At the end of 19th century the original name Pinzgauer horse was changed to Noriker horse, due in part to the Romanophile attitude in this time.
Up to the end of the 19th century, Noriker horses were an important link in the trade between central Europe and the Adriatic. Very early in the breeding history of the Noriker horse, baroque horses also played an important role building it before a refinement with Andalusian and Noplitan blood.
Down to the present day this influence is visible in the conformation of these horses: Roman heads with a powerful and compact topline, long manes and tails. Baroque influence is also visible in coat colours, with a large number of black horses as well as blue roans and leopard spotted coat colour, who is still an active breeding objective of the breed as well, which is unusual for nearly all other European horse breeds.
In 1903, the stud book was closed. Since then, Noriker horses are strictly purebred.
There are 5 approved modern sire line:
Since the foundation of the Noriker stud books this sire line has been the most popular one. The reason for the dominance of this line was the fact that the founder stallions and their descendants represented the heavy draught horse type favoured in those times.
- The Nero line is the second largest line in the Noriker breed. The reasons for the major influence of the Nero-line are the same as for the Vulkan-line.
- The Diamant-line started promisingly in the early 20th century, but after 1950, it was surpassed by the Nero-line. Horses of this line are very typy and agile.
- The Schaunitz-line was founded by the stallion Amor, born in 1888 in Tirol. In former times, Schaunitz horses were famous for their lively temperament and their durable constitution. Their sometimes difficult character could be the reason for the decline of this line in the 1980s.
- The stallions of the Elmar line are mostly leopard-spotted. The line was founded in 1896 by the stallion 80 Arnulf 55. For this line, the baroque influence is seen in the special coat colour. It is a small sire line, but valued for its leopard-spotting.
I choose my Bacchus, named by the sculpture Roman name "Familiar Fox's Grape" to be an historic baroque Noriker, with the famous spotted coat.