Unveiling the Majestic Percherons: A Chronicle of Power, History, and Grace

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Introduction:

In the world of equines, few captivate with the same grandeur as the Percherons. Renowned for their impressive size, gentle disposition, and undeniable elegance, these cold-blooded giants leave an indelible hoofprint on the history of draft horses.

The History of Percherons:

Discovering Le Perche: A Noble Origin

Not much is known about the history of the Percheron. However, we do know that they were discovered in Le Perche around Normandy, France. The ancestors of the modern Percheron carried real knights with shining armor into battle with style – just like we see in the medieval-themed Netflix shows. The horses were lighter back then compared to their weight in the modern-day.

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From Battles to Fields: Evolution of Purpose

The Percheron is also highly spirited and ready to run into danger. As battles subsided, the Percheron found its glory days in the fields. Farmers started breeding them more for a larger size so they would be able to bear a heavier load. In the 17th Century, the horses were in high demand all over Europe. At this time, they still hadn’t reached their modern-day height and were about 16hh. All modern-day Percherons can be traced back to a single horse named Jean La Blanc, who was born in 1823.

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Journey Across the Atlantic: Percherons in America

A few years down the road, in 1839, the first one set foot on US soil. Among them was a mare named Joan and a stallion by the name of Diligence. It was from these two horses that America’s breeding stock of Percherons began.

Fascinating Facts About The Percheron:

Cold-Blooded Companions: Temperament and Class

Percherons belong to the cold-blooded class of horses. All draft horses are known as cold-blooded, in fact. This term typically refers to the fact that they are a calm and docile breed of horse.

The Tale of Heights: Variations Across Borders

The average height of a Percheron is dependent upon where in the world they reside. For example, a Percheron in America can be 16hh to a little over 17hh in America, but up to 18hh in France and a little more than 16hh in Great Britain. In fact, this horse is among the biggest horse breeds in the world.

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Arabian Influences: Tracing Ancestral Roots

It is believed that Percherons had Arabian influences at the beginning of their stock breeding. The horse became so popular when their populations rose in the US that by 1930 it was estimated that there were three times as many registered Percherons as there was any other draft horse breed.

Endangered Heritage: Percherons After World War II

Percherons almost found themselves on the endangered species list after World War II. Many farmers turned to mechanical tractors, leaving not much use for the workhorse. This lead to a rapid decline in their numbers. However, even after the invention of farm equipment, Amish farms still use this unique breed to work the fields.

Colors of Distinction: Grey and Black Palette

Percherons generally only come in two colors: grey and black. Many carriages in bigger cities still use these horses to haul couples on streets on romantic horse-drawn rides and pull hay wagons and sleighs. You will also find them in parades. Additionally, many Percheron tails are docked to keep their tail from becoming tangled in their harness or carriage.

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Legacy Lives On: Percherons in Modern Times

Big, bold, beautiful, and with a great personality, there are so many reasons Percherons are still one of the favorites among draft lovers. Have you been so lucky to have met or even ridden one?


More to read and enjoy: Beloved Horse Whiskey: A Legacy of Spunk and Love


Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Percheron’s journey from medieval battlefields to modern-day fields is a testament to their versatility, strength, and enduring charm. These majestic giants have etched their legacy in the annals of horse history, captivating hearts with each powerful stride and gentle demeanor. As we admire these cold-blooded companions, let us celebrate the Percheron – a breed that continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of equines.