The Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony is a breed of small riding horse from north-west Germany. It was believed extinct in 1985, but in 1995 a small number were discovered, and since 1999 the population has remained stable at about 20–25 head. The Arenberg-Nordkirchen is in the highest-risk category of the Rote Liste (red list) of the Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen, the German national association for the conservation of historic and endangered domestic animal breeds.
Germany does not have a long tradition of small horse breeding; the only native small horse is the Dülmener. From the early twentieth century ponies and small horses were imported, mostly from Great Britain, and some private individuals started breeding from them. The Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony breed was started in 1923 by the then Duke of Arenberg as a semi-feral herd on his estates in Nordkirchen, near Münster in Westphalia. It was based on the Dülmener, from which he intended to create a small and elegant riding horse. His stock was small, with no more than about 40 mares. In 1968 the entire herd was sold to a breeder from Nordkirchen, who introduced other pony and small horse blood to improve its riding-horse qualities. In the 1980s the herd was broken up, and the horses sold in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, where they became part of the regional German Riding Pony populations.
In 1995 a small number of surviving animals were found. Since 1999 the known population has remained stable at about 20–25 head. In 2007 there were four stallions and eighteen mares.
The Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony is classed as “Category I: extremely endangered” on the Rote Liste (red list) of the Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen, the German national association for the conservation of historic and endangered domestic animal breeds; it was listed as “critical” by the FAO in 2007. It is not among the 151 horse breeds reported by Germany to DAD-IS.
Because of the very small number of animals, the preservation of this breed is difficult. However, there are many animals in the breed “Deutsches Reitpony”, which can be traced back to Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony mares or stallions. In many cases, these are high-quality horses that are successful in competition sport. However, these are not specifically mated, as many people are not familiar with the breed and the preservation of the breed is not important. Therefore the GEH wants to call upon owners and breeders of ponies, especially of the “German Riding Pony”, to search for Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony ancestors of their horses. These are mostly before the third generation.
The following horses were used in the last decades, which can be attributed to the breed Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony:
Diamant II, Nachtflug, Nansen, Nadir born 1967, Nathan born 1971 by Nazim, Mylord by Meran, Margaretheau Beau Nash GH, Nicki born 1973 by Nazim, Nantano born 1975, whose sons e.g. Nantario, Navarino, Negro
Topnanni born 2002 by Nantano, respectively her dam Maiglocke born 1978 by Meran, Fee born 1976 by Nabob, Maja, born 1976 by Merafic, Sabinchen born 1976 by Saki, Ilona born 1975 by Iswid, Nevada, born 1973 by Nazim, Candra born 1968 by Bubi, Nele born 1994 by Nansen, Silva, born 1968 by Sesam
Arenberg-Nordkirchen — Arenberger — Nordkirchener
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