Sheik af Hallundbaek

Chances are you've never seen a horse quite like Sheik af Hallundbaek.

©LaRen Stud

Sheik af Hallundbaek, a 16.1 hand black leopard spotted stallion was the first Danish Knabstrupper to pass the rigorous Rheinland Pfalz-Saar International 30 day stallion test in North America, which is judged on conformation, performance and attitude. Sheik was said to be "a gentleman with a capital G" by RPSI representatives. He is by Figaro af Hallundbaek, and from Kamma af Hallundbaek.

For Sheik's owner Raven Walters, whose LaRen Stud is the home of America's first purebred Knabstrupper herd, it was one more step in her mission to educate the world about this distinctive breed.

A rare breed with a romantic history, the Knabstrupper originated in Denmark and was bred exclusively for centuries as the horse of nobles and kings. Murals depicting the Knabstrupper date back to the 12th century. They were briefly used as officers' mounts in battle, but too often their colourful appearance gave away their location to the enemy.

Today the Knabstrupper is considered a versatile sporthorse and competes at the highest levels in competition, primarily in the disciplines of dressage, show jumping and combined driving. The breed is known for its intelligence, temperament and striking spotted pattern.

Sheik's Breyer model