conformation convex head, short neck, long back,
broad, strong hlndquarters, round joints
colour black, bay, brown
height 15.2-16.2 hands
uses agriculture, harness
This powerful horse is somewhere between a warmblood and a draught type, a massive and imposing equine that combines strength and presence. He is bigger and heavier than his native cousin, the Dutch Warmblood, to whom he bears a going without compromising it. There are only about 300 established to prevent the Groningen being absorbed into the latter and to maintain the two distinct breeds. The studbook’s objective is to preserve and protect ‘a heavy warmblood horse with a powerful musculature, an appealing head, a strong and well-carried neck, good withers, a wide and deep rump, solid bones, short and strong cannon bones and wide, hard feet’.
ln 1970 the breed was nearing extinction, with only one purebred stallion remaining, called Baldewijn. Oldenburg blood has since been introduced to improve the Groningen and to avoid inbreeding. Experiments with Holstein and even Cleveland Bay stallions produced too much diversity the breed losing its characteristics. Later, both Thoroughbred and Trakehner blood was used to keep the Groningen breed resemblance, but as recently as 1985 a studbook was Groningens left; every year in August the breed has its own national show, during which horses put through in regional selections go forward for final approval.
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