Breed Organization Information
(Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands)
3700 AJ, Zeist, Holland
About the Breed
The Groningen breed originated in the northeastern Netherlands province of the same name. The breed resulted from the crossing of the East (Dutch) Friesian and German Oldenburg with native stock found in the province. In this region, the soil is of a heavy clay requiring a much heavier and denser horse than the lighter type horse developed for the sandy soil of central and eastern regions, the Gelderland. In the nineteenth century, the Suffolk Punch was crossed with the breeding stock to give the Groningen weight and strength.
With the mechanization of agriculture, this heavy farm horse was bred with lighter breeds producing a heavyweight saddle horse and an excellent carriage horse. In the 1970s, the Groningen breed nearly became extinct when only one purebred stallion remained (other than its crossbred descendants in the Dutch Warmblood breed). Today, breeders have taken steps to assure preservation of this old breed.
Like the Dutch Gelderland, the Groningen has today been absorbed for the most part into the Dutch Warmblood breed. The powerful quarters of the Groningen have contributed greatly to the jumping power of the Dutch Warmblood and the Groningen is designated a basic type in the Dutch Warmblood stud book.
For additional information see The Dutch Warmblood section.
Groningen horses have a long head with a straight face and long ears. The neck is of medium length and well muscled, wide at the base; the withers are prominent and long; the back is long; the croup is flat with a high tailset; and the quarters are powerfully muscled. The chest is wide and deep with great depth to the girth. The legs are short, well muscled, and strong with excellent joints and well-shaped hooves. The primary colors are black, bay or brown. The Groningen stands between 15.3 and 16.1 hands.