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The Percheron horse -

The Percheron horse -

30 Jul 2013 BY Tim Wells

The Percheron is a handsome, powerful, and good-natured breed of draft horse, and has been our faithful servant for centuries. Named after the old French province of Perche, the Percheron’s history reaches back into the Middle Ages, with its origins traceable to Spain, Brittany, and Arabia, and a 13th century poem extols a Count of Perche’s “great” horse, strong enough to carry a knight in full armour. Originally bred as war-horses, the Percheron was used extensively in the Boer War and World War I, but fortunately were later put to more pacific uses, in agriculture and as carriage horses. Not so fortunately, perhaps, they also found their way onto the French table. Back in their skin, the French Société Hippique Percheronne standard is restricted to grey or black, with strongly mottled grey or jet-black preferred. The two main types are the powerful, shorter and stockier Percheron, and the Diligencier, named after a type of coach they once pulled, taller and higher-backed, more designed for the saddle. The breed enjoys worldwide popularity, and individual Percheron horses have achieved fame most of us can only dream of; world-renowned stallion Hannah Hill Kemo Sabe recently helped bring into the world the fillies Belle, Bella, Babou, and Biche, and the young grey mare Upac, multiple show-winner and currently expecting, has her own web page.

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