History of the Comtois Horses race

From the war horse to the horse of pride


Warlike horse, Louis XIV then Napoleon I adopted it as well for their cavalry as to pull artillery and coaches. Regrettably, these successive drainings of the armies pulled a strong shortage of horses in Franche-Comté.


At the beginning of the 20th century passionate persons' handle decide to take back the race in hand by a rigorous selection of the breeders and by a use of small from the Ardennes bay stallions, without stocking or facial marking. In 1910, the first competition of breeding took place to Maîche (Doubs), and in 1919, the Syndicate of the Comtois horse and the stud-book of the race are created. Horse of pride, it found its place in countryside from Franche-Comté as daily companion of labour of numerous farmers.

Since then, and in spite of the increasing motorization of the after war, the Comtois horse is always present in our meadows and in our hearts. It is the first race of draft horse in France today. In 2009 there are 3800 breeders, 1045 stallions producing Comtois and 4632 foals were registered in pure race.

Anecdotes of the past

Numerous are the ones who remember horses of their childhood with nostalgia. The tractor had not still completely supplanted the animal drive and to have a horse was a necessity and a pride for many farmers. The links between the horse of the farm and the children was naturally made: "happiness of the return of fields comfortably sat on the wide back", "pleasure of the road in carriage with all the family to go to the villages celebrations".

Here are some pictures which let imagine what could represent these quiet companions of the everyday life there is not so for a long time as that...

Parad in Maiches streets (25) in 1969 with tanks carrying rockets to honour the first human steps on the moon.


Fenaison 1943        Haymaking time - 1943

Visite Ecole d'Agriculture 1946        Agricultural school visit - 1946

Fenaison 1943        Haymaking time - 1943