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The Holsteiner initially evolved from native North German stock in the province of Schleswig-Holstein and were in high demand by the military and royalty throughout Europe. As demand grew for a lighter horse, infusions of the Yorkshire Coach Horse were used.
About the turn of the century, Thoroughbreds and Anglo-Normans were used to begin shaping the breed into a world-class performance horse. While excelling in the jumping sport, the Holsteiner has also made his mark in Dressage, Eventing and Combined Driving. Holsteiner blood is also greatly valued in other Warmblood breeds, being found conspicuously in the Dutch Warmblood horse.