The French departments Cote-d’Or that means Golden Hillside and Yonne are whence the Auxois horse breed origins. Cluny stud is in France and the area is slightly hilly and fertile with rich pastures. This rare horse breed descends from the old extinct Burgundian horse, which lived in the middle Ages. A cross between the Burgundian and Ardennes, which is still in existence today, create the Auxois horse. As its ancestries are as well ancient breeds, the Auxois is maybe one of the closest draft horses to the original coldbloods.
The alternative name is -Trait Auxois horse- and is very similar to the Ardennes horse, due its influence. These crossbreeds during the 19th century between these two breeds, Percheron and Boulonnais blood produced a heavy draft horse and increased the overall size of the Auxois. Because their number decreased dramatically, today only the Ardennes blood has been used to improve the breed. That’s way they are so similar in size and shape, though they are somewhat larger in height then the Ardennes. Auxois are also strictly protected and monitored by the Syndicat du Cheval de Trait Ardenais de L’Ausoix, which studbook is formed since 1913.
In the past they were used as carriage horses in the transport industry, for farm and heavy draught work. But with the advent of the mechanization, the need for draft horses was reduced; hence their population was in decline and today is dangerously low.
The Auxois has a short, large head with a light, broad and wide forehead and small alert ears. The neck is also short, muscular and thickset; withers are flattish and chest is deep and wide. Their body is powerful, massive and muscular with deep girth and long, sloping, short back. Compared to the Ardennes, the Auxois’ limbs are finer, but still hardy and less feathered; they have smaller, but strong hindquarters and low set tail. Thanks to its sloping shoulders and endurance, their gaits are free in various ways in which they can move. The brand letters of the breed are TX and are located on the left side on the neck. An average height of the Auxois horse breed is between 15 and 16.2 hands and weigh approximately 1,650-2,425 lbs (750 -1100 kg). Most common coat colors are bay and characteristic red roan color, either in appearance they can also be chestnut. Roan color is preferred in competitive and show teams. In the stud book is not allowed to be registered horses with gray and black coat color.
These draft horses are excellent farm workers, thus today they are very popular in -green- farming, especially across North America, U.K., throughout Europe and Australia. Mares of this breed have been used for milk production and like many other draft horses they are used in the horsemeat market as meat production due their mass. Today they are also great tourist attraction and due their enormous pulling capacity they are used in pulling wagons and carriages.
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