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French Breeds of Horse

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Comtois




A small chunky draught horse from the Franco-Swiss borderland in eastern France. The breed is believed to date back to the sixth century A.D. and takes its name from the Comte mountain region. During the sixteenth century the Comtois was used to improve the horses of Burgundy and it later went on to be used as a cavalary and artillery horse. Its environment has made it sure footed and well adapted to working on steep hillside country. Today it is one of the favoured French breeds for working on tricky terrain in the hilly vineyards of the Arbois and in the forestry hauling wood in the high altitude pine forests of the Jura. The Comtois is also bred for meat and is second only to the Breton in numbers in France.

It stands between 14.3 and 15.3 h.h. and is usually bay, brown or chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. It has a heavy, large head with small ears and bright eyes; a straight neck; the back is long and strong; the body is strong with a deep girth; the quarters are strong and powerful; the limbs are short and strong with a small amount of feather; the feet are good and sound. It has active paces and is extremely hardy often living to an old age. It has a very willing, easy to train, kind temperament.



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