Breed Organization The American Hanoverian Society Website: http://www.hanoverian.org Native Country Germany Other Names N/A Average Height ------------ Adult Weight ------------ Rider Experience Level ------------
Breed Description Quality performance prospects are the result of the Hanoverian selection process. Each year the American Hanoverian Society
organizes a national inspection tour to register foals, inspect and performance test mares and license stallions. In order for a
foal to be registered, both the sire and dam must be AHS approved. German and American inspectors evaluate mares for type,
conformation and gaits. The Mare Performance Test scores a mare's rideability, gaits and jumping talent. Mares are placed in
various sections of the Studbook based on both their overall scores and their dam's Studbook placement. The very best mares
can earn the title of Elite Mare upon successfully completing the Mare Performance Test.
All stallion candidates must
be presented for physical inspection. If scores on conformation, movement and jumping ability are sufficient, a temporary
breeding license is granted. Within two years, stallions must complete and pass the 100-Day Stallion Performance Test that
evaluates gaits, trainability and athletic ability in dressage, show jumping and cross-country. Eligibility for breeding is
Certain non-Hanoverian mares and stallions are eligible for inspection and entry into the studbook if
they meet strict breed and pedigree requirements and attain sufficient scores upon presentation. A horse with only one AHS
approved parent (either Main Studbook dam or an Elite Stallion sire) is eligible for a Certificate of Pedigree, which enables
participation in the AHS Awards Program.
Masculinity/Femininity and Typiness:
Stallions must have a distinctly masculine bearing and mares a distinctly feminine expression. A horse's type must correspond to
the Society's breeding goal. Conformation:
The main part of the body from the chest to the buttocks should fit into a rectangular (not square) frame with all parts
harmoniously integrated. Also desired is a noble head with expressive eyes sitting on a well proportioned and well put on neck.;
withers that are pronounced and extending far back; sloping shoulders with the angle between the scapula and humerus large and
open; a long, broad forearm on a correspondingly short cannon bone; and straight legs. Also preferred is a b, but not tight
back that is well padded in the area of the kidney; a long, well sprung hind rib; and a broad slightly sloping croup.
Careful attention is paid to the hindquarters -- their angulation, proportion and joint formation. The hocks must be broad, clear
and well defined; the pasterns of all four legs must be of proper slope and length; and the hooves should be well shaped, b
and sound. Gaits:
Movement as seen from the front and the rear must be straight with no paddling, winging or crossing over. Impulsion and Elasticity:
Impulsion must clearly emanate from the hindquarters, traveling through a relaxed back swinging in rhythm with the gait.
Movements should be big, yet light and springy. Walk:
The walk must be ground covering, relaxed and regular. Strides must be even and footfalls correct in their sequence -- not
lateral or pacing. Freedom of shoulders and haunches and a supple back must be evident. Overall Impression and Development:
As to size, sound judgement should prevail. Horses should be neither excessively large nor too small. In all cases height
should be in proportion to the overall build. Harmony is more important than size. A horse's development must be commensurate
with its age.
History The Hanoverian horse is a warmblood horse which is bred to excel in the equestrian disciplines of jumping, dressage, eventing
and driving. The breed originated in northern Germany in the state of Lower Saxony, the former kingdom of Hannover, where a
flourishing horse-breeding industry has existed for 400 years. The State Stud was established at Celle in 1735, and the
Hanoverian Studbook was officially begun in 1888.
Refining stallions, primarily Thoroughbreds were crossed with domestic
mares to improve the quality of horses for cavalry and farming. Through the years the Hanoverian breeding program has adapted to
the need for a more athletic riding horse, introducing other breeds as appropriate. The result is the modern Hanoverian horse.
The breed retains the substantial bone, sturdiness and stamina of its heritage: nearly 300 years ago the Hanoverian was bred to serve
as a robust carriage and military horse. Since the end of World War II, the breeding goal has been exclusively to produce a versatile
performance horse. Breeding stock is carefully selected for correct conformation, athletic ability and inner qualities such as
disposition and trainability. The Hanoverian has natural impulsion and light and elastic gaits characterized by a ground-covering
walk, a floating trot and a round, rhythmic canter. The success of Hanoverian horses in competition proves the soundness of this
breeding program - 13 medals in the 1992 Olympics and four consecutive World Breeding Championships as well as five gold, one silver
and two bronze medals in dressage and show jumping at the 1996 Olympics.