About Austrian Warmblood HorsesAbout Austrian Warmblood Horses

Austrian Warmblood horses are, unsurprisingly, warmblooded horses from Austria. They are the result of combining of multiple excellent horse breeds.  

The Austro-Hungarian Empire was known for its horse breeding programs which were based on a number of imperial stud farms. The role of these farms was to produce farm horses for the citizens, riding and carriage horses for the nobility, cavalry mounts and artillery horses for the military.  

Although the former empire is also famed for producing the Kladruber and Lipizzaner, prominent among these stud farms were those located at Mezohegyes and Bábolna. The former was founded in 1785, the latter was purchased by the government in 1789, and both are located in modern-day Hungary.  

Nonius horses were developed in Mezohegyes, Austria, which was similar to the western Heavy Warmbloods, used for light agricultural work and for pulling artillery wagons. Beginning in the 1840s, Thoroughbred stallions - Furioso and North Star prominent among them - were bred to the Nonius mares to produce strains of more refined cavalry mounts and carriage horses.  

The ranches at Bábolna, Austria, were originally an extension of Mezohegyes, but in 1816 the administration decided to use only Arabian and Arab-bred stallions to achieve their cavalry goals.  

In 1830 Shagya, a famous Arabian-bred stallion was born in Syria. He came to Bábolna in 1836 and founded a strain of light cavalry and carriage horses which were taller and heavier than purebred Arabians, but which retained distinct Arabian type. A chestnut Arabian named Gidran followed soon after, crossed on mares who were more Thoroughbred in type. Respectively, these two sires founded the Shagya Arabian and Gidran Anglo-Arabian breeds.  

The Nonius, Furioso-North Star, Shagya, Gidran, and several other strains are often collectively referred to as the Altösterreichische Pferderassen ("Old-Austrian Horse Breeds"). These horses formed the native mare base on which the Austrian Warmblood was founded.  

They are registered with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Warmblutzucht in Österreich (Association of Warmblood Breeding in Austria (AWÖ)). The AWÖ keeps an open studbook, in which mares and stallions must pass rigorous inspections before becoming breeding stock. The studbooks comprise about 2,500 mares and 80 stallions.  

Source: Wikipedia.