About Auvergne HorsesAbout Auvergne Horses

Auvergne horses (Cheval d’Auvergne) are robust and hardy light draft horse from the Auvergne region of south central France. They are used mainly for trekking.  

They have been crossbred several times throughout history, with several distinct breeds sharing the name "Auvergne horse". A small riding horse known as the "half-blood of Auvergne" was primarily ridden by the cavalry at the beginning of the 19th century, but has since disappeared. Other work horses of Auvergne were used as a means of transportation before the advent of modern roads. The work horse was crossbred to become a light draught horse and subsequent ancestor of the modern Auvergne horse. It was used for varying field work by the inhabitants of the region.  

As with most of Europe's draught breeds, Auvergne horses almost disappeared with the spread of mechanized transportation. They were crossed with other draught horses, such as the Comtois horse, and was used as a source of horsemeat. In 1994, an association was created to save the last remaining animals and to fight for the recognition of the breed in France. Since then, several actions have been levied to promote the continued existence of the Auvergne horse. However, the breed is still extremely rare outside of Auvergne. 200 were represented in a census at the beginning of the 21st century.  

They stand 143 to 147 centimeters (14.0 to 14.2 hands) at the withers, and weighs 450–650 kilograms (990–1,430 lb). Their coat colors are bay or seal brown.  

They were recognized as a breed by the Haras Nationaux, the French association of horse breeders in December 2012. The standard is published by a breeders' association, the Association Nationale du Cheval de Race Auvergne.