The Gold Horse Legend begins in Central Europe more than 1000 years ago, and a hunting party led by a Princess attacked by wolves. Her entourage scattered, one man stood his ground and drove off the wolves, killing three. In gratitude the King knighted the brave young man, and a coat of arms featuring three wolves’ teeth was chosen as a reminder of his gallant act.
Throughout the middle ages, Bohemia lay at the centre of culture and European power, at one time the Kingdom ruled over lands from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Mediterranean.
The breeding of top quality horses being paramount since the rider’s life/the nations future could depend on it.
Stories of courageous and agile Kinsky horses have become legend throughout Europe until the advancement of mechanical warfare.
- 1205 first accounts of the Kinsky family in association with the wolves’ teeth coat of arms.
- 1461 the first mention of the Kinsky horse, herd lives wild on Kinsky land, annual “round up”, new stallions introduced.
- 1520 Hebrecin Kinsky (Kinsky Stud) founded with the goal of producing the supreme horse.
- Throughout the middle Ages, the power of the Kinsky family grows, as does the notoriety of Kinsky horses, primarily bred for the family’s cavalry and sport use.
- 1628 family elevated to Counts.
- 1723 the Emperor of Austria commissions the House of Kinsky to expand horse breeding to provide Bohemia’s elite cavalry officers with mounts of Kinsky quality.
- 1747 family attains status of Prince.
- 1776 Count Kinsky travels to England to buy the best thoroughbreds available.
- 1813 Countess Kristina Kinsky-Liechtenstein arrives at the Vienna international congress riding a gold Kinsky horse, widely reported, the ensuing publicity created demand for Kinsky sport horses outside Bohemia.
- 1813 Count Oktavian Kinsky born, one of Europe’s famous horsemen.
- 1832 Count Oktavian Kinsky builds the Gold Horse Stud in Bohemia.
- 1836 Count Oktavian Kinsky holds the first English style fox hunt in Bohemia.
- 1838 the original Kinsky studbook joined by a modern sport horse studbook with emphasis placed upon temperament, stamina and agility, this studbook is in use today.
- 1846 Count Oktavian Kinsky founds an English style steeplechase in Bohemia.
- 1874 and goes on to create the European Grand National known as The Pardubice Grand National, Europe’s most testing horse race inspired by Aintree, the Pardubice was created to be more challenging than the English race with larger obstacles over a greater distance.
- 1883 the Kinsky mare Zoedone ridden by Count Karel Kinsky travels to England and wins the Grand National at Aintree. Kinsky Horses have won the Pardubice Grand National nine times (placed twelve), and entered Englands Grand National at Aintree only once and won only once.
- 1937 the race is won by the gold Kinsky mare Norma trained & ridden by Countess Lata Brandisova, the only time Europe’s most challenging race is won by a woman.
- 1948 the USSR seizes all Kinsky Estates, horses, and bans fox hunting. Thanks to the great efforts of some Kinsky family members and the quality stock they hold, standards of Kinsky horses are not seriously affected by the communist regime in force for 40 years.
- 1966 The most recent Kinsky European Grand National winner “Nestor”. Equus Kinsky may race again with a golden horse at Pardubice, perhaps to celebrate 500 years of Kinsky horse sport.
- 1981 / 1982 / 1983 The Pardubice Euro Grand National won on 3 consecutive occasions by Pavel Libich riding Sagar. We were most fortunate to have Pavel managing Kinsky horses until 2005.
- 1989 Bohemia’s Russian episode ends and it is now part of the Czech Republic, where the Kinsky golden horse is regarded as a National Treasure and is now recognised as a rare breed.
Since Kinsky horses have again been free to compete they have had some notable successes, in Dressage winning twice at the national championships, Show Jumping and Military (eventing).
Today Kinsky horses are also found in alternative horse sports including polo, western riding, pushball and horse gymnastics. Horsemen and women whether in competition or general riding, speak of the special character of the Kinsky horse and the bond between horse and rider that the Kinsky horse promotes.