The Percheron Horse

The Percheron Horse


The Percheron horse originated in La Perche in the south of Normandy. Its ancestors were Arabian horses brought
to Europe by the Moors. The influence of these horses was believed to have begun following the Moors’ defeat
after their encounter with Charles Martel near Poitiers in A.D. 732. It continued after the First Crusade in
1099 when Robert Comte de Rotrou imported Arabian horses in France.

During the eighteenth century, Arabian stallions at the Royal Stud at Le Pin were made available to breeders
of the Percheron horses to enhance their horses. The oriental influence continued until rather recent times
when one of the most important Percheron stallions, Jean le Blanc, was born in 1830 with Arabian stallion
Gallipoly as his father.

The great strength of the Percheron as well as its courage, strong limbs and longevity made it very popular
in many fields of riding. From being used as a warhorse, farming the land and as a carriage horse, the Percheron
was amazing. From the late nineteenth century to the twentieth century, the Percheron was in great demand for
work and enhancing other Cold Blood Horses. The French Percherons that were exported worldwide were the best able to
adapt to any climate.

Many of the French horses went to England, to Australia and to South America. It also became popular in North
America, where the black colouring was preferred to the grey. Nowadays, the modern Percheron horse is a very
high quality animal, despite its size. All Percherons come in the colours of grey and black and stand from 15.2
hands to 17 hands.

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