The State Stud Farm at Redefin has been inextricably linked with the breeding of Mecklenburg horses since the beginning of the 18th century.
The stud farm has been in existence since before 1710 and provided the royal stables of the ducal place of Schwerin with horses of the highest standard. From 1795 to 1810, the stud was privately leased; since then it has operated as an influential stud farm.
The Foundation of the State Stud Farm Redefin
Herzog Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin founded the stud farm in 1812 in order to improve German horse breeding. In 1817 there were already 20 breeding stallions stabled at the breeding stations in Lübz, Schwerin, Rehna, Doberan, Grevesmühlen and Redefin. In 1840 Redefin maintained 134 breeding stallions at 26 different breeding stations all over Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
There was great demand from all over Europe for foals bred by using thoroughbreds and the long established mares. This cross breeding reached disproportionate levels. In 1847 only 17% of the breeding stallions that were used had less than 25 % thoroughbred. Together with failings within the breeding this led to a loss of profitability. This caused not only problems with the breeding of new stock but also a loss in profitability. In order to rebuild the profitability using appropriate suitable breeding stallions, the percentage of thoroughbred and half blood stallions was reduced. At the same time a new problem occurred because heavy horse stallions had been intensively crossed in the existing breed. The application of heavy horse breeds, which had its peak with 39 breeding stallions in 1867, contributed to the detrimental effect on the breed.
By reducing the amount of heavy horse stallions and by buying Hanoverian stallions from 1873 onwards, a new shift towards a regulated breeding programme started. Therefore in 1915 the stud had achieved a balanced variety of 142 breeding stallions at 36 breeding stations.
After World War I the amount of breeding stallions and the general breeding numbers increased (in 1920 Redefin had on their register 176 breeding stallions and 10084 mated mares). But with the decreasing sale of youngsters, as well as with the mechanisation of agriculture and the Great Depression in the late 1920s the breeding hit its low point in 1929 (with 2196 mated mares and 74 breeding stallions at 27 breeding stations).
On the January 1st 1934 with the amalgation of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz Redefin took over the breeding stallions, the staff and the inventory of the stud farm at Neustrelitz which had been closed.
Following the political takeover of the National Socialists, the amount of breeding stallions and the number of breeding stations increased. This reached a peak in 1945, with 151 breeding stallions at 44 breeding stations. Until 1945 the increased demand for horses was due to the use at Wehrmacht. After the war there was an increased demand for working horses. In 1949, the statistics showed that there were 221 breeding stallions (including 39 heavy horse stallions) stabled at 51 breeding stations. Since 1951 Redefin has been the official location of the state-owned stallions at Mecklenburg and Vorpommern. These had previously been supplied by the state stud farm at Labes until the end of World War II.
In the beginning of the 60s, the general mechanisation, as well as the decline of the rural economies and the creation of farming cooperatives, led to a significant decrease of general horse breeding and keeping. Therefore Redefin started to market riding horses at that time and established a tourist department. In 1970 the breeding management of Schwerin and Rostock was affiliated to Redefin. At this time the amount of breeding stallions had dropped to 86 breeding stallions, whereas in 1987 100 breeding stallions were stabled at 16 main and 23 side breeding stations, and the register at Redefin showed that 3221 mares had been covered.
In the course of the economical and political changes the federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern took over the state stud farm Redefin in 1993. Since then Redefin has become the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection in Schwerin. The federal government budget makes significant funds available for obtaining and renovating the stud’s historical facilities. In 1998, a new indoor riding arena was constructed on a vacant space behind the Stud’s façade. This had been a long term aspiration of the Stud.
Redefin now has 30 breeding stallions which are used for coverings at five main breeding stations. These 30 breeding stallions include one thoroughbred stallion, two Trakehner stallions, one Lewitzer stallion, 25 warm blood stallions, one heavy horse breed stallion.