The Werner Stamm Foundation for the Preservation of Rare Equids - located in Oberwil, Switzerland (near Basel) - was officially founded by Werner Stamm and his wife Dorothee Stamm-Bachmann on December 1, 1975.
Having grown up in close vicinity to Basel's zoo, Werner Stamm was exposed to horses very early on and developed a deep appreciation for nature and its animals. He went on to become a committed, forceful and innovative architect who followed through with whatever he set his mind to; this holds especially true for his passion for wildlife. Being ahead of his time, he established organic farming on his estate twenty years before the concept of environmentalism became a matter of public awareness.
As his fascination with horses grew steadily, he became an international dressage rider, as well as a judge. When the last of the prehistoric equids had become extinct in the wild in the 1960s, Werner Stamm decided to take charge and join those who fought to preserve this last prehistoric form of the horse. He set up large enclosures and stables on his estate just outside the city of Oberwil. In 1970 the first Przewalskis horses were brought to Oberwil.
In order to thoroughly support the project, a board of trustees was founded in 1975. The board consisted of experts, mainly from the natural sciences. The first president of the board was Prof. Dr. Urs Rahm, who was the director of the Museum of Natural History of Basel at that time. A breeding station for wild equids was established - guided by scientific experts - where various types of equids were bred successfully.
Werner Stamm and his wife Dorothee Stamm-Bachmann lead the station with great diligence; their extensive related travel enabled them to make significant contacts around the world. Both of them acquired great knowledge relating to the biology of wild equids over the years.
When Werner Stamm passed away, his wife Dorothee Stamm-Bachmann took over her husband's position and became the committed head of the Werner Stamm Foundation.
Today their son, Stephan Stamm, is responsible for the future of this successful institution.