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The Georgian Grande

“Blending the graceful elegance of the Saddlebred with the size, bone and mind of the Friesian and, or Draft.” (IGGHR)


Many breeds can be considered to carry themselves with class and presence. Few, however, can combine these traits with a noble and seemingly superior air of distinction. It is hard to put into words just how these magnificent horses portray and carry themselves, something that is visually understood easier than described.

The Georgian Grande breed came into being because of one man’s vision. This man, George Wagner Jr., wanted to create a perfect blending of Saddlebreds with a heavier horse, drafts or Friesians. The breed name ‘Georgian Grande’ is, quite simply, “George’s Great Horse.” The result of Wagner’s careful breeding on his Ohio farm has resulted in a heavier boned or ‘Baroque’ type of Saddlebred style horse that achieves the highest standard of encompassing the best attributes of the parents. This new breed of horse is starting to capture the attention of breeders across the globe. There are Saddlebreds gaining more exposure in the competitive sport world and it would not be surprising to see the Georgian Grande following very closely on their heels. Their head turning presence, levelheaded disposition and excellent attitude makes these horses ideal for many different disciplines.


In order for a horse to qualify for registration as a Georgian Grande the foundation breeding must include between 25-75% of a registered Saddlebred, no more and no less. The remaining percentage of the breed must include any one of the following; Friesian, Shire, Belgian, Gypsy Vanner, Irish Draught, Clydesdale, Percheron, or Drum Horse. All horses used for breeding a Georgian Grande must be registered within their own registry and proof of this registration is required. An important fact to note is that only Saddlebred horses may be used as the ‘light horse’ component in the Georgian Grande breed. Therefore, as an example, a Quarter horse or Thoroughbred crossed with a Draft or Friesian would not qualify.

The Georgian Grande horse should exude an overall beautiful, flowing movement that shows lots of suspension and impulsion. Their hind foot should hit the ground slightly before the front foot on the opposite side as known as Diagonal Advanced Positioning (DAP). The front feet need to move straight ahead and not wing or paddle to the side. Overall the horse should have good swing to the hips, giving an impression of marching.



“A Georgian Grande must be well proportioned and have good muscle tone. Feathering is acceptable but not required. The height can range from 15.2hh – 17+hh. They can weight anywhere from 1,000 – 1,400 lbs. The head should be well shaped with a broad and flat forehead. Eyes can be any color and should be large, expressive and wide set. The ears will be expressive, attractive and alert. The neck is a key feature of the breed and should appear long, nicely muscled, well arched and flexed at the poll. Georgian Grande horses should all have a nice, clean throatlatch. The back should be short and strong. Hindquarters should be well muscled. Any color of horse for coat color is acceptable.” (IGGHR).


The Georgian Grande is very gentle and calm making them an ideal horse for many people in various disciplines. They are large and powerful, yet their gentle and submissive nature is what makes them a wonderful companion. Their intelligence, willingness and alertness make them easy to train and versatile.



Present Day

Georgian Grande’s are still gaining recognition in the horse world. However, there are quite a few that can be found in many different disciplines and are excelling in areas such as; dressage, jumping, driving, eventing and on trails. Some are even being used as police horses because of their calm and levelheaded nature.


Written by Theresa Coates - 2007


All photos are courtesy of the International Georgian Grande Horse Registry

Equestrian Informational Website –
Equiworld –
International Georgian Grande Horse Registry (IGGHR) -
Wannabea Farm –

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