The 'Big Five'
|Breed||Lightest to Heaviest (in lbs.)|
|Breed||Height||Weight (lbs)||Related Remarks|
|Suffolk Punch||15.2-16.2||1600-1800||5th heaviest; chunkiest appearence and a rotund form|
|Belgian||15.2-17||1900-2200||heaviest; widest, deepest, most compact, massive, and lowset form|
|Clydesdale||16-17||1700-1900||4th heaviest; less wide and compact than the other four|
|Shire||16-17.2||2000+||2nd heaviest; tallest; less compact and more rangy than the Belgian|
|Breed||Color/White Markings/Style and Action, etc.|
|Suffolk Punch||always chesnut in color, any white markings are always small and understated|
|Belgian||flaxen mane and tail and white blazes are common; color tends to be bay, chesnut or roan, fewer numbers are brown, grey, or black; powerful action is less high and springy than Clydesdale or Percheron, width may cause many Belgians to paddle somewhat|
|Percheron||90% are black or grey, others are bay, brown, chesnut, or roan; good style and action|
|Clydesdale||often bay or brown with generous white markings on face, legs, and body, can be black, grey, chesnut, or roan; have fine feathers; best style and action of the five|
|Shire||bay, brown and blacks are most common, can also be grey, chesnut, or roan; white markings are fairly common and tend to be large, but not as large as the white on a Clydesdale; have feather much like the Clydesdale, but it is more shaggy than fine with the appearance of bellbottom pants.|
The Obligatory Description of their Origins: Country and UseSuffolk Punch: Originated in Suffolk, England. Developed exclusively for farm work.
Belgian: Originated in Belgium.
Percheron: Originated in La Perche, Normandy (France). Only heavy draft horse breed believed to have some infusion of Arabian blood. General conformation is similar to the Belgian
Clydesdale: Originated in the County of Lanark, Scotland, near the River Clyde.
Shire: Orignated in the shires of England, particularly Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. Developed for warfare and later agriculture and commerce
For pictures of these breeds you can do an internet search on www.google.com. Just type in the breed name, the word horse and the word pictures and you will find plenty to look at (example: Clydesdale horse pictures).
OthersOther draft horse breeds include: Brabant, Breton, Ardennais, American Cream Draft, Boulonnais, Russian heavy draft, Irish draft. Many European countries have their own draft horse breed named unimaginatively after the country itself.