The Percheron derives its name from the small French district of La Perche, southeast of Normandy. It was the first of the draft breeds to arrive in the Americas in 1839. The Canadian Percheron Association was formed in 1907 and its website states: “In spite of mechanization and automation, the Percheron breed has survived and, in recent years has increased tremendously in popularity and numbers.” In 1962, there were 129 Percheron foals registered for the year; in 2008 there were 918 registered and their numbers continue to increase. Percherons have historically been used as both freight and farm horses; the Percheron makes an excellent hitch horse due to its immense strength and stamina, and is lauded for its good temperament and work ethic. The Canadian Percheron Association was formed in 1907. As of December 2010, 29,188 stallions and 42,951 mares were registered with them. Today, Percherons can be found working in fields, forests, and even Canadian historic sites such as Bar U Ranch in Alberta

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In 1916, the Bar U Ranch in southern Alberta, owned by George Lane, was home to 700 registered Percherons, among them this six-horse team and 400 broodmares. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada