Celle State Stud is a state-owned facility for horse breeding in Celle, Germany. The State Stud of Celle, located in what is now known as Lower Saxony, was founded in 1735 by order of George II, King of Great Britain, Elector of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Its purpose was to make high-quality stallions available to local breeders. Several wars affected not only the safety of the horses, but the types of stallions housed there. Celle's history is intertwined with the history of the Hanoverian horse breed, but the breed registry is privately owned and is an entity independent of the stud. Today the state stud is known for its annual stallion parades.
The Lower Saxony State Stud of Celle was founded on July 27, 1735. Celle's foundation is unique among the state studs of Germany, because it was not originally based on a royal stud or courtly stables. It was established by the decree of King George II of Great Britain, also the Elector of Hanover and Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Although it was established by this royal decree, the stud has always been "exclusively for the improvement of horse breeding for farmers." The quality of local stock had a direct impact on the safety of a sovereign region. In times of war, cavalry horses were recruited locally from farmers, and the quality of remounts affected the outcomes of battles. Furthermore, nobles wanted quality riding horses for personal use and harness horses for carriage transport. Poor quality local stock meant that nobles had to rely on importation for quality horses. Establishment of a state stud meant that fine riding and driving horses could be purchased locally, reducing trade dependence on other autonomous regions. The first sires to stand there were 12 black Holsteiners. Young stallions were generally imported from Mecklenburg and England. Despite the close connection between Hanover and Great Britain, Thoroughbred horses could not play a role in the founding of the stud, as the breed was in its infancy in Celle's own early years. Pedigrees were recorded in Celle's studbooks as early as the end of the 18th century.
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