Perfect Horse

Adventure & Travel Society & Culture
Animals, Breeding, Horse
55:00 & 93:00
Hans Fels
Pieter van Huystee/VPRO
HD available

With dedication and craftsmanship generations of horse breeders created a unique horse – the Lipizzaner – into perfection. But now their craft is challenged by new insights in the genetics that offer horse breeders new tools to bend the evolution to their will. How far do you go to create the perfect horse?

In a captivating visual style filmmaker Hans Fels takes us on a quest through central Europe, in search of the mysteries of the pureblood horse. In the court stables of the former Habsburg Monarchy, the Lipizzaners are still being bred according to the same principles as four centuries ago. We meet master breeder Harold and his team of breeders and caretakers. His eyes half shut he looks at the mares and stallions, and his Fingerspitzengef√ľhl tells him how to cross and how to evade inbreeding.

Exploring the old and new ways that horses are bred to perfection, the film raises all kinds of questions. How is biotechnology going to redefine the course of breeding? Is nature stronger than nurture? While in China tens of workers are busy analyzing the DNA of the Lipizzaner what will all the possibilities of genetics bring for animal, plant and … man? In that sense the creation of the Lipizzaner becomes a metaphor for our attitudes towards nature and culture, evolution and heredity.