Percheron horses are an ancient breed and much of their history is unknown. Some believe they may have been used by the Romans, others credit the breed to the Moors. It is known that modern Percherons originated around La Perche in Normandy.
Percherons are large, strong animals that were primarily used for heavy draft work and, as such, were popular carriage and farm horses. They were used in World War I to haul artillery. Percherons are known for their intelligence, even temperament, ease of handling and hard-working spirit.
The horses were exported to North America in the 19th century and caught the eye of some breeders. When I visited the Bar U Ranch in Alberta a few years back, I discovered that besides herding thousands of cattle around the prairies, the ranch was actively involved in breeding Percherons. The descendants of the horses still live on the ranch today where they are used to give wagon rides to tourists.
They are beautiful and magnificent animals!