The Comtois horse is an old breed and its country of origin is France. It has been developed in France, initially brought during the 4th century from northern Germany by the Burgundians a Germanic tribe. Since the 6th century, these horses were bred at the Franche-Comte area, which is named by, in the Jura Mountains, where France is boarding with Switzerland and are still remaining in the same area since their original introduction.
Throughout the centuries they have been used in many purposes. The Comtois horse is a light draft horse, so it was and still is suitable for agriculture work. During the medieval times, horses of the breed were used in wars, like cavalry and artillery horses. They were used by King Louis XIV, by the end of the 17th century and one century later by the French political and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the early 16th century, a new era of the breed`s history started, widely using it by breeders to improve other bloodlines. At that time they were crossed with the Burgandy horses. Later, in the 19th-century bloodlines of other draft breeds were added into the Comtois horse as the Norman, Boulonnais and Percheron.
Most recently, since 1905 Comtois mares were crossbred with small Ardennais sires in order to emerge a stronger horse with better legs. The physical characteristics of the Comtois horse are described as a light draft horse with a large and square head, alert eyes and small ears. The head is set on a straight and short neck the body is stocky and powerful with a deep girth the chest is deep and wide and the back is long and straight.
The hindquarters are muscular and the legs are short but strong with nicely shaped feet and little feathering on the lower legs, good joints and clean tendons and some is sickle hocked. The mane and tail are thick, flaxen and abundant. The average height of the Comtois horse is between 14.2 16 hands and they can weigh between 500-600 kg, though, some stallions can reach up to 760 kg.
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