Gidran senior arab stallion, founder of the breed was bought in Egypt by Baron Fechtig in 1816. The small chestnut stallion was the sire of 6 registered stallions in Bábolna. One of his sons, Gidran II was taken to Mezőhegyes, where he was bred to different types of mares: Holsteiner, Mecklenburger, Hungarian, Transsylvanian, Arab and Moldva horses.
Mares were first divided into groups according to their origin in 1840. It was found out at this time that the horses in the so called “Chestnut Herd” were mostly of Gidran origin. The Gidran breed was first mentioned in the middle of the 19th century, as the Gidran stock was named as an independent breed by the Austrian Kriegsministerium in 1885.
The original Gidran breed is traced back to 15 female ancestors, though more families had died out since.
To avoid inbreeding and to improve conformation and performance, the use of thoroughbred stallions was preferred at first. The daughters of these stallions were again bred to pure Gidran stallions after 1-2 generations. The sons of the thoroughbred stallions (with a few exceptions) were excluded from breeding.
On the 20th of March 1920, after the Romanian invasion, the royal Romanian troops took 74 mares as loot. 11 mares were lost during the war, so only 13 mares remained. By 1944 the number of the mares was developed to as much as 90 from this small amount. After the losses of the 2nd World War, 28 mares were bought back from Bergstetten, Germany in 1948.
Because of the inconsistent results of thoroughbred crossing, less thoroughbred stallions were used for the stabilization of the breed in the era between the two World Wars. Kisberi (Maxim V, Kozma III) and arab (Mersuch III, Siglavy VI, Gazal III) sires were used instead, with good results. The anglo-arab character of the breed was stabilized at this time, the problems in use disappeared, and an excellent breed was developed in a relatively short time.
The Országos Állattenyésztési Felügyelőség (National Animal Breeding Inspectorate), with the help of the Állattenyésztési Kutatóintézet (Animal Breeding Research Institute), bought 21 mares of Gidran origin from country breeders, and 2 stallions from Bulgaria, and established a new breeding farm in Borodpuszta. After more changes of owners, the stock in Borodpuszta was given to the the Pannon Agrártudományi Egyetem (Pannon University of Agriculture). Since 1996, the Pannon Lovasakadémia (Pannon Equestrian Academy), successor of the University, has been the present owner of this gene reservoir, and the breeding place is now Marócpuszta, not far from Szántód. In the meantime the mares of the Dalmand State Farm (Sütvény), closed down in 1988, joined this stock, too.
The Radautz Stud started to breed the Gidrán horses with 55 mares from the stock taken by the Romanian army. These horses have been bred as pure Gidrans under the direction of the Romanian Horse Breeding Directory. In 1989 the 90 mare stock of the stud was greatly decreased, so most of the mares were lost for the registered breeding.
The maintenance and genetic improvement of the breed have been the duty of the Kisbéri és Gidrán Lótenyésztő Országos Egyesület (Kisberi and Gidran Horse Breeding Association) since 1989.
The Gidran is a strong, medium heavy mount or carriage horse with big frame. As a traditional gene reservoir, it is both culturally and genetically valuable in the Hungarian animal breeding. Some of the female lines have a breeding past as long as 20-25 generations.
Its colour is chestnut, with more or less marks.
Despite of the anglo-arab influence, the present stock is especially strong boned. It is caused by the special attention paid to the big frame in the last 20 years. The future goals are to improve nobility, elegance and to maintain the suitability for sports while maintaining the bulk. Even today, more successful individuals can be found in the Hungarian equestrian sports than it can be explained by the proportion of the breed. They are especially good in eventing, where they achieve excellent results also at international level.
Beside Hungary, Gidrans can be found only in Romania and possibly in Bulgaria in small numbers, so it is important even for the World Heritage to maintain this breed.