Monday, 24 October 2016

Percheron Horses

The Percheron is one of the best known varieties of heavy horse and originates from a region of France known as Perche.  There are 3 slightly different types; from North America, France and England.  The main difference is the size.  


The ancestry of the breed is uncertain but it seems that many different breeds could have influenced the Percheron we know today.  The first Percheron could have been brought to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 but this is not certain. 

Used as stagecoach horses they combined strength and stamina with grace and elegance.  The breed was also used for pulling mail coaches and was popular for farming.

During the 19th century the breed began to be exported to the United States and later the same century the breed was exported from there to England.  In England the breed was used to pull the buses in London and also by the military as artillery horses for the South African War.

The increase in mechanisation has reduced the need for the breed, however, it is still popular in some areas for farming and as a show horse.

All modern day Percheron's can trace their ancestry back to a stallion called Jean le Blanc, born in 1823.  


Height: 15.2hh - 17hh

Colour:  Grey or black.   

Conformation:  Relatively fine head, with a broad forehead.  The eyes are large but the ears relatively small.  Percheron's have a muscular neck and good sloping shoulders, a pointed chest with a pronounced breast bone.  The body is wide and they have good, strong quarters.  Sound legs with plenty of muscle.

Temperament: Need careful handling as they can be highly strung.

Used mostly as a show horse but also in some areas still for farming.

British Percheron Horse Society website:

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