Percheron horse pûr´chərŏn˝ [key], breed of draft horse developed in NW France, originally of Flemish origin, but also containing some Arabian blood (see Arabian horse ). For a heavy horse, it has considerable stamina and is a good trotter. It was used by armored knights during the Middle Ages and also later for extensive general freight work. Once the most popular draft horse in America, the breed is known for its beauty and is still popular as a circus horse. It averages over 16 hands (64 in./160 cm) high, weighs at least 2,000 lb (900 kg), and is usually black or gray in color.
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