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RPSI History

The RPSI has been inspecting and registering warmblood horses and German Riding Ponies in North America since 1995. While the RPSI now has a new German parent organization - the Westfalen Verband - and all foals and youngstock registered from 2017 on will share the breed-name Westfalen and sport the well-known W-brand, we are also very proud of the long tradition and history of our original parent organization - the Pferdezuchtverband Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar (PRPS). From 1995 until 2013 the breed-name for horses registered by the RPSI/PRPS both in Germany and in North America - was Zweibrucker.

The RPSI (originally Rheinland Pfalz-Saar International) has been a forward-thinking, innovative German-parent-based registry from the very beginning. Established as an extension of its original Verband rather than a counterpart, the RPSI has followed the same rules and regulations in North America as in Germany. The RPSI used top educated and qualified representatives directly from the German Verband at is North American Inspection, assuring more correct and ethical Keurings. As in Europe, approved mares and stallions were entered directly into the Mare and Stud Books in Germany, and foals were given a registration number at birth. This 'life number' follows the foal's show results, location, and breeding records. The RPSI has always supported and promoted stallion performance testing, and was the registry responsible for starting the 30 and 70 day stallion tests in North America.

For many years the office of the RPSI was located in Alta Loma, California, and staffed by JoAnn and Ernest Cohn. In 2014 the registry North American office moved to South Dakota, and the registry's day-to-day operations were overseen by North American director Ann Daum Kustar.

The RPSI has always been a proud and strong proponent of Permanent Horse Identification. From the very beginning, all foals registered with the RPSI have received permanent identification marks. Originally, Foals were branded with the traditional Zweibrucker brand along with the final two digits of their registration number, under the brand. Starting in 2014 the RPSI began microchipping North American horses as well as those in Germany. In 2016 microchipping was made mandatory, and branding optional. Also beginning in 2016, all foals were given a complimentary USEF number linked to their lifetime registration number and microchip, and DNA was done on 100% of foals.

Where did it all begin? The history of our original parent organization the PRPS begins as the territory of the Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar developed in southern Germany along the Rhine river. During the Roman Empire the area was a principality known as Rheinland Palatinate. In 1755 a state stud was established by Duke Christian IV von Pfalz-Zweibrucken. More than 100 stallions were traded with Trakehnen.

During the Napoleonic wars many stallions were lost to the French. There is even a famous painting of Napoleon riding a grey Zweibrucken stallion named "Fayom'. It is said that Napoleon was impressed by the beauty and stamina of the breed and once rode Fayom for 23 hours without interruption during the battle of Wagram in Austria, 1809.

The Pferdezuchterverband Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar e.V. (PRPS) was formed in 1977. In 1992 the PRPS opened an equestrian center (Pferdezentrum) in Standebuhl/ Donnersbergkreis. As one of the few breed associations with its own riding facilities, they were proud of being the center of administration as well as offering sales and training. Many outstanding and internationally successful horses have emerged from the ranks of the Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar and its annual auction. Robert Dover rode the Zweibrucken gelding, Romantico at the 1984 Olympics and Lucky Lord helped Margit Otto-Crepin and the French Dressage team place fourth in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Currently Lynda Alicki (USA) is also gaining international success on Gino by Grunstein ll. Apricot D by Alexis is ranked as one of the top two most successful show jumpers of alt time. His rider, the infamous Hugo Simon of Austria, achieved international success on two other Zweibruckers, Magnum and Amaretto D.

In 2014 our parent organization united with all Southern Germany to share the breed name Deutsches Sportpferd (DSP)- meaning 'German Sporthorse'. This breed-name was shared with an alliance of verbands making up over half of Germany, having the second largest mare-base in Germany. This South German Alliance is made up of Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Sachsen-Thüringen and Brandenburg-Anhalt, and such famous horses as Quaterback, Belantis, La Biosthetique Sam, Fischerrocana FST, and Colorit are all Deutsches Sportpferd, or German Sporthorse. So foals registered between 2014 and 2016 in the USA and in Germany, by the RPSI / PRPS, bear the breed name Deutsches Sportpferd, or DSP, along with the traditional Zweibrucker brand.

As many of you have heard, in Germany the Rhineland Studbook, located in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, has merged with the Hanoverian verband there, and is also now represented in North America as a branch of the American Hanoverian Society. The Rhineland organization is separate from the RPSI , and no, the RPSI never merged with the Hanoverians!

The RPSI / Westfalen NA offer breeding books for Westfalen (Warmblood), open to mares and stallions from all approved Warmblood registries, TB’s, Arabians and Anglo-Arabians. We also have books for German Riding Ponies, Kleines Deutsches Sportpferd, Knabstrupper and Haflingers. In our new partnershp with the Westfalen verband in Germany, we offer the same great customer service and years of expertise from our German and North American offices, and from our Stud Book Director Otto Schalter. And as always, we are focused on supporting North American breeders through education, marketing, and programs the RPSI has spearheaded, such as our Select Online Foal auction every fall!

We are very proud of the thousands of horses and ponies bearing the Zweibrucker bridge and crown brand who are active in sport and breeding in North America and beyond. From 2017 onward the Westfalen W will mark the quality horses registered by the RPSI / Westfalen NA! Pictured below from left to right: NA Bred RPSI Stallions Gallant Reflection HU (Horses Unlimited), and Silver Creek's Validation (Silver Creek Farm).