The Kinsky Horse is also called Chlumecer and Bohemian Hunter. The sometimes used name “Equus Kinsky” is of course completely inappropriate. This is one of the oldest European breeds, and the Stud Ostrov near Chlumec in today’s Czech Republic, which developed the breed, already existed when Count Wenzel Kinsky took over the reign in 1611.
This breed was created as a light bloodhorse, a steeplechaser, as the Kinskys were big-time steeplechasers and hunters, with courageous riders who found few peers. Count Kinsky was the first Austrian breeder to ever acquire and use Thoroughbreds, and Thoroughbred blood accounts for many typical traits of the Kinsky Horse.
The breed was based on Spanish mares, but later a lot of Thoroughbred was infused, and also Trakehner blood, a breed that used to be somewhat similar.
The breeding goal was a surefooted hunter and racer that could master all kinds of terrain, but it received a special twist when in 1839, a palomino filly was born out of the Thoroughbred mare Themby I, supposedly sired by the Thoroughbred Whisker. The English Jockey Club refused to register the filly, doubting the filly’s parentage, as no foal of such color had ever occurred among Thoroughbreds.
Thus, the Kinsky Horse became also a color breed, because Count Kinsky was stubborn enough to react by founding his own registry and studbook, and the various colors caused by the cream gene - palomino, cremello, perlino, buckskin - became part of the breed’s characteristics
As was found out later, the filly had in fact been sired accidentally in the pasture by a Spanish-Neapolitan stallion of a neighboring studfarm, and must have received the gene from him. The filly became well-known as a hunter and steeplechaser under the name Themby II, and later produced the palomino stallion Caesar by the Thoroughbred Prince Djalma, who became the Kinsky Horse breed’s foundation sire at Chlumec.
In those days, one had no real grasp of color inheritance, and knew nothing of the cream gene, but one quickly found out that double-copied foals did occur (cremellos, perlinos), and that one needed to cross the double-diluted horses on solid sorrels and bays.
After the expropriation in 1948 and the immigration of the Count, the breed was practically dissolved by the communists, but a few idealists managed to save a small gene reserve.
The veterinarian Sixta organized a small stud that eventually produced the male lines Husar and Cervanek for the preservation of the Kinsky Horse.
A farmer by the name of Frinta saved the stallion Curbes, which was later renamed Caesar to honor his ancestor and became influential through his son Narcis and also through his daughters.
The reconstruction of the breed was finally accomplished by Josef Soucek in Lipa, where there is a good broodmare herd today. The breed’s stud returned eventually to Chlumec , Ostrov, in 1967, where first Josef Such’nek was the director of the stud, and then Dr Norbert Z’lis, who became later the director at the Kladrub stud, and who coined the name this breed is known by today: the Kinsky Horse.
THE MODERN BREED
After World War II, these horses were bred more for warmblood type, and were in danger of losing their identity, Since 1986, the breeding goal is again the old one, achieved with select Thoroughbred and Trakehner stallions. Once again, the palomino/isabell or buckskin “Bohemian hunter” is strived for, which is why an Akhal Tekke stallion has also been used. It is hard to say if the metallic shine seen in many of these horses stem from the Akhal Tekke infusion or if it was present even in the old days.
The preservation of the Kinsky Horse rests entirely with private breeders and is not subsidized by the government, even though it represents a cultural Czech gem. Horse traders often buy these horses from Czech breeders for what is considered good money, and take them to other countries, which further restricts the already small genetic base in the home country of the breed.
Conformation-wise, this breed is both, very refined and hardy. It shows its high level of Throroughbred blood, has a prominent set of withers, higher than the croup, and a long, slanted shoulder and also a long hip. The tough limbs of the Kinsky Horse are clearly marked and usually correctly positioned.
This breed stands about 16 hands, has ground-covering, energetic gaits, handles rough ground competently and impresses the most through its capacity at the gallop.