The Nonius is an Anglonorman line of horses bred in the formal imperial stud farm in Mezöhegyesh, but was also spread into Jugoslavia and Romania and into southern Slovakia. The founder of this line was a stallion named Nonius who was as a 5 year old, stolen in France during the occupation of the Rossieres stud farm. Nonius was then sent with other nine stallions to a stud farm in Mezöhegyesh, which was then an imperial army stud farm. According to the French documents, Nonius was born in 1810 in one of the stud farms of Calvados in Normandy out of an Anglonorman mare and sired by a thoroughbred Orion.

The records also show that Nonius was a light bay, 16’ 3.5 hands, had a large and heavy head with small eyes and long ears, short neck, high and tall withers, long back that wasn’t well bound in the loins, narrow and low hindquarters and low set tail. His ribcage wasn’t sufficiently arched and with short and steep shoulder blade. His stand was narrowed at the knees in the front and at the hocks behind (X). On account of his exterior deficiencies Nonius was very seldom used for breeding in Mezöhegyesh. It was only when it was noticed that his offspring did not inherit his looks and that they were horses of good endurance, more correct and better build in form and muscles. He was then bred mostly to Spanish, Lipizzaner and Kladrubian mares. Nonius senior was quite potent sire; when he died in 1838 he left behind 79 stallions and 137 mares. All of his offspring were properly named after him with lineage numbers from which the Mezöhegyesh Stud founded a line after him that from the year 1817 grew to 284 stallions and 3203 mares by the year 1890 (F.Shultz).

By mixing with other bloods the individuality of Nonius has refined and changed his progeny that much, that by the year 1854 were recognized Nonius small and Nonius large types. Both types of Nonius have same colors, mostly dark bays or blacks, they have kind character and good temperament, willingness to work in harness as well as under saddle with good endurance in medium speeds. The uneven, unbalanced build of Nonius was corrected by frequent breeding to thoroughbred stallions, which were carefully selected. After the use of thoroughbred the Nonius gained in refinement and in exterior resembled the English type, while loosing his massiveness and becoming more demanding (harder keeper).

Horses of the Nonius line were bred in Hungary, not only in Mezöhegyesh but also in other private farms like Gödölö. In Yugoslavia the Nonius line spread to Croatia where it was bred in Vulkovar and Kladordiev. In Romania on the stud farm Bontida, in Bulgaria on the stud farm Kabiuk and Klementin. In Bohemia and Moravia this line didn’t catch on, because at that time the more heavier and early type of horse was preferred in the agriculture. Besides they didn’t care for his appearance as well as his out put at work, also they didn’t like the flat ribcage, less muscles on thighs and too straight and short (from the profile) hindquarters (the latter being unfortunately present in many warmblooded horses today).


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