Haflinger horse South Tyrol
South Tyrol


39100 Bolzano, Via Galvani 38
Phone 0039 0471 063970
Fax 0039 0471 063971
Vat ID IT00307400218


The Noriker - History

The Noriker is one of the oldest horse breeds in Europe which by constant efforts have been marked and refined towards pure breeding.

A brief history

The Noriker breed takes its name from Noricum, an ancient vassal province to the Roman empire whose extension corresponds approximately to the part of modern-day Austria which lies south of the river Danube. The Romans were excellent horse breeders who established stud farms in all parts of their huge empire, where they bred horses for numerous purposes. They were also responsible for the creation of an extensive breeding approach. Many of the different horse breeds which later emerged in Europe have their origins in the variations developed by breeders of the Roman empire up until the third century AD.

A heavy work horse from Juvavum used during war times is probably one of the ancestors of the Noriker. Juvavum was a renowned Roman stud farm close to what is now the city of Salzburg.

The beginning of Noriker breeding

By the time of the Middle Ages, a small, heavy and compact horse had been developed within the Noriker breed. These characteristics made it ideal for the typically difficult and hard work in the mountains. From 1565 onwards, local monasteries often took on the task and art of horse breeding. At the time, monasteries were highly influential and respected with regard to breeding questions and the development of individual characteristics of horse breeds. In the case of the Noriker, they were largely responsible for its distinctive features. In 1574 Jakob von Kuen, the archbishop of Salzburg, stressed the importance of obtaining a truly pure breed and established the first public covering station. A mare's book was created and new stud farms were built. Italian, French and Spanish stallions were used for cross-breeding in order to improve the height and elegance of the local horses. By then, the Noriker was already increasingly being used for medieval tournaments, especially by the diocese of Salzburg. Most of the horses used for cross-breeding were imported from Spain, which at the time, like Austria, formed part of the Habsburg empire. The European leopard coated horse breeds in general and the leopard breeds typical of the Pinzgau region in Austria were particularly derived from this cross-breeding. The latter is often referred to as the Pinzgau Noriker. In 1903 a mare's book was established for this leopard coated horse breed of the Pinzgau region.

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Fed. Prov. Allevatori Cavalli Haflinger
I-39100 Bolzano, Via Galvani 38
Phone 0039 0471 063970 - Fax 0039 0471 063971
E-Mail info@haflinger-suedtirol.com
Vat ID IT00307400218