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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Trait du Nord (TDN)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Trait du Nord (formerly known as 'Trait Ardennais du Nord') is an endangered Belgian draft breed which was created in the 1880s by crossing Belgian heavy drafts (see 'Brabant'), [French] Ardennais horses, and Boulonnais horses, the latter to a lesser extent. The breed was officially recognized in 1903, when the official studbook was established, and an official breeding program was initiated.

The systematic breeding of Trait du Nord horses was put to a halt during World War I, because most of the Trait du Nord horses were transported to Germany to serve as artillery horses. When the war ended, the breeding program resumed, and the breed became popular again until the 1960s.

Following the mechanization of agriculture in the 1960s, the number of Trait du Nords plummeted, and the breed almost went extinct. Today, the Trait du Nord is still an endangered breed which exists in small but stable numbers. It is mainly used for recreational riding, and for draft work.

The appearance of Trait du Nord horses is similar to that of Ardennais horses. There are some differences between the breeds, since Trait du Nords are usually taller, and have smaller heads and smaller eyes than Ardennais horses.

Trait du Nords come in the colors of bay, chestnut, brown, and black, and usually have a roan coat. Iron grey is also found in this breed, but is an extremely rare coat. Trait du Nords stand between 15.3hh and 17.3hh, with most of them standing between 16.1hh and 16.3hh.

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