French horse

This French horse breed is one of Europe’s Warmblood breeds, known as Le Cheval de Selle Francais, which means French saddle horse.

However, the  Selle Français should not be confused with the gaited types of Saddle Horse from North America.

Bred in Normandy, France. in the 19th crossing local mares with imported English Thoroughbreds and half-bred Stallions.


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Two crossbreeds were developed.

One was to become the French trotting horse, and the Anglo-Norman, which was a riding horse and light draft.

This was the blue print that produced the modern Selle Francais, which is an all-round competition horse.


Further crosses were made after world war 11 with Thoroughbreds, Arabs and French Trotters to develop a horse of quality, speed, stamina and jumping ability.

The height ranges from 15.2hh – 16.3hh, being split into five classifications.

Small (up to 15.3hh 1.60m)

Medium (up to 16.1hh 1.65m)

Heavy weight small (under 16hh 1.63m)

Heavy weight large (over 16hh 1.63m)


The predominant colour is chestnut or bay, but all solid colours may be found.

The breed is athletic, muscular horse with an elegant profile. Supple, strong, with good bone.


The head is fine with wide set kind eyes and long alert ears. A long muscular, graceful neck and powerful forearms’ horse that is well put together with good strong bone and muscle.


They are powerful movers, fast, bold, and very trainable.

Today the French horse breed, excels and is famous for sport such as show jumping, dressage and eventing.

Lastly, the non-specialist horses are used for leisure and riding schools.

They are also a popular racehorse where they compete in non-thoroughbred races known as AQPSA (Autre que pur-song Anglais).


The breed has five variations, being split to their percentage.

33% Thoroughbred sire

45% Selle Francais sire

20% Arab sire

2% French trotter





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