French horses

French horses – Normandy horse French breed.

The French Trotter horse was developed in Normandy, France in the 19th century.


Horses from the local area were used to create the breed, along with Thoroughbreds and half-bred stallions, which were imported from England and the greatest Trotting horse in Europe, the Norfolk Roadster.

Ultimately, five bloodlines were established to which most French trotters could trace their linage.

The French Trotter is sometimes referred to as a Norman Trotter, due to the influence of the Old Norman horse on the breed's development.


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Trotting races are very popular in France both in harness and under saddle, with the first purpose-built race way constructed at Cherbourg in 1836.


French horses

The Trotter is powerful and taller than other trotters.

Resembling the English Thoroughbred except for the Roman nose above the nostrils and alert head.

However, in general terms, they tend to have a slightly heavy and large head, which is plain, but not unattractive.

Bred for speed with the neck being strong and of good proportional length, and is well set to shoulders which are sufficiently sloped to achieve greater speed.

The withers are usually quite rounded, the back broad and strong, with extremely muscular hindquarters.


The legs are very well conformed, being strong and muscular with good joints, hard, dense bone and very hard hooves.

The height is around 16.2hh (1.65m). Colours are grey, brown, black and chestnut.

Used both in harness and ridden work.

France is one of the few places where you can see ridden trotting races.


Usually, horses are raced either under saddle or in harness but occasionally outstanding horses materialise that are equally brilliant under saddle or in harness.

In 1922, it became a recognised breed as it had produced and is still producing some of the world’s most successful trotting racers.





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