back from the brink: saving the king's horses

This film captures the grace and beauty of the Trakehners, a fast, light horse breed that has managed to survive against the greatest odds.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Terra Mater Factual Studios





Episode Information

The magnificent Trakehners are praised by many as the finest breed of horses in the world. Initially bread in the 18th century in the East Prussian region of Trakehnen to be used by the cavalry, this breed only just made it into the 21st century. Everything changed with the outbreak of World War II. In the harsh winter of 1945, tens of thousands of people and around 18,000 horses had to flee into the West. Thousands of lives – men and horses – were lost in the unforgiving conditions on this notorious journey. By the end of the war, Trakehnen was a wasteland. Only a few dozen Trakehner horses had made it. But all was not lost. Dedicated individuals and breeders were determined to save the breed and now, over 70 years later, Trakehner horses can be found all around the globe. Take a nail-biting front row seat at exacting tournaments and examinations. Ride fast as the wind across the golden rapeseed fields of Northern Germany and along the shores of the Baltic sea, as young riders test their mettle on the backs of thoroughbreds. Meet the dedicated breeders and owners and find out why they say, the Trakehner is the greatest horse breed on Earth.

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