About the Breed

The original proto-Hanoverian horses existed in 16th century Europe and were predominantly used as heavier military and agricultural harness horses. As farmers began to include Thoroughbred, Holsteiner, and Cleveland Bay blood, the domestic breed was refined and their purpose shifted to carriage horses and military mounts.

After World War II, the breed was once more restructured. They were refined further with Thoroughbred influence as well as with the introduction of light warmbloods such as Trakehners. This produced the contemporary Hanoverian: a noble, athletic, robust all-around warmblood sporthorse which is among the most successful breeds worldwide.

Their international success in sport transcends the Olympic equestrian events of eventing, showjumping, and dressage and their popularity as pleasure horses is ever-increasing due to their desirable temperament, correct conformation, and effortless adaptability to a multitude of disciplines. They may also be seen in combined driving and hunter/jumper competitions.

Traditional coat colors include chestnut, bay, black, and grey. Dark horses are favored. Palomino and cremello horses are often blocked from registry in Europe, but the gene is more widely accepted in North America. Pinto coat patterns are undesirable, though the sabino gene does run in the breed - it is permitted, but not preferred. White markings may be found on the face and/or legs, however solid horses are preferred and regulations discourage white in excess. An occasional "belly spot" is accepted due to the sabino gene.

Quick Facts

Height: 15.3 - 17.2 hands

Weight: 1200 - 1500 pounds

Coat Colors: Chestnut, bay, black, and grey. Some exceptions.

Markings: Limited white markings

Conformation: Robust with long necks, medium-sized heads, and large sloping shoulders. Muscular hindquarters with flat croup capable of producing significant impulsion, and the legs should have good bone length below the knees and hocks. Elegant and well-balanced body.

Common Uses: Dressage, show jumping, eventing, hunter-jumper, combined driving, pleasure

Temperament: Calm and level-headed

Place of Origin: Germany

Breed information pages are the property of Horse Phenomena. Information may be used freely on HorsePhenomena.com, and may be used for educational purposes, but should not otherwise be copied or reproduced without permission.