Auxois horses are closely related to Ardennes horse and have
been bred specifically for immense size since the start of the 20th century.
Their origins are uncertain, although some sources say that
their ancestors were Burgandy horses, a heavy breed ridden by knights of the
middle ages. Breeding of the modern Auxois began in the 19th century in the
Cote d’Or and Yonne regions of France. The foundation horses were Percheron,
Ardennes, Boulonnais, and Northern Ardennais.
Auxois horses are one of the rarest French draft breeds in
the world. After World War II, with mechanization on the rise, the number of
Auxois horses declined significantly. In fact their numbers became so low that
purebred Ardennais blood was added to limit inbreeding in the breeding stock.
Bred for their extreme size, this breed didn’t take hold in other countries due
to the enormous amount of food they required. They are still bred in France,
largely to supply the horse meat industry. Although, their numbers remain
dangerously low today.
Auxois horses are 16.3 hands high (approximates 65.2 inches)
to the withers and weighs around 1,755 lbs, which is 730 pounds heavier than the
average horse breed.