The Percheron is one of the oldest breeds of heavy horses in the world. It gets its name from the small area of La Perche in North West France where they were always bred.
During the First World War the qualities of the Percheron as a heavy draught animal were appreciated. The absence of feather meant that the Percherons were more easily cared for in the mud and poor conditions of the war than were the hairier breeds.
Conformation, Colour and Characteristics: The only colours accepted are grey or black, the former being found more often, frequently with the typical dapple. Most Percherons in this country are born black but the majority will turn grey eventually. A black Percheron is born a dark dun and with the loss of its foal coat, is black for the rest of its life. The modern Percheron is of a good height and stallions must be in excess of 16.3hh. It combines docility with great strength and muscular development.
Uses: Today there are larger numbers of Percheron horses throughout the world than any other draught breed. Percherons are in use in the UK for farm and forestry work, and for advertising and publicity. They excel in competitions requiring draught skills and in marathons. The large black high-stepping Canadian Percherons have excelled in the turnout showing classes in recent years. Percherons are increasingly sought by breeders of heavy hunters and other light equines for cross-breeding to increase and improve substance and temperament.
For more information, please contact the British Percheron Society on www.percheron.org.uk