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Breed history

The Haflinger breed originated in the European Alps, specifically in the region known as the Tyrol. In these rugged mountains the stallion Folie was born in 1874. All Haflingers trace their lineage to this single stallion. The breed grew and prospered in large part because of its unique characteristics including a gentle disposition, willingness and ease of training. Its rugged build and great stamina made it entirely suitable for life in the mountains.

Haflingers first arrived in America in 1958, imported from Austria to Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, Illinois. Those Haflingers traveled on board ship in their own stalls and became the foundation stock for the first Haflinger breeding farm in North America. For several years, no Haflingers left the farm. Not until 1970 did Haflingers begin to make their way toward Ohio. The first recorded ownership of Haflingers in Ohio occurred in 1971.

The versatility and pleasant nature of the breed captured the hearts and imaginations of owners and would be owners throughout the Midwest especially in Ohio. Many new American owners used their Haflingers in draft type hitches. Breeding operations began and Haflingers found their way into the Amish community. As a draft animal, they were efficient and well suited to field work and transportation.

Today Haflingers can be found in almost every equine discipline. Draft and please driving remain important Haflinger duties. With their natural hardiness and stamina they are the ideal choice for endurance and combined driving events. Riders have discovered that Haflingers suit their needs as well. Trail rising, English Pleasure and Western Pleasure are all opportunities for Haflingers to excel. And, yes, Haflingers can jump. Acreoss the country, Haflingers are competing successfully in Dressage and Eventing. Some Haflingers are venturing into the world of reining competitions and bringing home the blue ribbons.