Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Gidran   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Gidran is an endangered Hungarian breed, that is named after its foundation stallions Gidran II. While this breed is also known as 'Hungarian Anglo-Arab,' it should not be confused with the modern Anglo-Arab, as the two are different breeds with different lineages.

In 1816, a purebred Saqlawi Arabian stallion named Siglavy Gidran was imported to Hungary. There, he was crossed with an Andalusian mare which belonged to Mezohegyes State Stud (the same stud from which the Nonius breed originated.) The mare gave birth to a colt named Gidran II, who grew up to be the foundation sire of the Gidran breed.

During the following 100 years, various breeds, mainly Hungarian and Arabian ones, were crossed with Gidran horses to improve the breed. Furthermore, a small amount of Thoroughbred blood was added as well to improve the athleticism of the Gidran until, by the 1910s, the Gidran was fully established. This fast and athletic breed served as a cavalry horse, and, similarly to other European cavalry breeds, took a heavy blow in World War I, during which most Gidrans were lost. Furthermore, in 1920, most of the remaining Gidran stock was transferred from Hungary to Romania, leaving the Hungarian breeders with very few Gidran horses to breed.

In order to save the Gidran from extinction, while avoiding too much inbreeding, the Hungarian breeders crossed Gidran mares with Arabian and Kisber stallions (a similar Hungarian breed, see 'Kisber-Felver.') This not only saved the Gidran, but also improved its temperament. Nevertheless, the breed never regained its original popularity, and the numbers of Gidran horses remained low.

During the 20th century, there were several attempts to increase the number of Gidran horses. Gidrans were transferred from one stud farm to another, and new stock from Bulgaria and Romania was added to the Hungarian herd. Even though these attempts are still taking place, the numbers of Gidran horses are still small. Today, the Gidran is an endangered breed which is found primarily in Hungary and Romania.

When it comes to breeding, Gidran horses are usually bred in a pure manner. Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Anglo-Arabians are sometimes added to the breeding program, but only when outside blood is needed, and if they are above a 15.2hh and have an appropriate conformation. Therefore, in Horse Isle, the Gidran has a closed studbook.

Ever since the second half of the 19th century, Gidran horses were known for their speed, endurance, courage, and overall athleticism. During the 20th century, they were widely used in Hungary and nearby countries to create new breeds, or refine existing ones, such as the Austrian Warmblood, Hungarian Warmblood, and Danubian. In addition, starting from the 1960s, Gidrans started to serve as sport horses, especially in eventing, but also in show-jumping and dressage.

The conformation of Gidran horses is characterized by a small head with a straight or slightly concave profile, narrow ears, large eyes, a medium-to-long neck which is slightly arched and is often held high, prominent withers, a long back, muscular chest, and a wide body. The mane and tail are both silky, but the tail is long while the mane is short or medium in length.

In Hungary, the coat of Gidran horses is almost always chestnut, ranging from red chestnut to light golden chestnut, with some horses being flaxen or sooty as well. In addition, while their coat is solid, Gidrans often have white markings. In Romania, bay and grey Gidrans also exist but are incredibly rare. Most Gidran horses stand between 15.2hh and 16.2hh, but the full height range of this breed is 15.1hh to 17hh.

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