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Groningen horse breed information

HBL rank
#24

Groningen horse horse breed
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Modified on: 9/2/2015 6:22:07 AM

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Groningen horse horse general information

  • COLOR
    Dark colors predominate in the Groningen; about 90% are black or some shade of bay. A small percentage are chestnut or gray.
  • SIZE
    Approximately 15.3 - 16.1 hh
  • WEIGHT
    N/A
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY
    N/A
  • ORIGIN
    The Netherlands
  • USES
    N/A
  • INFLUENCE
    Alt-Oldenburg/East Friesian, Silesian, East-German, and Holsteiner horses
  • TEMPRERAMENT
    Groningen horses are known for their steady temperaments

Groningen horse description

The Groningen Horse resembles Gelderlander breed, but it is heavier and larger. The Groningen has a long and powerful body with a deep girth. The hindquarters are strong and muscular and the joints are enunciated and rounded. A Groningen's neck is short and the head is heavy with a pronouncedly convex profile.

Though the breed is dwindling out, particularly over the last century, it is still often used as a cross breeding horse. The Groningen type is desirable because it's strong, but also has a very calm, tractable, and willing personality. Like the Gelderlander, the Groningen Horse was originally bred with a firm focus on temperament.



The Groningen Horse is a man-made breed. Originally, the prototype was based on the Oldenberger and the Friesian, a large horse that was popular at the time, and the Groningen was a success. By the early nineteenth century, it was a beloved farm horse also used in coach and carriage work.



After the World War II, the breed became more compact. It was an attempt by breeders to keep up with changing style preferences. However, due to the increasing mechanization of agriculture in the area, the Groningen's numbers began to dwindle.



In an attempt to revive the breed and prevent it from being assimilated into the Dutch Warmblood stud book, the official Groninger Horse Association, or 'Het Groninger Paard' was founded in 1982. As a result of strict breeding policies, the Groninger's numbers are growing again. Today, there are an estimated three to four hundred registered Groningers and 25 registered stallions.

Groningen horse history

The Groningen originated in the Netherlands during the late 1800's from Oldenburg horses bred to the local draft breeds. The breed almost was lost in the 1970's as most of the animals were absorbed into the Dutch Warmblood breed. At that time only a single purebred stallion remained. Oldenburg blood has been used to reduce the inbreeding during the reestablishment of the breed.

Groningen horse health and genetic issues

The greatest concern for the Groningen is inbreeding. As in other warmblood registries, stallions must undergo a veterinary examination before they are allowed to breed. In consequence, the breed is sound, long-lived, and thrifty.

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