Rare Black Forest horses to come to Britain

  • The first Black Forest horses are coming over from Germany to the UK following overwhelming interest from propsective English buyers.

    Elke McKay is importing two colts from the Marbach State Stud in southern Germany on 2 September after she received a “huge response” from an advertisement for the breed in the UK.

    A post on Facebook in May generated hundreds of “likes”.

    “I never expected that much positive response from our Facebook album. It just caught people’s interest. The Black Forest horse is a special breed,” said Miss McKay.


    The Marbach stud, the largest and oldest government-owned stud in the country, has helped conserve the breed which was nearly at the brink of extinction in the 1970s.

    The Black Forest horse had been used for woodland work, but was gradually replaced by heavy machinery.

    There are now about 1,000 in Germany, all in the Black Forest area in the south of the country.


    Marbach State Stud buys foals from local breeders and makes sure they meet the strict stallion and mare licensing regulation for studbook registration. Youngsters from registered parents are branded with a tree.

    Most Black Forest horses are dark chestnut with flaxen mane and tail. The breed is good for children and adults standing at between 14.3hh and 16hh.

    “They are very pretty, friendly and safe with a sensible temperament. They make a great family horse,” said Miss McKay.

    She plans to bring on her colts at her Hampshire home to show the breed to people in the UK, but has no plans to breed.

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    As the official UK partner for the stud, Ms McKay recommends interested buyers should look into buying original branded and registered horses in Germany.

    “I want to make them accessible to people in the UK and plan to start importing them,” she told H&H.

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