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Baroque Horses
French Breeds

Breed Name: Ardennais also known as: French Ardennais 
Place of Origin: France (Belgian French border) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque Period): farm work, riding, and military 
Temperament: particular known as being calm, but energetic 
Colour(s): (acceptable) Bay, Roan, Chestnut, Grey, Red Roan, or Palomino (tolerated) Brown and Light Chestnut (excluded) Black 
Height: (back then) 14-15 hh, (now) 15-16 hh 
Weight: (now) 1540-2200 lbs (700-1000 kg) 
History: This horse has been in France for a very long time. It is believed to be descended from a type of horse mentioned by Julius Caesar in his "De Bello Gallico". The modern, larger size, and capabilities, of this breed are a result of cross breeding during the time of Napoleon. There are two "off-shoot" breeds that are a result of cross breeding: the larger Auxois, and the heavier, larger framed, Ardennais du Nord. 

Breed Name: Ariegeois also known as: Merens 
Place of Origin: France (Ariege River region) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): This breed is actually classed as a pony. Mostly used as a pack animal, also used for farm work and as a light riding animal. 
Temperament: energetic 
Colour(s): normally solid black, but having a reddish tinge in winter 
Height: (now) 13-14.3 hh 
Weight: (now) 770-1100 lbs (350-500 kg) 
History: This is another of the "ancient" breeds of France. It closely resembles a breed of horse, from the same region, described by Julius Caesar, in his commentaries on the Gallic Wars. 

Breed Name: Auxois 
Place of Origin: France 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): farm work, and for drawing carts and carriages
Temperament: quiet, good-natured and willing 
Colour(s): normally Bay or Roan, occasionally Chestnut or Red Roan 
Height: (now) 15-16 hh 
Weight: (now) 1650-2425 lbs (750-1100 kg) 
History: This breed is one of the off-shoots of the Ardennais Breed. The Auxois breed has been around since at least the Middle Ages. Originally the breed was smaller. 

Breed Name: Breton 
Place of Origin: from the Middle Ages, to the 19th century, there were two distinct sub-breeds to this breed. The Sommier was from the north of Brittany, the Roussin was from the south and some central parts of Brittany. 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): 
- the Sommier, mainly for farm work, and as a pack animal, 
- the Roussin, popular as a saddle horse, especially by military leaders, noted for it's comfortable, ambling gait; (also, possibly) food, I have found references that list this breed as popular to the French meat trade, but the references do not say how far back this was done. 
Temperament: energetic and lively 
Colour(s): generally Chestnut, but Bay, Grey, Roan, and Red Roan also occur 
Height: (now) 15-16 hh 
Weight: (now) 1540-1980 lbs (700-900 kg) 
History: This is another of the "ancient" breeds of France. It is traceable to well before the Middle Ages. Originally the breed was only about 14 hh. The version seen during the Baroque is the result of horses brought back from the Holy Land by the Crusaders being cross bred with the already existing breed. 

Who to contact for more info: 
Syndicat Des Eleveurs Du Cheval Breton BP 24-29 207 Landernau Cedex France Tel: +33 (0) 2 98 21 38 12 Fax: +33 (0) 2 98 85 36 03 
Haras National De Hennebont 56 700 Hennebont France Tel: +33 (0) 2 97 36 20 27 Fax: +33 (0) 2 97 36 39 96 

Breed Name: Boulonnais 
Place of Origin: France (north west) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): military, farm work, and possibly food 
Temperament: energetic and lively 
Colour(s): usually Grey, often Dappled; occasionally Brown 
Height: (now) 15.3-16.3 hh 
Weight: 1210-1650 lbs (550-750 kg) 
History: Yet one more of the ancient French breeds. This one can be traced back to the Roman times. Originally resulting from Arab blood being crossed with native stock, the Baroque period Boulonnais is a result of the German Mecklenberg breed being cross bred with the Boulonnais in order to produce a sturdier animal, capable of carrying the Knights in their new Plate Armor. This was a WAR HORSE! The breed was not called the Boulonnais, until the 17th century, and that to reflect their main breeding region on the north French coast. There are now two distinct sub-breeds. The heavy version is used in agriculture and is the preferred choice of the meat market. The lighter version, at one time called the "mareeur" or "mareyeur", was used to haul fish from Boulogne to Paris. As of right now I have been unable to determine how far back the size difference goes, nor can I determine when the horse started to be used by the meat market. 

Who to contact for more info: 
Syndicat Hippique Boulonnais 16 rue Sainte-Adrienne 62 930 Wimereux France Tel: +33 (0) 3 21 32 41 26 
Haras National De Compiegne 1 bd Victor Hugo 60 200 Compiegne France Tel: +33 (0) 3 44 40 03 41 Fax: +33 (0) 3 44 40 20 17 

Breed Name: Camargue (sometimes classified as a pony) 
Place of Origin: France (Rhone delta) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): as a pack animal, and as a riding animal (especially used in rounding up the fighting bulls reared in this region) 
Temperament: quiet 
Colour(s): normally Grey, but Bay and Brown occur rarely 
Height: (now) 13.1-14.1 hh 
Weight: (now) 660-880 lbs (300-400 kg) 
History: This breed has an unusual history. It was not even recognized as a breed until 1968, even though it bears a strong resemblance to cave paintings (at Lascaux) that date to 15,000 BC. This is another of the breeds that was admired by Julius Caesar. This breed retains some characteristics of the "primitive" horse, most notably its rather heavy square head. 

Who to contact for more info: 
Association Des Eleveurs De Chevaux De Race Camargue Mas du Pont de Roustry 13 200 Arles France Tel: +33 (0) 4 90 97 86 32 Fax: +33 (0) 4 90 97 70 82 

Breed Name: Comtois 
Place of Origin: France (Franche Comte) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): farm work 
Temperament: docile, active and willing 
Colour(s): Chestnut or Bay 
Height: (now) 14.1-15.1 hh 
Weight: (now) usually 1100-1320 lbs (500-600 kg) BUT some male stallions can reach 1760 lbs (800 kg)
History: This breed can be traced back to at least the 6th century. Most likely it is descended from the Germanic horses that the Burgundians took with them when they migrated to France. During the Middle Ages this was a WAR HORSE! 

Who to contact for more info: Syndicat D'Elevage Du Cheval Comtois 52 rue de Dole 25 000 Besancon France Tel: +33 (0) 3 81 52 46 97 Fax: +33 (0) 3 81 41 01 00 
Haras National De Besancon 52 rue de Dole 25 000 Besancon France Tel: +33 (0) 3 81 52 46 97 Fax: +33 (0) 3 81 41 01 00 

Breed Name: Landais (and) Barthais 
Place of Origin: France (Landes, around Barthais de l'Adour) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the Baroque period): This breed is a pony, and is normally used as a riding pony and for pulling light carts or carriages. Temperament: intelligent, but somewhat independent
Colour(s): Bay, Brown, Black, or Chestnut 
Height: (now) 11.1-13 hh 
Weight: not listed 
History: Possibly another of the very ancient breeds of France. Can be traced to at least 732 AD. The Barthais breed was once a separate breed, and was heavier and slightly taller. I have been unable to find definite references that would let me know when the two breeds became one. 

Breed Name: Percheron 
Place of Origin: France (La Perche) 
Normal uses for this breed (in the baroque period): military, carriage horse, farm horse. 
Temperament: very quiet and docile, but energetic: well known for its great strength and courage 
Colour(s): most common is Grey, typically Dappled; but Black, and Roan occur rarely 
Height and Weight: there are two varieties of this breed, the smaller, called the Percheron Postier (and now almost extinct), and the regular Percheron. 
- Percheron Postier: 14.3-16.1 hh 1320-1760 lbs (600-800 kg) 
- Percheron: 15.2-17.3 hh (average 16.1 hh) 1760-2200 lbs (800-1000 kg). Percherons can get huge! One of the tallest on record was 21 hh (7 ft., or 2.13 m.), and tipped the scales at just under 2700 lbs (1370 kg). 
I can not find any definitive reference listing when the breed first formed two varieties, but it is probably safe to assume that they were around in the Baroque period. 
History: This breed probably resulted from cross breeding a native breed, with captured Arab horses, after the Battle of Poitiers (732 AD). The breed, as seen in the Baroque period, had stabilized in appearance by the middle 12th century. This breed was a WAR HORSE! 

Who to contact for more info: Percheron Horse Association of America P.O. Box 141 10330 Quaker Rd. Fredericktown, OH 43019 USA Tel: 614-694-3602 or 614-694-3603 Fax 614-694-3604 
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