The Boulonnais Horse
Saumur (France) 2000 (Photo © Laurent Leclere).
Baladeuse, Candice, Comtesse & Diana conducted by Thibault Coudry, Champion de France, during a marathon race.


Boulonnais horses are said to be descended from Numidian horses, brought by J. Caesar to North of France, around Boulogne, in 54 B.C., just when he was planning to invade Britain. But this can be a legend.

The Boulonnais horse is called "the thoroughbred horse among draught horses" because of its great elegance associated with strength.


Paris 1999. (Photo © Eric Rousseaux). Bonaventure, Esope & Fannie on the pavement of a bridge in Paris, pulling an old traditional omnibus on the day of "Salon du cheval".
Energetic and lively, with a splendid gait, adaptated to prestige carriage as well as to every work in the fields and even to riding, the Boulonnais horses were especially appreciated since 17th century for the rapid transport of the fresh fish from the Channel coast to Paris, in less than 24 hours. This is now commemorated every two years in a traditional team race called "La route du poisson" (The Fish Route).

The Boulonnais is a heavy horse (1,60 to 1,70 m - 650 to 900 kg). Its coat is now most commonly white or grey, but black or very dark bay coats were frequent in 18th century. There is an attempt today to reintroduce that colour, with Esope a black stallion.


According to the Boulonnais Directory for year 2000, there are 391 Boulonnais breeders or owners, most of them living in the northern region of France (Nord-Picardie) and some in Belgium and Germany. 56 stallions are agreed for reproduction of the breed.
This article was kindly provided by LES TRAITS VOLANTS.

To learn more about the Boulonnais Horse please click here to visit their website

or contact the following associations:

Dortmund (Germany) 1999. Esope (the black one) & Froufrou (the white one) with a traditional carriage conducted by Luc Michelon

For more information :

Offical organization : Syndicat Hippique Boulonnais Espace Naturel Régional - Ferme du Héron F 59650 VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ Tel. 33 3 20 67 03 51

National organization : Haras National de Compiègne F 60200 COMPIEGNE
Tel. 33 3 44 38 54 50.

Private association : LES TRAITS VOLANTS 19 Grande Rue F 60430 ABBECOURT
Tel & Fax. 33 3 44 89 25 53
email Lmichelon@aol.com , web address http://www.cheval-boulonnais.com/


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Updated: October 2005.