Skip to Content

7 Interesting Facts About the Percheron Horse Breed

7 Interesting Facts About the Percheron Horse Breed

Powerful, beautiful, and graceful, Percherons are one of the most loved breeds of draft horses. There are several unique facts about the stunning Percheron breed that sets them apart from other horses.

Though Percherons were originally used for war and agriculture, they are now known for their versatility. Thanks to their strength, stamina, and elegance, they are used for driving, riding, farm work, and logging.

These spectacular horses have well-muscled bodies, arched necks, wide chests, straight faces, and refined ears.

Discover other horse breeds here on our horse breeds list page.

Percherons Pull Horse Carriages at Disney World

If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you may have been lucky enough to see their beautiful horse-drawn carriages. Many of the carriages are pulled by Percheron horses in the park.

The horses are carefully trained to not be scared of crowds or loud noises, as well as being good with children.

The horses come from all across America and are typically 6-10 years old when they first start driving at Disney World.

Among the largest horses in the world, they are used to pull carriages, trolleys, and hayrides, as well as making special appearances.

America is Home to More Percherons Than Anywhere Else

Though this magnificent breed originated in France, America is home to the most Percherons in the world.

Though their numbers once dropped drastically in America, there are now several dedicated breeders allowing the breed to strive.

There are members of the Percheron Horse Association of America located in all 50 states, with around 2,500 new horses being registered annually.

Most Percherons Are Gray

The most common color of Percherons is gray. The reason for this comes from two gray Arabian stallions that were bred with Percherons in France back in 1820.

Farmers preferred to use lighter colored horses, as it allowed them to work later in the day since the horses were more visible.

Breeding Arabians into the breed also helped improve Percheron’s stamina and athleticism, while giving them a more refined look.

During the decade of the Great Depression, Percherons made up 70% of all purebred draft horses in America. They were used for farming and transportation, as automobiles were still too expensive for many.

During the Great Depression, registration more than doubled in the United States and they were the largest draft registration in the world. Every major land-grant university maintained Percherons in their stables.

During this time, there were three times the registered Percheron horses than the four other draft breeds in America at the time combined.

Percheron horse being ridden
Credit to @sumatambo (Instagram)

Percherons are Commonly Crossbred With Other Horse Breeds

Percherons are commonly crossed with light horses to create a strong, refined athletic horse. They are often crossed with other horses to produce outstanding hunters and jumpers. Many Percheron crosses also excel in the dressage ring.

Actor Brendan Fraser Owns the Percheron Horse From George in the Jungle

Actor Brendan Fraser, most well known for his roles in George in the Jungle and The Mummy series, is a proud owner of a Percheron horse named Pecas. Fraser brought home Pecas, a gray gelding, from the TV series set Texas Rising.

During his time on set, Pecas was constantly picked on by the other horses, but never fought back. After seeing Pecas repeatedly being taunted by the other horses, Fraser knew he had to do something, so he brought Pecas home.

Pecas’ and Fraser’s son Griffin, who is on the autism spectrum, have formed a strong bond together.

Percheron Used to be called Norman-Percherons in America

Though today they are known as Percheron horses worldwide, that didn’t always use to be the case. When breeders first met in Chicago to establish the first studbook, they called the breed the Norman-Percheron horse.

Formed in 1876, the Norman-Percheron Horse Association was the first purebred livestock association formed in America. Just one year later, the name “Norman” was dropped from the title.

See this beautiful breed being ridden in a horse show competition below by @sumatambo (Instagram):

FAQs About the Percheron Horse

How Tall is a Percheron Horse?

Percheron horses stand between 15-19 hands tall. On average, they are between 16-17 hands tall.

How Much Does a Percheron Horse Cost?

Percherons cost between $2,000-$10,000 on average. However, breeding, training and show record can all affect how much a horse costs.

How Much Do Percherons Weigh?

Percherons generally weigh 1,900-2,100 pounds, though they can weigh up to 2,600 pounds.

Are Clydesdales Bigger Than Percherons?

Percherons are generally bigger than Clydesdales. Though Clydesdales may be taller, Percherons weigh more and generally have a stronger build. They are an ideal breed for heavy riders.

Are Percherons Good Beginner Horses?

Percherons can be great breed beginner horse riders. They are known for their patience, gentle nature, and docile temperaments, making them safe for beginners.

Featured photo credit to @sumatambo (Left) & Windermere Farms (Right)

Jim Buettner

Tuesday 9th of November 2021

When I worked on a historic farm(OBVR) on Long Island in the 1970's during the last recession we had a team of percherons. I would use them to pull the wagon for the guests and after closing I sometimes would ride them bareback. We didn't have a saddle that fit them. They were a very gentle team.

Joanna Burnet

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

I have a Percheron cross who will be 37 years old in October. Do they usually live this long? His name is Prince and has lived on our farm since he was 6. He has retired to do gardening now.

Jan

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Stop docking their Tails

Joyce towers

Thursday 24th of December 2020

Very interesting. Have loved horses all my life and had horses for a while but were just regular riding horses. Loved watching the horse pulls at the fair.beautiful horses.