The Percheronís longevity is due to its
ability to adapt to change. They stand out among the crowd
for their ability to perform both as a team and
individually. They are intelligent, hard workers with
agility and an amiable disposition. These are some of the
reasons NurseValue chose the Percheron as our mascot.
Please, find below the history of the PercheronÖ
The Percheron originated in the Le Perche providence (near
Normandy, France). The ancestors of the modern-day Percheron
transported knights into battle. They were light,
sure-footed and spirited. As agricultural began to take
precedence over battles, Percheron were bred more for size,
weight and strength.
By the 17th century horses produced in
Le Perche had attained widespread notoriety and were in
demand for a variety of roles. These animals were smaller
and easily adapted to pulling the heavy mail coaches of
In 1823, a horse named Jean La Blanc
was foaled in Le Perche. All of today's Percheron bloodlines
trace directly to this horse.
Edward Harris of Moorestown, NJ first
imported Percherons to the US in 1839. Only two of the
horses survived the journey. One was a mare named Joan and
the other was a stallion called Diligence. These horses
established the American Percheron breed. Diligence sired
over 400 foals with three recorded among the foundation
stock in the first American Percheron stud book in 1876.
Importation of the Percheron ended
until 1851, when Normandy, Gray Bill and Louis Napoleon
arrived. Louis Napoleon had a profound effect on the
Percheron breed in America and is owners were instrumental
in the forming of the Percheron Association in 1876.
Thousands of Percherons were imported
to Americas in the last half of the 19th century, and they
continued to increase until World War II. The Percheron
became the favorite of both the American farmer and the
teamster (freight movers over the nationís city streets).
The Percheronís popularity continued to
increase. By 1930, the census showed three times as many
registered Percherons as the other draft breed combined.
Following World War II, the invention of the tractor made
the breed nearly extinct. However, a few farmers
(including many Amish) were dedicated to the preservation of
the breed and kept it alive through the next 20 years.
The late 1960s saw a renaissance in the
draft horse. Today, Percherons are found working in the
fields of small farms and thousands are used for recreation
(hayrides, sleigh rides and parades). Percherons are shown
in competition hitching, halter and riding classes at many
state and local fairs across the country. They are also used
in advertising and the promotion of business. The Percheron
is a common sight on many city streets due to the popularity
of the carriage ride.