In the late 1920's an agreement was reached to maintain the original breeding patterns established before the war. But soon World War II and its demands for pack animals would again bring great set backs to the breed nearly destroying the foundation breeding stock. After the war breeders once again began their efforts to continue the breed and the Austrian government resumed its role as caretaker of the the Haflinger horse.


Mare and foalThe first group of nine mares, one stallion and three foals were imported to the US by Tempel Smith in 1958 to Illinois. Tempel Farm kept almost all the Haflinger horses born at the farm from 1958 to 1969. Records indicated 419 horses were born to or imported by Tempel Farms. In 1971 Tempel Farms began to sell a few horses and soon the breed became established in much of the US and Canada.


the haflinger today

Throughout the years this horse has found its way into the hearts of many admirers KT Dayswith its eye-catching appearance, even temperament, hearty constitution and the breed's eager, dependable nature. Haflingers have excelled in nearly every equine discipline and in the hearts of young and old across America, becoming the newest family horse of choice for the American public.