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Percheron horse breed information

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Percheron description

The Percheron is a large draft horse that is very popular in the United States and Canada. It is known for its even termperament and good manners. They are a dependable animal that is willing to work. They are very useful on small farms and for forest work. They are very popular for pulling carriages and are often seen on sleigh rides and hay rides. Their noble bearing also makes them suitable for parades. They have a fine head with a wide forehead, long ears and energetic eyes. Its nose is straight with wide nostrils. Its head is set upon a long neck with a thin throat. The shoulders are slanted and the chest is deep and wide. The breastbone is moderately prominent. Its back is strong, straight and short with rounded ribs. Its girth is low and the hips are long. Its limbs are clean and sound, with powerful forearms and thighs. They are usually black in color and have an abundant mane.


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Percheron color

Percherons are generally black or gray. Some registries only accept those two colors, though chestnut, and bay colors are acceptable for registration in the US with a DNA test confirming their parentage. Some Percherons have white markings on the head and feet, but excessive white is undesirable.

Percheron size

Percherons range in height from 15 to 19 hh, most are between 16-2 and 17-3 hh

Percheron weight

They can weigh up to 2,600 lb (1,200 kg) with the average around 1,900 lb (860 kg)

Percheron temperament

Alert, intelligent, and willing.

Percheron life expectancy

Percherons can be long-lived horses, living over 25 years

Percheron origin


Percheron history

The Percheron gets its name from the La Peche valley in the south of France. Like many old breeds, the Percheron's exact origins are unknown, but it is said that its ancestors were the Arabians that were brought to Europe by the Moors.

Percherons probably owe their size and weight (the largest Percherons can weigh as much as 2,600 pounds) to their use as battle mounts during the middle ages. After the invention of gunpowder, heavy warhorses were no longer needed, so the Percheron took up its new job pulling heavy French stage coaches. With the invention of the railroad, Percherons switched to farm duty and heavy labor.

It is probably because of this evolution that the modern Percheron is such a versatile and adaptable horse. Today, Percherons still serve as logging horses, but are also valued as driving and riding horses.

Percheron health issues

"Scratches" or pododermititis are more prevalent in horses that are subjected to wet muddy conditions for extended periods. Horses with white feet seem also to be more susceptible to scratches.

Percheron uses

heavy draft, driving, carriage service, riding

Percheron influence


Percheron interesting facts

The Percheron horse has a great temperament, they are Disney’s favorite for pulling carriages and such at Disney world because they can be trusted around children

One of the tallest horses on record was a Percheron named Dr Le Gear. Foaled in 1902, he stood 21.1 hands (7 feet) at the withers and weighed just under 1,370 kg

Percheron farms

Excelsior Farms - United States, New York, Kent

Platte Valley Percherons and Labradors - United States, Nebraska, Overton

Vivace Valley Farm - United States, Pennsylvania, Wilmore

Goldsmith's Blue Creek Percherons - United States, Ohio, Swanton

Percheron pictures

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