Ullu Becker is a horse person in every way. A lot of the horses she got to know in the many years she spent with these animals will certainly remain in her memory. Her all-time favorite, however, is and will always be Hrappur.

When Ullu starts talking about Hrappur, her eyes still lighten up. They lighten up even though the stallion who belonged to Ullu for 22 years of his 27 years in this world has passed away 33 years ago.

Since then, many high-class horses crossed her way. Surely, some of them were bred in her own stable, the Grenzlandhof. 50 years ago, she built up the stable with her husband, Claus. The Grenzlandhof has developed into a multi-generational business, run by Ullu herself together with her son and her daughter in law.

But until today, there has not been a horse like Hrappur!

How can it be that a breeder develops feelings as strong as these toward a horse – feelings that go far beyond any objective criteria that would usually characterize a good horse?

Love, no matter if toward another human or an animal, is something very irrational. But might there be a rational explanation for the development of such an extraordinary bond?

For Ullu and Hrappur, it certainly seems that way, as Ullu can describe precisely what made her fall in love with this stallion.

When she first saw him on her honeymoon to Iceland, he immediately made an impression on her.

Ullu and Claus saw a lot of horses on that trip through Iceland but none of them could compare to Hrappur:

Surrounded by his mares, he stood on the field, beautiful and proud, yet somehow unapproachable. When Jon Einarsson presented Hrappur’s offspring to the newlywed couple, the stallion convinced them immediately with his hereditary performance. The owner was also full of praise for Hrappur, boasting about his reputation, carefully omitting that Hrappur’s reputation was rather dubious.

Gunnar Steinsson, an insider and a friend of the couple accompanying them on their trip, however, urged them to be careful and prudent with the stallion:

“Don’t believe everything you are told”, he warned them. “This stallion should not be underestimated. Not only does he have a bad character… he doensn’t even have one. He isn’t even rideable.”

Ullu, however, could no longer be stopped and bought Hrappur in spite of the well-intentioned advice of her friend. Hrappur was exported to Germany in September 1964.

Sunna vom Steinbuckel, born 2005, Hrappur is represented several times in her pedigree.

Lína vom Grenzland, born 2000, Hrappur is represented several times in her pedigree as well.

In Germany, he could, once again, convince the Becker’s with his offspring and it did not take long for word to spread.

Therefore, Kurt Hilzensauer wanted to lend him for his breed, incidentally getting the opportunity to be convinced by this stallion’s strong personality, as well. When he came to pick him up alone, Hrappur was laying on the field relaxed in front of his herd.

Kurt was about to drive away the mares when the stallion slowly got up, stretching his neck and apparently giving the mares a sign to come back. He would not let Kurt catch him or even touch him. He couldn’t even be bribed with bread.

Kurt had to give up and return the next day to receive help from Ullu. Ullu – of course – could easily feed Hrappur the bread he had denied the other day. 

More than two decades, Ullu and Hrappur were inseparable. They shared unforgettable moments with each other. In Ullu’s eyes the stallion embodied the perfect Icelandic horse:

The combination between a good buddy and a sports champion.

Hrappur allowed her to show top sports performances on the one day and have a relaxed trip through the woods the other day. She even took him on a 100-days trip through the USA following the Great American Horse Race.

Besides his great reliability and endurance, he also showed other unknown but useful qualities to the participants of this challenging journey:

Ullu takes a rattlesnake skin out of an old coffee can, a souvenir from the USA.

His hearing was so sensitive that he could differentiate between the noise of a dangerous rattlesnake and a harmless cricket. When Hrappur kept calm they could be sure it was only a cricket, and nobody was in danger.

Ullu took a lot of time with the training of her favorite. She gave him all the time he needed to develop from the “unrideable horse with no character” to his true potential.

Who would have thought that this stallion would lay the foundation for the successful breed of the Grenzlandhof?

Ullu, who experienced a lot of enlightening moments on uncountable horses is convinced of one thing:

“One day, happy riders will always find their horse.”- Hers was called


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