The history of the Oldenburg horse dates back to the early 1600’s by achieving its name and fame through Europe’s Count Anton Günther von Oldenburg who was a renowned horseman and a great supporter of the breed.

Three important events helped to shape the breed:  the first stallion approved decreed by state lay in the year 1820 with the introduction of the register or origins in 1861,  and the foundation of the two horse breeding societies by the Horse Breeding Act of April 9, 1897.  These two were merged in the year 1923 and The Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society was formed.  The breed refinement measures were introduced in 1935 with a thoroughbred stallion, Lupus xx and in 1950 by Condor.  Due to the success breeder had with Condor, many breeders turned to the French Stallions around the end of the 1960’s.

Furioso II was the first Anglo-Norman of modern breeding.  This sire is held in the utmost regard.  The French Anglo-Arabian stallion, Inschallah AA was used in Oldenburg in small doses with great success.

A privately owned Oldenburg Stallion, Donnerhall, born in 1981 became one of the most successful sires of his generation in Germany.  He holds the highest dressage breeding value index (271) of all stallions.  He placed second among seventy stallions at his performance test and went on to become the DLG Champion in 1986.  Donnerhall won more than 65 FEI Level and Grand Prix competitions and competed successfully until he was retired at the age of seventeen.  His remarkable success as an international competitor and breeding stallion has made him one of the most successful dressage stallions in the world today.  He has over 77 approved sons (all registries), 450 broodmares, 84 which are State Premium, and over 636 competition horses.  In 1994 in Den Haag, he was a member of the gold winning team at the World Championships in Dressage and won the individual Bronze Medal.  He is a member of the current European Championship Team and won the individual Bronze Medal.  This horse has made a tremendous impact on the sport horse breeding world.

The Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society is a division of the Verband der Zuchter des Oldenburger Pferdes, otherwise known as the German Oldenburg Verband or GOV.  When receiving approvals for ones mares and stallions the rules of the German Breeding Laws apply.  These rules are enforced and one addition has been made; in the event your foal or dam cannot attend the inspection because of illness, they will extend the timeframe for inspection of the foal for one year only.  Progeny not inspected within the year of their birth can still be inspected and papered as yearlings as long as a veterinary certificate with the explanation of their prior condition which prohibited the foal from attending the inspection.

Stallion Inspections
Stallions must be inspected between the ages of two and four by calendar year.  The GOV will no longer inspect stallions five years or older unless they have completed their 100 day test with the appropriate qualifying scores or they have met their performance requirements.

The candidates must be out of Main Mare Book mares, or a mare eligible for Main Mare Book.  This stallion must also come from and be registered by an approved registry.

Broodmare Inspections
This registry has much to improve on, and this is very critical to the breed.  The reason the European registries are so successful it there is predictability in the progeny produced by well documented lines.  The GOV relies heavily on statistics from the FN breeding books as well as good auction riders that in return give feedback on the young horses with respect to the temperament and rideability.  Due to mares that have untraceable pedigrees and/or by stallions not bred as sport horses, such as race track thoroughbreds, one is never quite sure what they will get.  Thoroughbred mares continue to get approved, but their quality must be high both conformationally and mentally.  They must have flowing gaits and they prefer that the horse has competed in sport horse disciplines.  There are four studbooks for mares, the highest being the Main Mare Book.  Good quality mares with original or reissued registration papers from an accepted breed registry can be entered in the Main Mare Book.

Premium Awards
Foals from Main Mare Book mares are eligible to receive a Premium Foal award.  Only Main Mare Book mares are eligible for Premium Mare awards.

The Oldenburg horses are well known for their mild manner, great conformation and an all around great sport horse.  Used in many disciplines, mainly dressage and jumping.

Contributed By: Nanette Hughston