Name of breed: Oldenburg (also known as Oldenburger)
Country of origin: Germany
Breed origin: The Oldenburg is a warmblood breed that can be traced back to the 17th century in the German provinces of Oldenburg and East Friesland. The breed’s initial development as a coach horse was, in a fairly large way, due to the Count of Oldenburg, Anton Gunter von Oldenburg. He imported Spanish and Neapolitan horses to enhance the Oldenburg bloodlines, and over the next century the Oldenburger slowly became a more refined carriage type horse. Eventually though, their coarse Roman nose was bred out and they became more suited for work under saddle.
Today’s Oldenburg is developed from a mix of Friesians, Hanoverians, Normans, Cleveland Bays and Thoroughbreds. Bred solely for riding and competition, these additions of bloodlines have helped keep them with an even temperament and free action.
Distinguishing features: The breed is known for their expressive heads and long, supermodel-eske legs. They generally fit the model of a sport horse – built uphill with a reasonable long neck and a long, sloped pelvis. They are quite tall, standing between 16 to 17.2hh. Most Oldenburgers have expressive, elastic gaits with a great deal of suspension.
Modern day Oldenburg: Today the Oldenburg is bred for riding and competition in most disciplines, although unless directly sired by a Thoroughbred, most are too slow for eventing. Oldenburgers have been very successful however in the sport of show jumping, known to be bold, powerful and scopey over fences. The breed has also been successful in dressage and have competed in the Dressage competition at the Olympics over the years.
Image via Avalon Equine