The Percheron is a very popular heavy horse breed and in the UK amongst the four recognized heavy draft horse breeds.
This breed is named after the Perche valley in the North of France. Its exact origin is unknown, but it is believed that Moores brought them to Europe and their ancestors are Arabian horses. In the middle age it was used as a heavy warhorse. Then it was used for heavy work, like pulling stagecoaches etc.
The forehead is square with a straight profile. The neck is muscular and strong, some individuals have a long and heavy neck. The chest is broad, the back short and they have a deep girth. The hindquarters are very muscular and powerful. They should have a round hip and a long croup. The mane is thick, the hair coat color is gray or black.
They can reach heights of 15 - 19 hh and weigh up to a ton and above and lives 27 - 39 years.
A modern variation of this heavy horse breed is longer and slender in appearance. This type is used for showing competitions.
This is a very gentle and intelligent horse and ideal for driving. It can pull heavy loads as well as perform in front of a fine carriage. It is also suitable for riding and competes even as a show jumper.