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By Jeffery Garfield

Last updated: 5th July 2023

Hanoverian Horse


Jeffery Garfield
Last updated: 5th July 2023

The Hanoverian Horse or simply the Hanoverian is a breed of German warmblood horses that are strong and robust. These noble and elegant horses have an appropriately proportioned body, and their flexible movements are marked by a ground-covering walk, a rhythmic canter, as well as a floating trot. As they are lightweight and agile, they often participate in different equestrian competitions including English dressage and mounted athletics.

Hanoverian Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Alternative Names Hannoverian, Hannoveraner
Temperament / Personality Bold, sensible, intelligent, willing, trainable, determined, disciplined, docile, calm, level-headed
Physical Characteristics A powerful, muscular body; a strong back, sturdy limbs; and athletic movement
Colors Black, bay, gray, and chestnut are common; cremello, palomino, buckskin, and excessively white horses are not allowed
Common Use Previously a carriage horse; now used for General Riding, Competitive Dressage, Show Jumping and Hunting, Eventing, and Equestrian Sports
Life Expectancy 25-35 years
Weight A matured Hanoverian can weigh around 1,400 lbs (635 kg)
Height (size) 15.3-17.2 hands (160-178 cm, 63-70 inches); most horses measure 16-16.2 hands (163-168 cm, 64-66 inches)
Health Hanoverians with the brand usually have a sound health. However, osteochondrosis can affect their joints; it can contribute to Wobbler disease, navicular syndrome, and osteoarthrosis
Gaited Yes
Popular Traits Beauty, grace, athleticism, strength, even temperament
Feeding/Diet Good quality forage including fresh grass and dried hay; grain mixtures can be given to complement the forage; fresh supply of water should be available
Blood Type Warm
Country of Origin Celle State Stud in Germany
Ancestors Thoroughbred, Cleveland Bay, Holsteiner, Prussian, Andalusian, Neapolitan, and Mecklenburg horses
Year/Time of Development In 1735
Recognized by The Hanoverian Verband

Video: Hanoverian Stallion


The Celle State Stud in Lower Saxony was founded by the royal decree of the British ruler George II, as well as the Duke of Braunschweig-Luneburg and the Elector of Hanover in 1735. The objective of establishing this royal stud farm was to improve the quality of horse breeding that would facilitate not just the farmers but also the cavalry. The King bought versatile stallions that could be used in harness and agriculture, as also for breeding the horses for the mounted cavalry.

The mares were mated with Thoroughbred, Cleveland Bay, Holsteiner, Andalusian, Neapolitan, Mecklenburg, and Prussian horses to improve the quality of local stock. This laid the foundation of the Hanoverians. During the late 18th-century, this breed gained popularity as an excellent coach horse. A law passed in 1844, prohibited those stallions not passed by the commission from being used as the breeding stock. Later in 1867, the breeders formed a society to produce horses for coach and military work. The society’s first studbook was published in 1888.

Soon after the First World War, the demand for these horses declined, and people started using them only for farm work. However, the Second World War somewhat changed the scenario as there was a rising need for riding horses and sport horses. Therefore, an improved breeding program was adopted involving Anglo-Arabian, Trakehner, and Thoroughbred stallions for the refinement of the breed.

Now, the Hanoverian Society provides various opportunities for the breeders to produce the best horses. It organizes the well-known auctions at the town of Verden, offers grading opportunities for young horses, mares, and stallions, as well as keeps records of breeds. This lets the breeders follow the bloodlines over different generations.

Interesting Facts

  • The dressage team that earned the Olympic gold medal at Beijing in 2008 consisted of three Hanoverian geldings including Bonaparte, Satchmo, and Elvis VA.
  • Shutterfly and For Pleasure are two of the most well-known Hanoverian show jumpers. While the Shutterfly had won the World Cup three times (2005, 2008, 2009), For Pleasure secured the second position in 1995 and had been a member of show jumping teams that won two Olympic gold medals.
  • According to the rankings published by WBFSH (World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses) in 2008, the Hanoverian studbook earned the third spot in eventing just behind the Irish Hunter and Selle Francais.

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