HORSES OF THE WORLD
Europe - Belgium
Photo supplied by Horse Directory Australia ©
The Belgian Draught is an ancient breed, closely related to the Ardennais.
During the Middle Ages the horse was known as The Flanders and was influential in the
development of other heavy breeds including the Clydesdale, the Shire Horse and the
Suffolk Punch. Its strength made it ideally suited for heavy farm work.
During the end of 19th century there were three recognized types of Belgian Draught horses
based on the different bloodlines that today all come under the general name of Belgian
Draught or Brabant.
- The celebrated stallion Orange I founded the Gros de la Dendre line which is mainly bay
- The stallion Bayard founded the Gris du Hainaut line which shows colours of grey,
red-roan and sorrel
- The bay stallion Jean I founded the Colosses de la Mehaigne line
Due to mechanisation there exist only modest numbers of the breed mainly in Belgium and
North America. Over the years strict selection and interbreeding has produced a sound,
handsome horse. These days the Belgian Draught is often referred to as Brabant, named
after the main breeding area in central Belgium.
Head: plain, small, head; intelligent expression; kind eyes
Neck: short, muscular
Shoulders: massive, strong
Body: short, deep girthed, compact body; powerful, rounded
Legs: short, strong limbs; abundance of feather
Feet: well shaped, medium size
Color: predominantly red-roan with black points, chestnut,
sorrel; also bay, dun, grey
Height: 16.2. to 17hh, can exceed 18hh
Weight: 1,800 to 2,400 pounds
Temperament: gentle, willing
Qualities: strong, sound, economical to keep
Today Belgian Draughts can still be seen pulling a brewers' dray. The
breed is successful in pulling competitions.