Horses and uses

The comtois horse is still used for agricultural works, forest works…Indeed, if in some farms, it is still harnessed to machines in order to plough, harrow, or for haymaking, it is more and more present in our forest to pull logs on difficult area where tractors can not be used without destroying the ground, in our vineyards to plough and work the ground, especially in areas cultivated in a biologic way, in our cities to collect garbage or for touristic human transport…

This small draft-horse is as well more and more wanted as a leisure horse, ridden or harnassed. Easy and docile, with a reasonable height, it fits to everyone! That is the reason why it is used in readaptation centers for handicapped person or with social difficulties.

Lots of modern uses originate grow or re-grow!


Horse and gastronomy :

Pleasure horse and food horse dont fit well in lots of riders mind. And yet, this outlet is essential for the economic support it brings at the whole horse domain (and not only draft horses !). Indeed, horse meat outlet allows a minimum price definition for the whole horse domain market, even for horses whose meat is not the first outlet targeted. In addition, that has led to the preservation of the nine french draft horse breeds (inestimable richness in the worl!) despite farm mechanization.

Ancestral use :

Horses painted on the prehistorical cave wall was considered as game. That was only later that mankind discovered that horses could have lots of different utilities. Greeks, Persians, Romans, Asians used to eat horse meat and they even used it as medicine against anaemia and tuberculosis. In Europe, from the 7th until the 18th century, horse meat is not eaten any more because of the interdiction from Pope Grégoire III because Asians, during their invasion int the 4th and 5th century, used to eat horse meat for religious processions during which Christians was eaten.

A recent revival :

At the end of the 18th century, Parmentier fought in vain to allow horse meat consumption. Scientifics went on with Parmenteirs work to make nutritional qualities of horse meat accepted.

The first horse butchers shop opened in Nancy in 1866. Since the, in France, horse meat is appreciated for its tenderness, its flavour and its dietetic qualities (rich in iron and essential amino acids, poor in fat).

The horse butcher has remained for a long time the only one to sell this meat, because, thanks to the proximity, he is capable to certificate the good quality of the meat.

But today, half of the horse meat sold is supplied in supermarkets that offer almost exclusively imported meat without traceability. At the same time, most comtois foals are exported in Italy.

In view of this situation, a step has been set up by an organization since 2001, Franche-Comté Elevage, in order to offer to consumers of supermarkets in Franche-Comté a quality meat of comtois foal, with traceability. It is an increasing success.

Foals sold through this step are :

  • - born and bred in Franche-Comté
  • - from comtois breed
  • - less than 22 month old

For further information :

SA Les Eleveurs de la Chevillotte
Les Banardes
25800 Valdaho
Tél : 03 81 56 34 34
Fax : 03 81 56 34 39

Interbev Equins

11 rue de la Baume - 75008 Paris
Tél. : 01 45 63 05 90, Fax : 01 45 63 01 41, Port. : 06 76 66 21 95
Nouveau :, le site incontournable de la viande chevaline !

Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de Franche-Comté
Valparc - Espace Valentin Est
25048 Besançon Cedex
Tél : 03 81 54 71 65
Fax : 03 81 54 71 54