Breeds of Horses - A to Z
The Nonius like the Furiosa was bred at the famous stud farm at Mezohegyes, Hungary, founded in 1784 by the Emperor Josef 11, the foundation sire was an Anglo Norman horse named Nonius Senior foaled in 1810 out of a Norman mare by a half-bred English stallion and it is probable that he had Norfolk Roadster blood.
During the Napoleonic Wars Nonius was captured by the Austrians and taken to
the Mezohegyes stud in Hungary. Though his conformation was not particularly
brilliant, he sired fifteen outstanding stallions by various different mares
at the stud including Arab, Holstein, Lipizzaner, Spanish, Turkish,
Hungarian and Anglo-Norman. To produce the Nonius type some of his progeny
were mated back to him.
In the 1860s Thoroughbred blood was introduced to the breed leading to the
development of two types; the Large Nonius, suited to light farm work and
use as a carriage horse, standing at about 15.3 to 16.2 h.h. and the Small
Nonius suitable for riding, standing at about 14.3 to 15.3 h.h. Either type
may come from the same mare and both have the same active paces and calm
The breed has flourished and today the larger is very popular as a medium weight carriage horse, while the smaller makes an admirable riding horse. Being a late developer the Nonius usually lives a long time. It is black, bay, brown or chestnut, a willing worker with plenty of substance. It has fairly good conformation with an attractive head and kind expression. A strong arched neck; a good sloping powerful shoulder; a strong broad back; powerful hindquarters with a well set tail; the limbs are good and sound with strong feet. It is a tough and compact animal with good movement.