Product Description: This is a scarce and desirable German Horsemans Badge of the Silver grade, struck from real silver. It appears to have been awarded and worn, and has some wear to the front. The reverse is complete and intact, with a barrel hinge, wide pin, and round wire catch. There is some attractive toning to the silver on the reverse. This German Horsemens Badge is well marked on the reverse of the wreath, with “Gesetzlich Geschützt” (indicating a legally protected design), the manufacturer name “L. Chr. Lauer, Nurnberg-Berlin,” and a “900” silver content stamp. This silver grade of the German Horsemans Badge was usually produced in bronze or white metal with a silver finish. The real silver pieces like this are very scarce and desirable.
Historical Description: The German Horsemans Badge (Das Deutsche Reitabzeichen) was a proficiency badge awarded for achievement in horse riding. It was originally instituted in 1930 by the “Reichsverband zur Zucht und Prüfung deutschen Warmbluts,” and was awarded in three grades: Bronze, Silver and Gold. To obtain the badges, riders were subject to formal tests for which they were graded. A rider had first to obtain the bronze badge before qualifying for the silver, and so on. The silver grade of the badge could be earned based on victories in sporting competitions, as well as through the tests; award of the gold badge required competitive victories. This badge continued to be awarded after the war, in a different form; the award criteria remained the same until 2014. Before and during WWII, the badge was permitted to be worn on the left breast of the uniform, including military uniforms. SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich and SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein were two high-ranking military bearers of this award.
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