The Anglo-Norman horse is a warmblood horse breed developed in Lower Normandy in northern France. A major center of horse breeding, the area had numerous regional types that were bred to one another and then crossed with Thoroughbreds to form the Anglo-Norman. Various body types developed within the Anglo-Norman breed, two of which were split off to form the Norman Cob and French Trotter. The remaining types were eventually standardized, although there remained some criticism of the "hybrid" nature of the breed's conformation. However, it is successful as an international sport horse, especially in the sport of show jumping. The Anglo-Norman also contributed to the development of several other breeds in Europe and Asia. The Anglo-Norman was developed in the early 19th century, and along with Thoroughbred and local Norman blood, influences were seen from other breeds, including British and Russian trotting horses. By the mid-19th century, the Anglo-Norman was a popular breed throughout France, and in 1864 a breed association was founded. While often purchased by the French army and used as cavalry and artillery horses, there was controversy over whether the Anglo-Norman was the best choice for the military. The late 19th century saw significant improvements in breeding programs, although there remained a dispute between the goals of breeders and the needs of the military. Mechanization in the early 20th century significantly reduced demand for the breed, and fighting during World War II and the German occupation of France resulted in major damage to breeding centers and the deaths of many horses. While rebuilding their herds, breeders turned away from draft and carriage horses and began breeding sport horses for equestrian competition. A stud book was created for the Anglo-Norman in 1950, and during that decade the breed became successful in international competition. In 1958, the Anglo-Norman is combined with other French types to create the Selle Français, the national French saddle horse. Despite active government support for Selle Français breeding programs, variations remained, and Anglo-Norman bloodlines continued to be distinguishable for decades after the merge. In the 1990s and 2000s, a movement began to reopen the Anglo-Norman stud book and recreate it as a separate breed from the Selle Français. The plan, which remains open, has been presented to the French Stud Book Commission and Ministry of Agriculture, and created controversy within the French breeding community. In 2015, the Anglo-Norman Stud Book is open again
Also known as
This breed is also called Anglo European Sporthorse, Anglo-Norman, Anglo-Norman Horse, Anglo-Normand as well as Normandy Cob.
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