Stud farm

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A Thoroughbred horse stud farm, Murrurundi, New South Wales Murrurundi NSW 2.JPG
A Thoroughbred horse stud farm, Murrurundi, New South Wales

A stud farm or stud in animal husbandry is an establishment for selective breeding of livestock. The word "stud" comes from the Old English stod meaning "herd of horses, place where horses are kept for breeding". [1] Historically, documentation of the breedings that occur on a stud farm leads to the development of a stud book. Male animals made available for breeding to outside female animals are said to be "standing at stud", or at "stud service", referencing the relatively high probability that they are kept at a stud farm.


The word stud is often restricted to larger domesticated (especially farm) animals, such as cattle and horses. A specialized vocabulary exists for the studs of other animals, such as kennel (dog), cattery (cat) and aviary (birds).

Horse stud farms

Monastic stud farms

During the Middle Ages, stud farms were often managed as part of a monastery. At the time, few people apart from monks could read and write, and so they were charged with the responsibility of recording pedigrees. The Carthusian monks are famous for their role in breeding the Andalusian horse in Spain, while monasteries in Bavaria were responsible for the original Rottaler horse.

State stud farms

The Medimurje horse stud farm, Zabnik at Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, is owned by the Medimurje nature public institution Ergela medimurskog konja, Zabnik (Croatia) - kobile.jpg
The Međimurje horse stud farm, Žabnik at Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, is owned by the Međimurje nature public institution

A state stud farm (German : Landgestüt, French : Haras) is one owned by the government. The first state studs were ordered by Louis XIV of France in 1665. The purpose of the state studs was to make high-quality horses available to local breeders and farmers to accelerate the evolution of local horses. Stud farms which kept a herd of mares in addition to stallions were dubbed "Principal" Studs. State-owned stallions were made accessible with low or no stud fees. Germany is most famous for its Principal and State Studs, which have been instrumental in the shaping of the German riding horses and several breeds of German cold bloods. The Hanoverian is associated with the State Stud of Celle, the Rhinelander and Westphalian with the State Stud of Warendorf, the Brandenburger with the Principal Stud of Neustadt an der Dosse, and so on. [2]

Other European state studs include:

The German city of "Stuttgart" gets its name from stud farms.

Private stud farms

Around the world, private individuals have breeding farms of various sizes that are dedicated to animal breeding, usually of purebred livestock. Some may have originally been founded with government assistance or sponsorship, or owned by political leaders, while others are solely the private enterprise of those who own them. Some of the largest and most impressive are those dedicated to Thoroughbred horse breeding, such as the historic Claiborne Farm in Kentucky or the Darley Stud, owned by Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which stands over fifty stallions at stud in facilities located in seven countries.

A large stud farm in Gdynia, Poland Pl-gdynia-kolibki-stadnina.jpg
A large stud farm in Gdynia, Poland

Stud service

Many stud farms make male animals available for breeding to outside female animals that are not owned by the stud farm. Doing so provides an outside source of revenue to a stud farm via the stud fees paid to obtain the services of the stud animal as well as contributing to the overall genetic diversity of the animal's offspring. At state stud farms, stud service is not only a source of income, but due to the high standards set for breeding animals, has an overall effect of improving the quality of animals throughout an area.

In most cases, the owner of the female brings the animal to the stud farm for breeding, sometimes leaving her there for over a month to be sure that pregnancy has occurred. However, with the invention of artificial insemination and the ability to ship semen, combined with the availability of DNA testing for parentage verification, many breed registries allow semen to be shipped from the stud farm to the location of the female animal, thus reducing or eliminating the need for animals to travel.

Stud manager

A stud manager or "stud master" is an individual responsible for an employer's breeding stock. The term is usually used for individuals working with dogs or horses. It is usually applied regardless of gender.

The stud manager typically suggests desired matings to the owner, and arranges for the same, whether in-house or by contract with animals standing at stud, approves and arranges matings to the owner's animals at stud requested by outsiders, and keeps all records, including notifying the appropriate animal registries.

In a European large or formal household the "Stud Master" or manager may be a permanent title and position; in this case this individual is often responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the stables and kennels as well. Most large stud farms have a full-time individual assigned to stallion management, but many stud managers have either a part-time or contractual arrangement or their duties as stud manager may be incorporated with those of the overall farm or stable manager.

See also

Related Research Articles

A horse breed is a selectively bred population of domesticated horses, often with pedigrees recorded in a breed registry. However, the term is sometimes used in a broader sense to define landrace animals of a common phenotype located within a limited geographic region, or even feral “breeds” that are naturally selected. Depending on definition, hundreds of "breeds" exist today, developed for many different uses. Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold bloods," such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and "warmbloods," developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe.

Horse breeding Human-directed process of selective horse breeding

Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling.


Warmbloods are a group of middle-weight horse types and breeds primarily originating in Europe and registered with organizations that are characterized by open studbook policy, studbook selection, and the aim of breeding for equestrian sport. The term distinguishes these horses from both heavy draft horses and refined light saddle horses such as the Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Akhal-Teke. Although modern warmbloods are descended from heavier agricultural types systematically upgraded by hotblood influence, the term does not imply that warmbloods are direct crosses of "cold" and "hot".

Arabian horse Horse breed originating in the Middle East

The Arabian or Arab horse is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

Lipizzan Horse breed noted for use in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna

The Lipizzan or Lipizzaner, is a horse breed named for the Lipizza Stud of the Habsburg monarchy. The breed is closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, where the horses demonstrate the haute école or "high school" movements of classical dressage, including the highly controlled, stylized jumps and other movements known as the "airs above the ground." The horses at the Spanish Riding School are trained using traditional methods that date back hundreds of years, based on the principles of classical dressage.

Purebreds, also called purebreeds, are cultivated varieties or cultivars of an animal species, achieved through the process of selective breeding. When the lineage of a purebred animal is recorded, that animal is said to be pedigreed.

Ukrainian Riding Horse Ukrainian breed of warmblood sport horse

The Ukrainian Riding Horse or Ukrainian Saddle Horse is a modern Ukrainian breed of warmblood sport horse. Breeding began in the years after the Second World War at the stud farm of Dnipropetrovsk in central Ukraine – at that time in the USSR – and later expanded to three other state stud farms. It derives from cross-breeding of Hanoverian, Thoroughbred and Trakehner stallions with local mares or with Hungarian Furioso, Gidran Arab or Nonius mares. It incorporates the last bloodlines of the extinct Orlov-Rostopchin or Russian Saddle Horse. It was bred to compete in show jumping, three-day eventing and dressage, but is also suitable as a general riding horse.

Haflinger A breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy

The Haflinger, also known as the Avelignese, is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late 19th century. Haflinger horses are relatively small, are always chestnut with flaxen mane and tail, have distinctive gaits described as energetic but smooth, and are well-muscled yet elegant. The breed traces its ancestry to the Middle Ages; several theories for its origin exist. Haflingers, developed for use in mountainous terrain, are known for their hardiness. Their current conformation and appearance are the result of infusions of bloodlines from Arabian and various European breeds into the original native Tyrolean ponies. The foundation sire, 249 Folie, was born in 1874; by 1904, the first breeders' cooperative was formed. All Haflingers can trace their lineage back to Folie through one of seven bloodlines. World Wars I and II, as well as the Great Depression, had a detrimental effect on the breed, and lower-quality animals were used at times to save the breed from extinction. During World War II, breeders focused on horses that were shorter and more draft-like, favored by the military for use as packhorses. The emphasis after the war shifted toward animals of increased refinement and height.

Stud (animal)

A stud animal is a registered animal retained for breeding. The terms for the male of a given animal species usually imply that the animal is intact—that is, not castrated—and therefore capable of siring offspring. A specialized vocabulary exists for de-sexed animals and those animals used in grading up to a purebred status.

Kisber Felver Breed of horse

The Kisber Felver is a rare sport horse breed developed at the former Kisber Stud in Hungary. The Kisber Felver is not widely known, but has merit in sport horse disciplines. Only a handful of people continue breeding Kisber Felver horses today.

Shagya Arabian Breed of horse

The Shagya Arabian is a horse breed which was developed in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 19th century at the Bábolna, Mezőhegyes, Radautz, Piber, and Topolcianky studs. Today it is most often seen in the Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, the former Yugoslavian countries, Poland, Germany, and Hungary, but has been exported to other nations and is bred around the world. A purebred Shagya Arabian today has bloodlines that can be traced in all lines to the stud books of Rădăuți, Babolna, and Topolcianky. The breed is considered by some to be a subtype of Arabian horse, but due to the presence of a small amount of non-Arabian breeding others consider it to be an Anglo-Arabian or a partbred Arabian.

Nonius horse Breed of horse

The Nonius is a Hungarian horse breed named after its Anglo-Norman foundation sire. Generally dark in color, it is a muscular and heavy-boned breed, similar in type to other light draft and driving horses. The breed was developed at the Imperial Stud at Mezőhegyes, Hungary by careful linebreeding. Originally bred to serve as a light draft and utility horse for Hungary's military, the breed became a useful agricultural horse during the 20th century. The depredations of World War II significantly reduced the Nonius' population, and in the decades after the war, a downturn in the usage of horses in Hungary sent many members of the breed to slaughter. Today the breed is bred by preservationists and is used in agriculture, leisure riding, and competitive driving sports. The largest numbers of Nonius horses are still found at Mezőhegyes, with representatives in other eastern European nations as well.

An Austrian Warmblood is a warmblood type of horse registered with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Warmblutzucht in Österreich. Although the studbook is made up of jumping and dressage horses from many other countries, the mare base consists of native horses with a long history. The AWÖ keeps an open studbook, in which mares and stallions must pass rigorous inspections before becoming breeding stock.

Marbach Stud

The Marbach Stud, German: Haupt- und Landgestüt Marbach, is Germany's oldest state stud farm for horse breeding, has a history that dates back over 500 years. It is located in southwest Germany near Gomadingen in the Reutlingen district of Baden-Württemberg. The annual stallion parade is an internationally known attraction, and the stud hosts over 500,000 visitors per year. The stud also offers courses for those wishing to learn to ride or drive, as well as an instructor training program. Marbach is known for producing athletic horses with good temperaments, and has careful management practices, including that of allowing young, untrained horses the opportunity to grow in a natural setting conducive to their mental as well as their physical development.

Frederiksborger Breed of horse

The Frederiksborger is Denmark's oldest horse breed. They were tremendously popular throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods and were considered luxury items. Today, the breed is rare, but has a loyal following. Stallions and mares undergo studbook inspections before being allowed to breed. They are most often chestnut with white markings.

German Warmblood may refer generally to any of the various warmblood horses of Germany, or more specifically to a warmblood registered with the nationwide German Horse Breeding Society (ZfDP). Beneath the umbrella term German warmblood are several regional variations on a singular standard; individual German warmblood types are not necessarily considered "breeds", because they have an open stud book and freely exchange genetic material between each other, with other warmblood types, with Anglo-Arabians, and with breeds like the Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Trakehner.

Thoroughbred Horse breed developed for racing

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

Piber Federal Stud

The Piber Federal Stud is a stud farm dedicated to the breeding of Lipizzan horses, located at the village of Piber, near the town of Köflach in western Styria, Austria. It was founded in 1798, began breeding Lipizzan horses in 1920, and today is the primary breeding farm that produces the stallions used by the Spanish Riding School, where the best stallions of each generation bred at Piber are brought for training and later public performance. One of Piber’s major objectives is "to uphold a substantial part of Austria’s cultural heritage and to preserve one of the best and most beautiful horse breeds in its original form."

Part-Arabian Breed of horse

A part-Arabian, partbred Arabian or, less precisely, half-Arabian, is a horse with documented amounts of Arabian horse breeding but not a purebred. Because the Arabian is deemed to be a breed of purebred horse dating back many centuries, the modern breed registries recognized by the World Arabian Horse Organization generally have tightly closed stud books which exclude a horse from registration if it is found to contain any outside blood. However, Arabian breeding has also been used for centuries to add useful traits to countless other horse breeds. In the modern era, crossbreeding has been popular to combine the best traits of two different breeds, such as color, size, or ability to specialize in a particular equestrian discipline.

Yeguada Militar de Jerez de la Frontera

The Yeguada Militar de Jerez de la Frontera, known outside Spain as the Yeguada Militar, is a military Spanish stud farm headquartered in Andalusia, Spain, dedicated to horse breeding of purebred Andalusian horses and Arabian horses. Founded in 1847, it became the state military stud farm in 1893. In the 20th century, as need for cavalry horses declined, the stud's emphasis shifted to become a genetic reservoir to preserve the bloodlines of the Pure Spanish Horse and to continue to breed high quality Arabian horses, with stallions of both breeds being made available to private horse breeders to improve the horses of Spain. Today, there are two facilities located in the Jerez de la Frontera area, one primarily for stallions, the other for mares and foals, as well as multiple stallion depots across the country.


  1. "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  2. Eylers. "History and present day situation of the principal and state studs of Germany". State Studs of Germany. Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2008-02-05.