• Abi Kroupa

The Georgian Grande Horse

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Georgian Grande is a newer horse breed being developed by crossbreeding the American Saddlebred with assorted draft horse breeds. The main goal of the registry is to recreate a historic type of Saddlebred that use to be common prior to the 20th century. The aim is to create a Saddlebred-like horse with the added desirable qualities of heavier breeds.

Traveller owned by Robert E. Lee, an example of the “type” that breeders of the Georgian Grande wish to recreate


During the 1970s, a breeder named George Wagner Jr. started crossing drafts to Saddlebreds to recreate as closely as possible the original Saddlebred type.  He wanted to bring back the heavier boned, bigger Saddlebreds of the historic past, which were more robust and sensible.  One example of the original type Saddlebred was General Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller, who was Lee’s favorite horse throughout his many battle campaigns.  The American Saddlebred of today has changed a good deal from its original appearance and tends to have much less “bone”.  Occasionally an old fashioned or baroque style Saddlebred can still be found, but most have disappeared from the existing breed. Due to Mr. Wagner’s dedicated efforts, the original Saddlebred type can again be seen in the magnificent Georgian Grande.  The name means “George’s Great Horse”, and indeed George Wagner indeed succeeded in producing a truly great horse.

The International Georgian Grande Horse Registry (IGGHR) was founded in 1994. Since then IGGHR has grown by leaps and bounds. IGGHR is now a member of the United States Dressage Federation All Breeds Council and also a member of the American Horse Council. Also fully recognized by USDF and USEF as a participating breed, Georgian Grandes are eligible to compete for the USEF/ USDF / IGGHR All-Breeds Awards. The breed is becoming quite popular and more so each day as its many abilities are noticed and appreciated. There are many International Georgian Grande Horse Registry horses winning in dressage, eventing and show jumping.  They can be shown in English Pleasure, Hunt Seat, Hunter Hack, English Show Hack, Driving and Western Pleasure.  They excel at Renaissance exhibitions and make wonderful and dependable trail horses for the entire family.

To qualify for registration with the International Georgian Grande Horse Registry, the horse must either be of registered Georgian Grande Horse parents, or be have a blended (registered) bloodline of American Saddlebred and any of the following: Friesian horse, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, Irish Draught, Belgian Draft, Drum Horse, and Gypsy Vanner. No non-draft horse influence other than the Saddlebred is accepted. A Georgian Grande Horse is expected to have at least 25% but no more than 75% of Saddlebred influence in its pedigree.

Conformation and Qualities

The height of the Georgian Grande Horse ranges from 15.2 to 17 hands and the weight from 1,000 to 1,400 pounds. All colors of coat and eyes are accepted. The desired overall impression is a horse that is tall, strong-boned and of striking appearance. The desired character of a Georgian Grande Horse is alert and intelligent but calm. The horse should be easy to train and very cooperative. A Georgian Grande Horse is not considered mature until the age of six years.

For more information on breed standards please visit www.georgiangrande.com