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Horse Breeds
First Posted: June 30, 2009
Sep 19, 2010



Country of Origin: Netherlands
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The Groningen is an old breed originating in the Groningen region of the Netherlands. It has the distinction of being, along with the Gelderlander, the founding stock of the popular show horse, the Dutch Warmblood. Although today's horse is far from the old form, the rare specimens still possess the heavy, powerful body of its ancestors. With its background as a farmhorse bred specifically for the agricultural needs of the area, the Groningen has changed in use since 1945. The horse has since been lightened to create a more versatile all-around horse.

Physical Description

Standing between 15.2 and 16.2 hands high, the Groningen is still a large heavy saddle breed. Also used for light draft work, the horse's fairly long body and back lends itself to coach work. Longish ears, a straight face and intelligent eyes make a handsome head. The horse has a powerful, deep body with strong shoulders and legs and short cannon bones. The tail is set high. It has a willing and obedient character, and is known for being gentle.


From the Groningen area of the Netherlands, the Groningen was developed exclusively as a practical heavy farm horse for the region. The breed gets much of its build from its neighbor, the Friesian, and its strength and calm character from the Oldenburg. Quality horses pass on their size, good bone, and sound constitution allowing it to work well on a meager diet.

Interesting Facts

Falling out of favor because its practical farm use has steadily declined over the years with the development of modern technology, the Groningen has become a fairly rare breed. Although its old form is hardly recognizable in today's breed, it still has a good coach horse quality.


1. Friesland Stock 2. Andalusian 3. Arabian 4. Barb 5. Oldenburg 6. Friesian 7. East Friesian

For More Information:

Groningen Horse

Groningen Horses in Driving Class

Groningen Horse Studbook


Permission given by my dear friend, Cowboy Frank, to use his breeds section.
Oklahoma State University list of livestock breeds

Horse Breeds