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Origin: France - Perche region (Departments Sarthe, Eure-et-Loire, Loire-et-Cher, L'Orne)
Height: Stallions should not be less that 16 hands 3 inches in height and mares not less than 16 hands 1 inch. Horses as big as 21 hands are on record.
Colour: Grey, black with a minimum of white.

Chestnut, sorrel, or bay are acceptable for registration in the US however a DNA test confirming the parentage of the horse is required.
Head and eye: Fine head with straight face and square forehead. Intelligent, wide spaced, eyes. Long erect ears. Open nostrils.
Neck: Strong, crested, long and heavy.
Body: Broad and deep chest. Prominent withers. Deep close coupled body with strong loins and a deep girth. Short back. Immensely strong hind-quarters. Long croup and a round hip. Average weight: Stallions - 18 to 20 cwts. Mares - 16 to 18 cwts.
Feet: Almost devoid of feather.
Legs: Medium short with hard heavy muscles.
Action: Excellent with great poise and presence. Long free stride

The exact origin of the Percheron is not known although the ancestors of the breed are thought to have originated the middle east and brought ti Europe by the invading Moors. During the Middle ages the Percheron was breed to increase it size and weight so it could be used as battle horse. Following the demise of the heavy horse in battle the Percheron's role was switched to that of heavy haulage especially that of pulling heavy French stagecoaches.

In France, the true Percheron is allowed only if it is bred in one of the four Departments listed above. Animals bred in other areas cannot be registered with the French Stud book, and as Percheron types - the Auge, Berry. Loire etc have their own stud books.

Percherons were first imported in the USA in 1839 with the first American Percheron Association and stud book being formed in 1876. The British Percheron Horse Society was formed in 1918.

Further details from The British Percheron Horse Society

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