The Trakehner breed honours the importance and origin of the maternal decent with the traditional ritual of letting the horses’ names begin with the first letter of the mare’s name; a tradition already followed in Trakehnen and East Prussia. The fate of following these name-giving regulations is only shared with the Thoroughbreds and Arabians, who also pay special attention to the maternal lines as origin of body and spirit. A family consists of at least three brood horses, standing in direct family relation.
With regard to the classification of mare families the Bobinski-index has been used since 1998. This method has already been successfully put to the test in the English Thoroughbred line, and now the Trakehner breed distinguishes between broodline mare, foundation mare and line founder. The broodline mare is the oldest, e.g. the first mare of the line whose name appears in the stud books. The foundation mare is a descendant of the broodline mare who founded its own family after the Second World War. Within this family dynasty there are so-called line founders who, due to their outstanding and characteristic heredity founded their own lines.
Due to the different origins of the broodline mares it was necessary to divide the mare families into five groups:
Trakehner Families (T-Families)
East Prussian Families (O-Families)
Other Families (S-Families)
English Thoroughbred Families (E-Families)
Arabian Horse Families (A-Families)
From the given definition, the Trakehner breed, analogously to the Bobinski-index, built its own family key. This family key consists of letters and numbers. It has the advantage that new families may be added at any time and that with this key also international family relations may be depicted.
Every family key starts with a letter. The letters T (Trakehnen), O (East Prussia), S (Others), E (English Thoroughbred) and A (Arab) give information as to the origin of the broodline mare. Within these groups the broodline mares are listed according to age, i.e. the oldest mare in each group receives the number 1 and then the other mares follow consecutively according to their dates of birth. An example: Within the East Prussian family (O-family) the 1894-born broodline mare Bertha receives the abbreviation O18, as she the 18th old mare in that line. According to definition every broodline mare has at least one foundation mare, usually more. For Bertha, born on the stud Dohna- Schlobitten, these are the foundation mares Rita from the breed of Andreas- Igor Meyhoeffer on the stud Hunnesru?ck and the famous family of Bea owned by the prince of Dohna- Schlobitten. To again show the age chronology the older mare Rita receives O18 A and Bea O18B.
The maternal line of Bea is one of the most important and far spreading families in West Germany and has several line founders; the 1952-born Blitzlicht (O18B1), who found dissemination in the house of Baumgard in Verden, the 1955-born Betty (O18B2) from the no longer existing stud Nottebohm in Imichenhain, the 1958-born Bellevue (O18B3) from the stable Bo?ttcher in Isernhagen and finally the 1959-born Bambina (O18B4) who also found dissemination in the stud of Benno Baumgard in Verden.
Many mares were assigned a breeder or owner as well as a breeding place or a country. Usually the mares keep their key. In special cases the key received an addition, e.g. ‘Mack-Althof Ragnit’.