The Percheron: The Samson of the Horse World

The Percheron is a horse breed known for its strength and robustness.
The Percheron: The Samson of the Horse World

Last update: 06 October, 2019

The Percheron is a horse breed known for its strength and robustness. It’s an animal that many people consider the largest in the world. Known as the “Samson of the horse world” due to its strength, today we want to help you get to know more about it.

History and origin of the Percheron

Its name comes from its place of origin, the former Perche province of France. Apparently, the Arabian horse played a major role in the development of this breed, which is why both share many similar characteristics.

However, it seems that its exact origin dates back to 1823, when a robust and elegant colt named Jean Le Blanc was bred with a beautiful mare from the Perche province. From that moment on, this breed started to be known as the Percheron.

Percheron horses.

Later in the century, the first Percheron horses began to be imported into the United States. It soon became the favorite horse of farmers and carters due to their strength when pulling carts. However, with the advent of the tractor, the breed nearly became extinct.

Nevertheless, some farmers fought for the preservation of the breed and, by the year 1960, the usefulness of this horse was rediscovered. Thus, people started using them to pull recreational sleds and harnessed their elegance in parades.

Physical characteristics of the Percheron

Its elegance, bushy tail, and strong and robust torso set the Percheron apart from other horses. Let’s delve deeper into the physical characteristics of this breed.

  • Height. The height ranges from 59 to 63 inches in mares, contrary to the 67 inches colts can measure.
  • Body. The limbs are short but very muscular, with hooves on the large and very strong legs. The torso is sturdy and firm. Percherons have very muscular backs. They also have a wide, short, and strong neck. Ultimately, the Percheron is characterized by its strength and robustness.
  • Head. The head isn’t very wide, but rather elongated. It widens at the eyes and forehead. The ears are short and the eyes large.
  • Hair. A Percheron is considered authentic when its color ranges from black to gray. The purest shades of these colors are greatly appreciated and sought after by horse specialists.
  • Weight. There are two varieties of Percheron, one smaller and one larger. Small ones typically weigh between 1100 and 1700 pounds, while the largest weigh between 1500 and 2600 pounds.


In addition to its strength, Percherons are energetic, intelligent, docile, and hard-working.

A Percheron horse.

All this makes them highly sought-after horses to pull carriages and heavy loads. A long time ago, they even pulled mini buses.

Its obedience and learning aptitude, along with its docility, make it the perfect workhorse.

Even when doing forced labor, the Percherons don’t lose their elegance in movement, something that can’t be said of all horses.

Special care

The Percheron horse doesn’t need any special care. Its hair will be shinier if you brush it daily, and it’ll be more obedient if you treat it with love and it feels cared for. This is all we know about the Percheron horse. We hoped you enjoyed reading about this amazing breed!

Obviously, you can’t have one at home as a pet, but now you’ll know how to tell it apart from other breeds in horse shows. You’ll also value their elegance and work ethic.

Main picture source: Marjon Kruik

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