Breed Profile:  Oldenburg

by Amber Powell

Note: For this profile I am going by the information provided by the Int. Sport Horse Registry, Oldenburg Registry of North America. While it is not a branch of a European breed organization, they use the high German standards mandatory for breeding stock and will be more relevant to showing here in the US.

Probably one of the best known warmbloods, the Oldenburg is a compact, powerful horse. They come in bay, black, brown, gray, and chestnut. Pintos are few but rare. They average 16.2 to 17 hands, and are compact, quite refined and elegant. Long front legs, powerful hind legs, a high neck set out of the shoulder with good length and a slender throatlatch, give them supreme athletic ability. They are known for good character, elastic gaits, great minds, and intelligence. Oldenburgs are top contenders in eventing, dressage, jumping and driving.

The secret of success of the Oldenburg Sport Horse is an "open book" that accepts the best sport horses (stallions and mares) from different sport horse bloodlines - including thoroughbreds - into its breeding program. Any outside stallion or mare wishing to be approved for breeding must pass a stringent inspection. Registered Oldenburgs must also be approved, and stallions between the age of two and four years must first be certified by an official licensing commission from the breed society. Each year, in October, hundreds of young stallions are gathered for inspection. This group of young horses is further reduced to what must be considered the finest of the group - approximately 75-85 young stallions. At the final exam, the stallion must be shown in hand and at liberty to demonstrate their athletic ability and will also be required to free jump a three-jump series. Following selection based on conformation and type, young privately owned stallions spend approximately 100 days at the government-owned-and-operated testing station at Adelheidsdorf, near Celle, or Medingen, West Germany. For a complete breakdown of the inspection and testing please visit this page.

The German Registry has four studbooks for mares, the highest being the Main Mare Book, where only good quality mares with original or reissued registration papers from an accepted breed registry are allowed. The NA Registry has two, the Premium Mare Book and the Main Mare Book.


Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society
North American Division of Verband der Zuchterdes Oldenburger Pferdes e.V.
150 Hammocks Drive
West Palm Beach, FL 33414-2054
(561) 969-0709

Verband de Zuchter des Oldenburger Pferdes e.V.
Grafenhorststr 5
49377 Vechta

International Sport Horse Registry, Inc
Oldenburg Registry North America
939 Merchandise Mart
Chicago, Illinois 60654
phone (312) 527-6544
fax (312) 527-6573