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Spanish-Norman Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Spanish-Norman Horse Registry, Inc.

Native Country

Other Names

Adult Height
15.3 to 17h

Adult Weight

General Description

In the late 1980's Andalusian breeders Linda and Allan Hamid of Woodbury, Connecticut began breeding Percheron mares to their Andalusian stallion, Embajador IX, imported from Spain. Linda Osterman Hamid first fell in love with the Andalusian horse while studying at the University of Madrid in 1965. Years later she introduced her husband to the breed. An avid horseman, historian and educator, Allan combined his interests and did research on the medieval warhorse. In 1991 the Hamids established the Spanish-Norman Horse Registry, Inc. to record the pedigrees of the unique, exclusive breed of sporthorses. The first foundation sire of the breed was Andalusian stallion, the late Embajador IX of Hamid Hill Farm, Ltd.

As of early 2004, there are 106 Andalusian and Lusitano stallions registered as foundation sires of the Spanish-Norman Horse Registry, Inc. See the official website: for a listing of sires located across the United States, Canada and one each in Germany and Spain.

A Spanish-Norman must be a minimum 50% Andalusian. A Spanish- Norman can be dual-registered as a Half-Andalusian with the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association and compete in, that organization's shows.

The Percheron mares must be registered with the Percheron Horse Association of America or the Canadian Percheron Association or the Societe Hippique Percheronne de France. A Spanish-Norman mare can be bred to an Andalusian stallion. A Spanish-Norman can also be bred to a Spanish-Norman for a rare, second generation horse.

The Spanish-Norman Horse Registry, Inc. sponsors an annual high-point award. This trophy is awarded to the Spanish-Norman earning the most points by competing in Half-Andalusian classes at I.A.L.H.A. events, dressage, jumping, and/or any discipline at All-Breed, open shows. Spanish-Normans have the potential to excel in a variety of equine disciplines including jumping, dressage, eventing, reining and driving. An impressive exhibition and parade horse, the Spanish-Norman also performs in historic re-enactments, jousting and medieval games.

Spanish-Norman Horse Registry, Inc. President Allan Hamid states: "The main goal is to produce an outstanding sporthorse that retains the presence, physical and mental abilities of the classic European warhorse. The Spanish-Norman is destined to make an important contribution to the equestrian world."

The Spanish-Norman embodies the proud heritage of its noble ancestors: majesty, power and great presence. The breed combines the elegant beauty, boldness and natural collection of the Andalusian and the size, strength and bone density of the Percheron.

Endowed with the unique combination of presence with docility, the Spanish-Norman possesses outstanding character and temperament, qualities essential to a successful performance horse.

The majestic Spanish-Norman stands between 15.3 to 17 hands and is predominantly gray with some bays and blacks. The Spanish-Norman is a horse of substance: short coupled, strong hindquarters, sloping shoulder, ample heart girth, broad chest, medium length of neck, with its head showing a slightly convex to straight profile. Sturdy feet and legs and strong, wide hooves are the norm. Physical characteristics of this athletic breed are large, expressive eyes. The mane is thick, luxuriant and often wavy. The tail is usually abundant, long and low set. Fine, thin ears are of medium length.

The Spanish-Norman is bred to move freely from the shoulder with elastic, fluid movement and impulsion: displaying agility, engagement, cadence and elevation with extension; and projecting an image of harmony, balance and symmetry.


Historically and genetically re-created by blending the genes of the Andalusian and the Percheron, the Spanish-Norman is the phenotype and living symbol of the extinct Norman horse of Europe.

In the early eighth century, Europeans were threatened by the Moors to the south and the Turks to the east. As Islamic forces advanced into Spain and France from North Africa on their Barb horses, Europeans were faced with a horse unsurpassed in combat: hardy, courageous, powerful, quick to respond to the rider's commands, with an uncanny ability to engage its hind end and strike out in any direction. Confronted with this remarkable, ideal warhorse of the Moorish invaders, Europeans realized the importance of breeding horses for battle.

Both the Barbs of North Africa and the indigenous horses of the Iberian Peninsula carried Oriental blood and were of a very similar genetic strain. The Barb which invaded Spain in 711 was small, agile, and fiery and possessed great stamina.

When the Moors lost their first battle in 718, the victors were awarded the invaluable prize of Barb breeding stock. It was not until the year 1492 that the 'Reconquista' or reclaiming of Al-Andalus was complete. Through the centuries of conquests and defeats, the Barb horse became a great legacy of the Moorish invasions.

The Norman invasion of England in 1066 was carried out by fierce warriors mounted on 'destriers.' The mighty chargers were renowned for their equestrian excellence on the battlefield. Research shows that early Spanish horses influenced the development of the now lost Norman horses of medieval France. Norman horses infused with Barb blood contributed to the equine type which would eventually come to be known as Percheron, after the Le Perche district of France. Percherons imported to the U.S. in the 1840's were called Normans.

Both the horses of Andalusia and Normandy possessed an infusion of Barb blood from the Moorish invasions. In 1990, blood-typing studies on Percherons by Dr. E. Gus Cothran of the University of Kentucky confirmed the genetic link.

With their common Oriental ancestry, breeding Andalusians to Percherons produces offspring approximating the type of the old Norman horse. The Spanish-Norman breed recreates the phenotype of the medieval knight's charger.

Endowed with the unique combination of presence with docility, the Spanish-Norman possesses outstanding character and temperament, qualities essential to a successful performance horse.

Versatile sporthorses, Spanish-Normans have the potential to excel in a variety of equine disciplines including jumping, eventing, reining, dressage and driving. They are also excellent pleasure, parade and exhibition mounts and perform in medieval games and historical reenactments. The Spanish-Norman Horse Registry's motto of, "The warhorse of the ages as the sporthorse of today," sums up the breed's contributions.


The Spanish-Norman displays a keen aptitude for learning, a strong work ethic, tractability, exceptional stamina and enthusiasm for performance.


With a combination of strength from the Percheron and elegance from the Andalusian, the Spanish-Norman is well suited for the show ring in driving classes and eventing. Like the Andalusian, it is also used as a parade and exhibition horse.


Very hardy

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