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Groningen Horse

The breed association 'Het Groninger Paard' (The Groningen Horse) was founded in 1982 and was recognized as an official studbook organisation under the Horse Act by decree of the Netherlands monarch on November 28, 1985. The reason it was founded was that other Dutch breed associations at the time merged into a single association, the Dutch Warmblood Studbook, with the objective to breed horses for sport. The Groningen horse, a specific North Netherlands type of horse, would have lost its identity in that merger.

This breed had been developed for working the heavy clay soil. The Groningen horse is a massive and powerful horse for farm work, but is also used as an imposing coach horse as well. The Groningen Association opened a special studbook for this breed in 1982 with the objective to preserve the breed and its distinct character.

As a result of its breeding policy designed in 1982, the Groningen horse survived as a breed and the number of horses has steadily grown. Under the articles of association, this breeding objective is described as follows: to preserve and breed the Groningen: "a heavy warmblood horse with a powerful musculature, an appealing head, a strong and well-carried neck, good withers, not too steep in the shoulders; a wide and deep rump, full, round rib case, solid bones, short and strong cannon bones and wide, hard feet. Its walk is roomy, the trot brisk and groping. This breed has a calm temperament. The primary colours are black, bay or brown."

The Groningen horse stands between 15.3 and 16.1 hands. The association presently has more than 400 members. The studbook and breeding register together list just over 300 horses. At present about 20 stallions are approved for breeding the Groningen. Every year in August there is a National Groningen Show in which the horses that qualified at Regional Selections are presented in hand in various categories for final selection. For any further information about organisation and breeding please contact us.

The original version of this article was from the official website of The Groningen Horse Association.