Danubian Horse

The Danubian Horse is a rare breed that is slowly gaining popularity.

They are known for their friendly disposition.

In this post, we’ll discuss the history of the breed and their characteristics, so if you’re interested in learning more about the Danubian Horse, keep reading!

Danubian Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Danubian horse:

Height (size) 15.3 – 16.0 hands high
Colors Bay, chestnut, black
Country of Origin Bulgaria
Common Uses Light draft work, general riding

Danubian Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Danubian horse was developed in 1924 on the former Klementina stud farm (now called Georgi Dimitrov Industrial Animal Complex) in Pleven region in order to meet the requirements of the Bulgarian Army for light draft horses and to improve the working capability of the local horse population.

The foundation stock were Nonius stallions and mares imported in 1956 from Hungary (from the Mezohegyes stud farm) as well as the Czechoslovak Republic and the former Yugoslavia.

Along with strict selection, three breeding methods were employed: purebred breeding of the imported Nonius stallions and mares, then also crossbreeding of local mares with Nonius stallions, and finally backcrossing of Nonius stallions with mares of the previous generation of local improved mares.

In 1951, the Danubian horse was formally recognized as a breed.

Lack of economic development and the privatization of the Klementina stud farm in the late 1990s resulted in a steep drop in the number of mares and stallions, many of which were sold to private owners.

The employment of these animals on farms has decreased over the years, and the focus of the breed has shifted toward producing a more athletic animal by adding Thoroughbred blood.

According to information provided by the National Association of Horse Breeding, there were 250 total horses under the association’s management that were listed in the studbook and breed registration in 2019.

This calls for immediate planning so that a selection program may be prepared to provide a suitable approach to reproduction and the avoidance of inbreeding.

A 2022 research found that the Danubian horse population has a relatively low rate of inbreeding and a high degree of genetic variation.

The Danubian horse, Pleven and the East Bulgarian horse are the 3 modern breeds in Bulgaria.

Only six of the founder sire lineages that were involved in the development of the Danubian horse breed persist today: Zdravko, NONIUS XVII-30, Torpedo, Lider, Kalifa, and Hrabar.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names

“Dunayska”, “Dunav Horse”


Good disposition

Physical Characteristics

They have an impressive constitution, compact size, and light gaits and were bred for transportation and farm work.

They are strong with solid skeletal structure.


Bay, chestnut, black

Height (size)

15.3 – 16.0 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Light draft work, general riding


Generally of good health

Popular Traits



Requires minimal food to thrive

Country of Origin



Local stock, Nonius, later: Thoroughbred