It’s easy to pick a Knabstrupper out of the crowd. The Danish breed is an instant head-turner, featuring beautiful and unique coloring from solid to full leopard spotted coats, and everything in between. We are celebrating this breed as our April Breed of the Month on YourDressage! Join us all month long as we celebrate Knabstruppers with photo galleries and exclusive stories!
Dressage riders who choose Knabstruppers as their mounts are eligible for special awards through the Adequan®/USDF All Breeds Awards program as the Knabstrupperforeningen for Danmark (KNN) is a participating organization.
We recently asked our social media followers to share stories about what makes these horses so special. Here, a rider recovering from a broken neck shares how the reliable and sensible Knabstrupper was the perfect partner in her journey up the FEI Levels.
By Meagan Maloney
Meagan Maloney is an FEI Silver Medalist and trainer in Ontario, Canada who is now pursuing dressage after breaking her neck in an eventing accident. Thanks in part to the Knabstrupper breed, she continues to compete and train horses in both disciplines, while also attempting to achieve her Gold Medal. After such a major injury, safety became Meagan’s higher personal priority as well as her main focus for both her clients and sales program. The cooperative, smart, and sensible Knabstrupper aligned beautifully with the desire to hold safety as the highest goal.
Entering into the breed in 2015, Meagan has rapidly developed a reputation for sales, by working as trainer and agent for some of the most prominent US breeders, as well as producing several of her own talented young stock. Meagan also has a knack for producing stallions for their ridden test and has an interest in growing the breed in North America. To date, North America has been home to only eighteen fully approved stallions (ever!), two of which were sourced by Meagan and imported from Denmark. She expects to add three more approved stallions to the roster in 2022.
Currently Meagan’s farm is home to half of the approximately 40 Knabstruppers in Canada, and she trains and stands more stallions than anyone outside of Denmark; with six to choose from for breeding. Her current riding string includes three Knabstrupper stallions and two geldings; Pyxis Av Drömmarna is owned by Kristi Stillwagon and is a young leopard stallion who debuted in the eventing world but will be coming out at First and Second Level in 2022. Toftegaardens Codex is her new 2021 acquisition, who hopefully will debut at Third Level in 2022, and move up to the FEI levels soon. Audacious TE will be doing his first season in the FEI 4-year-old ring.
In addition to producing stallions for performance tests, Meagan’s most exciting claim to fame, so far in performance, is riding Sartors Jet-Set to a top 10 finish in the Five-Year-Old Materiale Championship at Dressage at Devon in 2019, and competing for Canada in a CDI at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival on CCS Theoden. Theo is one of a small handful of Knabstruppers to ever compete in a CDI in North America.