About Rottaler Horses
Rottaler horses were originally bred in the Rott valley of
Bavaria, and were used as the foundation for the Bavarian Warmblood. Systematic
breeding in the region dates back to 1558, when the first duke, Albrecht IV,
imported popular Neapolitan and Spanish stallions.
In keeping with the times, Rottalers were expected to be
versatile enough to pull the plow during the week and the carriage to church on
Sundays. Throughout the 19th century, Anglo-Norman, Cleveland Bay, and
Oldenburg horses were imported to keep the Rottaler vibrant, and by 1906 the
Rottaler Warmblood Horse Breeding Association was formed. In 1963, the breeding
aim was redirected towards the production of more agile, sensitive riding horses,
and the brand was changed from "R" to "B". The Rottaler
mares were bred to Hanoverians and Westphalians, and over successive
generations, the breed threatened to disappear forever. It wasn't until 1991
that the Rottaler was re-established within the Bavarian association, and by
that time there were scant few lines left. However, what struck the spectators
at the first inspection of Rottaler mares in 1994 was the vitality of the
mares, which had an average age of over 15.
Today there are only a few Rottalers left, but about 20
breeders in Bavaria are actively preserving the breed and the breed receives
federal support. Rottalers are similar to the other heavy warmbloods in type,
though due to consistent use of Arab blood, they have more refined heads. They
are excellent all-purpose ride-and-drive horses, with sufficient talent in
dressage and jumping. They are promoted as a good choice for vaulting horses.