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13 Horse Breeds for Eventing 

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Eventing comprises many awe-inspiring sports in the equestrian industry. Choosing the right horse breed is crucial whether you love cross-country riding, show jumping, or dressage.

In eventing, the audience witnesses your skill, athleticism, and harmony with your horse. This calls for an exceptional horse with remarkable courage, endurance, and versatility.

Many horse breeds in the market today suit varying sports. For example, Thoroughbreds shine in athletics while the Irish Sport endures rough terrains in cross-country.

If you wonder which horse breed suits your favorite equine sport or want to learn more, this post is for you.

Explore thirteen extraordinary horse breeds for eventing from this post. You will discover their attributes and contributions to equine sports before choosing one for your next event.

1. Thoroughbred 

thoroughbred horse in the field

Thoroughbreds are the fastest breed of horses originating from England. Their great stamina and slim build have seen them excel in eventing.

With an average height of 15–17 hands, Thoroughbreds have the ideal body for athleticism. They can efficiently complete all sections of the elite sport.

Whether you are new to eventing or experienced, Thoroughbreds can be ideal for you. Some attractive traits making it popular include:

  • Enthusiastic spirit 
  • Pleasant attitude 
  • Endurance and courage 
  • Friendly and therefore ideal for amateurs in eventing

Thoroughbreds can successfully compete for the top level if given adequate training.

2. Anglo-Arabian 

Purebred anglo-arabian chestnut horses standing at the barn door

Equine sports enthusiasts describe the Anglo-Arabian as athletic, powerful, fast, and magnificent. Being an Arabian-Thoroughbred offspring, this breed exhibits endurance, speed, and stamina. 

The Anglo-Arabian originates from France and is popular for: 

  • Remarkable strength 
  • Endurance 
  • Speed 
  • Elegance
  • Athleticism 

If you are looking for an all-around eventing horse, this breed is perfect. The 15.2–15.3 hands high horse is energetic and has a kind disposition.

You can participate in jumping, racing, dressage, carriage driving, and cross country.

Beginners and top competitors can excel in eventing with the Anglo-Arabian. You only need to train it well and master your craft.

3. Oldenburg 

gaited chestnut horse purebred oldenburg horse free running in field paddock

The Oldenburg horse breed originates from the city of Oldenburg in Germany. This breed is popular for showjumping, dressage, driving, and three-day events. 

With bloodlines based on the Friesian horse, the Oldenburg is a short, compact horse with great stamina. It was initially used in driving carriages due to its energetic body and endurance.

You should choose the Oldenburg horse for eventing because of its characteristics:

  • Disciplined 
  • Eager to learn 
  • Kind and calm 
  • Has a willing spirit 
  • Hardworking 

The 62–67-inch-high breed is ideal for all riders. Whether you are new to riding and need a calm-tempered breed, or you are a veteran who needs a hardworking breed, an Oldenburg has what it takes.

You can also use this breed for pleasure riding.

4. Selle Francais 

Selle Francais in the field

The Selle Francais horse originated from France. It is known for its elegant aura, athleticism, power, and agility. 

Furthermore, this breed is easygoing and friendly.

Selle Francais stands out in the show ring besides other eventing activities. If you are a top-level equine sports enthusiast, this breed is an excellent choice for you because:

  • It is highly trainable 
  • It is tall (15.1–17.3 hands), powerful, and athletic 
  • It performs well in dressage and horse jumping 

Being elegant, Selle Francais horses shine in the show ring. Their powerful hindquarters, muscular legs, and graceful movement make them top performers in shows.

5. American Quarter Horse 

Portrait of an American Quarter Horse

The American quarter horse excels in a range of disciplines. It performs well in American and English riding, making it a perfect choice for most events.

Its outstanding traits include:

  • Agility 
  • Athleticism makes it ideal for barrel racing and cutting 
  • They are gentle and willing. This makes them trainable for events such as jumping and dressage.

If you are a beginner, you should consider a Quarter horse. They are versatile and gentle hence easy to train with.

Quarter horses are popular for equine sports lovers, especially the entry-level. Their sturdy body and calm personality make them ideal for riders of all ages.

6. Holsteiner 

Holsteiner horse in in the barn

Holsteiner horses originate from Holstein in Northern Germany. The breed resulted from crossing the native German horses with Neapolitan, Oriental, and Spanish foundations.

Initially used as an agricultural breed, the Holsteiner has great stamina. Farmers reared it for its love for work.

Why should you choose the Holsteiner for eventing?

  • Has a responsive and resilient personality. This makes it excellent in sports.
  • Its gentle temperament and easygoing nature make it suitable for people of all ages.
  • It loves working and can withstand rough terrains while eventing.

The Holsteiner dominates international equestrian competitions despite being rare. Sports people use it to win Olympic medals and world championships in eventing, driving, jumping, and other sports.

7. Hanoverian 

woman caring her black hanoverian horse

The Hanoverian is a warmblood horse bred to excel in many equestrian disciplines. You should choose this breed if you love show jumping, dressage, and driving.

The Hanoverian has won about 25 Olympic gold medals in tournaments. The following traits make the breed a favorite eventing horse for many people.

  • Comfortable to ride since it has a natural balance enhanced by its elegant trot and ground-covering gait.
  • They are spirited and easy to work with.
  • Their lighter and more athletic body makes them fast hence suitable for equestrian sports.
  • Able to withstand tough conditions and rough terrain due to sturdy bone structure and great stamina.
  • Calm, attentive, and willing to learn. This makes them trainable.

Hanoverian is a top-level eventing breed because of excelling in many competitions.

8. Dutch Warmblood 

black dutch warmblood

The Dutch Warmblood horse breed is a Gelderlander-Groningen offspring. It was later refined by crossing it with the Thoroughbred.

The above breeding resulted in a versatile modern-day Dutch Warmblood. This breed excels in top-level competitions in:

  • Dressage 
  • Show jumping 
  • Carriage driving 
  • Eventing 

Although the Dutch Warmblood was initially a draught horse, sports enthusiasts find it ideal because of the following:

  • Calm and even temperament which makes it easy to work with 
  • Willingness to learn hence easy to train 
  • Agile and friendly hence suitable for veterans and beginners 
  • Powerful and graceful. This makes them shine in show jumping.
  • Refined bodies and strong work ethics help them to win athletic competitions.

Dutch Warmbloods are famous for winning medals at the Olympic games. They are among the world’s finest equestrian athletes and often break world records.

9. Danish Warmblood 

Two Danish warmbloods

Danish Warmblood is a sports horse originating from Denmark. The breed is known for show jumping and dressage among other equestrian sports.

The following traits make the Danish Warmblood good for eventing.

  • Courageous and spirited 
  • Comfortable to ride 
  • Fast, hence great for athletics 

The Danish Warmblood has won medals in international competitions, especially in jumping and athletics.

10. Irish Sport Horse 

Dark Bay Irish Sport in a paddock

The Irish Sport horse is famous for eventing, dressage, fox hunting, leisure riding, and show jumping. Being an Irish Draught-Thoroughbred offspring, this breed inherited great traits from the duo making it excel in sports.

You should choose the Irish sport for your next eventing adventure because:

  • It is highly energetic 
  • Willingness to learn new activities makes it trainable 
  • Friendly, intelligent, and courageous 
  • Eager to please hence ideal for riders of all ages 
  • Fast and versatile with incredible jumping ability 

Irish Sport horses have won many international Olympic competitions at the highest levels of equestrian competition.

11. Swedish Warmblood 

Swedish warmblood horse with foal on a meadow

The Swedish Warmblood is the pride of cross-country and show-jumping enthusiasts. 

Originating from Sweden, this breed is athletic with commendable stamina.

The 16.1–17 hands tall warmblood is energetic with powerful hindquarters. In addition, they are versatile and adapt quickly to new environments.

You should consider the Swedish Warmblood if you plan to go into cross-country, show jumping, dressage, and driving.

Swedish Warmbloods have won Olympic medals in different equestrian sports.

12. Irish Draught 

portrait of a dapple irish draught mare

The sturdy, sensible, and athletic Irish Draught emerged when farmers in Ireland crossed the Irish Hobby and Iberian horses. 

Irish draught is a great companion if you love eventing, hunting, show jumping, and dressage. 

The police use this breed because it is brave, versatile, and strong.

You should go for the Irish draught for eventing because:

  • They are good jumpers. A mature horse can jump up to 3’6″ 
  • They are great hunters 
  • They are intelligent and willing to learn 
  • Their calm temperament makes them easy to handle 

Although the breed is not very fast, they compete successfully in dressage and jumping.

13. Morgan 

A morgan horse exercises

Morgan is an entry-level eventing horse. Known for athleticism, style, strength, and stamina, this breed shines in many eventing disciplines.

Why choose Morgan for eventing?

  • Its kind disposition and willingness to please make the breed a great mount for people of all ages 
  • It is elegant, intelligent, and reliable 
  • It has a refined stylish build, which makes it stand out in show competition.

Morgans have excelled in local and national sports events.

Wrapping Up 

Equine sports offer you a chance to explore the wild and showcase your talent. But you need a good companion to excel.

Whatever equine sport you love, there is an ideal horse for you. From fast Thoroughbreds to adaptable Irish draughts and graceful warmbloods.

Choose your ideal breed and make the next eventing exercise memorable.