The Nonius is an Anglonorman bred of horses bred in the formal imperial stud farm in Mezőhegyes. The founder of this bred 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 the Stud Farm in Mezőhegyes, 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 Mezőhegyes. 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-Napoli mares. Nonius senior was quite potent sire; when he died in 1838 he left behind 79 stallions and 122 mares. All of his offspring were properly named after him with lineage numbers from which the Mezöhegyesh Stud founded a bred after him. 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 Anglican type, while loosing his massiveness and becoming more demanding (harder keeper).
Of his descendants, 15 colts studded for a total of 100 years in Mezőhegyes. Beginning with the foundation of the Nonius Horse Breeders National Association in 1989, the farming of pure-breds and gene protection have once again become the defining objectives.
Nonius has mostly dark bays or blacks colors, they have kind character and good temperament, willingness to work in harness as well as under saddle with good endurance in medium speeds. The main peculiarity of the Nonius is its slightly rough half ram”s head – in some cases a ram”s head in proportion to the size of the body.
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