Hanoverian breeding can be traced back to the 16th century when they were produced for agricultural uses for farmers and military purposes for the armies. The Celle National State Stud was founded in 1735 in Lower Saxony, Germany, to oversee the registration of breeding and foaling.

Isabell Werth (GER) rode Warum Nicht, a Hanoverian gelding, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and helped Germany win team bronze. CLIXphoto.com

Thoroughbred bloodlines were introduced to refine the breed at the beginning of the 19th century. By 1870 the breeding focus was on animals suitable as coach horses or military mounts. The Hanoverian Studbook was founded in 1888.

Breeders founded the Verband Hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter (Hannoverian Warmblood Breeders Association) in 1922. Following WWII, the Hanoverian breed was revamped once again, this time with Trakehner and Thoroughbred blood to create an exceptional riding and sport horse.

Currently there are approximately 16,000 registered broodmares and more than 400 stallions worldwide. This important breed has also been influential in improving many other sport horse breeds.


Hanoverians are athletic, elegant and powerful individuals ranging in size from 15.3-17.2 hands with a strong, relaxed back, muscular body, and correct limbs. They have refined heads with kind, alert eyes, attentive ears, and straight noses. Their powerful legs and strong hindquarters produce generous, free-flowing gaits.

Chestnut, bay, black, and gray are most common, and regulations prohibit buckskin, palomino and cremello horses from being registered, along with those displaying too much white.

The Hanoverian is willing, bold, sensible and intelligent, with an outstanding work attitude.


Hanoverian horses are among the most successful breeds in the world in the Olympic disciplines of dressage, show jumping, and eventing. They are also increasingly popular as show hunters, pleasure mounts, and for driving.

For more information, visit:
Hannoveraner Verband

Bob Langrish photo