conformation fine head, arched neck, compact body,
strong legs, light feather (leg hair), bushy mane
colour predominantly grey, sometimes black,
height 15-15.3 hands
This breed’s ancestors were the Numidian horses of war,brought by Julius Caesar’s legions to the French coasts of Pas-de-Calais en route to invading Britain. The Boulonnais is the Thoroughbred of all the heavy draught breeds, his beauty thought to be inherited from oriental and Andalucian blood brought into Belgium during
the Crusades and Spanish occupation. It is these influences that set him apart from other draught horses. His speed, elegant build, rehned head, silky coat and luxuriant mane can all be attributed to these hotblooded ancestors.
Energetic and lively Boulonnais horses were as much in demand for riding as for pulling carriages and working the fields. ln the 17th century they were famed for pulling the fish carts to transport the fresh catch from the coast to Paris — this is now commemorated every other year in a traditional harness team race, ’la Route du Poisson
Modern Boulonnais Draughts are mostly grey of varying shades, although chestnut, dark bay and black have occurred. An attempt is being made to reintroduce the black colour, using a black stallion called Esope, and the modern breeding programme is government funded to save this superb draught breed from extinction.
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