The Oldenburg

Get Oldenburg horse breed characteristics, history, and photos.

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Oldenburg Horse Breed History

The Oldenburg was created in the 17th Century through the endeavors of Count Johann XVI von Oldenburg and Count Anton Gunther von Oldenburg to create a grand carriage horse. Small breeding farms throughout the provinces of Oldenburg and East Friesland were developed.

Cantering Oldenburg horse

These original Oldenburgs were based on native Friesian stock, with Turkish, Neopolitan, Spanish, Danish and Andalusian influences.

In 1950, the objectives of cavalry gave way to those of sport. Until this time Thoroughbred blood was used sporadically, but in 1959 crossings to athletic Thoroughbred stallions began in earnest. By allowing other breeds into their studbook, the Oldenburg Verband was able to create a superb sporthorse. This policy remains today, and breeders can choose the best stallions as long as they are approved and listed in the Oldenburg studbooks. Breeds include Trakehner, Westphalian, Holsteiner and Hanoverian.

Ingrid Klimke
Ingrid Klimke of Germany rides the Oldenburg, Hale Bob OLD, through one of the water complexes on the cross-country course at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.

Oldenburg Horse Characteristics

Average height is 16.2 to 17 hands high; over 17 hands high is considered abnormal. Colors are bay, black, brown, gray and chestnut. Oldenburgs are known for their elastic gaits. They are branded on the left side flank with a large O topped with ducal coronet.

Angie Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate of the U.S.
Angie Peavy and her Oldenburg mare, Royal Dark Chocolate, compete for the U.S. in para-dressage at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games

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Further Reading

Oldenburg horse conformation

This breed profile was originally published on December 15, 2006.

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