The Orlov Trotter (also known as Orlov; Russian: орловский рысак) is a horse breed with a hereditary fast trot, noted for its outstanding speed and stamina. It is the most famous Russian horse. The breed was developed in Russia in the late 18th century by Count Alexei Orlov at his Khrenovskoy stud farm near the town of Bobrov (Voronezh Guberniya). The Orlovs emerged as the result of crossing various European mares (primarily of English, Dutch, Mecklenburg, and Danish breeding) with Arabian stallions. During the 19th century, Orlov trotters were used mainly for riding and harness racing by Russian nobility. They were valued for their beauty and elegance combined with the ability to work hard. They were also used for the improvement of other Russian horses. When harness racing became widespread at the end of the century, the Orlovs faced intense competition from American-developed Standardbreds, who are generally recognized as less refined but faster than Orlov trotters. Eventually Standardbred stallions were crossed with Orlov mares and a new breed, the Russian Trotter, appeared. The possibility of the extinction of the Orlovs was a concern in the 20th century because of crossbreeding and the Soviet disregard of horse-raising. However, the breed survived, and today fifteen stud farms in Russia and Ukraine raise pure-blooded Orlov Trotters.
Also known as
This breed is also called Orlov Stallions as well as Orlov Trotter.
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