When Eventer Sarah Gibbons lived in the United Kingdom and was shopping around for a new stallion, she thought of the time when her friend showed her a Knabstrupper stallion that she was going to breed her mare to. “I liked the idea that they were toGibbons 1 the best of my knowledge the only spotted warmblood around,” says Sarah, “and were so easily trained, easy to work with, and so colorful without compromising on temperament.”

Knabstruppers are a rare breed, even in Europe. Originating in Denmark, they have the conformation of a Warmblood, with the colouring of an Appaloosa, although they developed independently of each other. However, in 1971, three Appaloosa stallions were imported to Denmark to add new blood to the breed. The first Knabstrupper was born in North America in 2002.

So, Sarah searched breeders in Denmark for her next horse to train. “After looking extensively, I found two six month old colts that I liked from different breeders and returned home to think over which one I would choose,” remembers Sarah. “After a long deliberation I decided to go with the one that was most likely be the easiest to train and back. I spent the next two to three weeks trying to get hold of the breeder with no luck. I finally got a phone call from her when I was at work explaining that she had been going through a lot personally and was splitting up with her husband.

“In the time that I had be deliberating which horse to choose she had purchased the other one I had liked from the breeder thatGibbons 2 Rah was desperate for space at her farm. So now both colts I liked were owned by the same lady and she was selling off all the horses and the farm in the separation. She offered me the other one for a quarter of the original price.  I thought about in at length before justifying it by saying even though they are the same breed they are different styles of horses and are not related at all. So a daughter of one could be bred to the other.”

When Sarah was transferred to the Edmonton area for work, there was no question that she was going to bring “her spotted boys” with her.

Both boys are now seven and are both just beginning their show and breeding career. Da Vinci, aka Leo, is a fearless horse and is enjoying the beginning of a career in Eventing. Lammengården's Liberty, aka Rah, is larger at 17 hands and a more sensitive horse suited for Dressage. Rah is also one of the few fully licenced and graded Knabstruppers in North America.

While Sarah has bred her boys to Thoroughbred, Arabian, Friesian, Welsh, Holsteiner andGibbons Hanoverian mares, her focus is training and showing the stallions to their full potential as well as creating awareness of the rare breed.

“I want to spread the word on these lovely animals because they have it all for any level or discipline of rider. They have the quite temperament along with the willingness to learn and please, combined with talent and we must not forget the memorable striking colour!”