Name of breed: Dutch Draft
Country of origin: Netherlands
Breed origin: The Dutch Draft was originally bred by cross breeding heavy draft mares from Zeeland (the westernmost southern district of the Netherlands which consists of islands and peninsulas) with breeds like the Ardennes and Brabant from Belgium after the First World War. The breed was mostly used for agriculture such as plowing and pulling logs but this declined dramatically after the Second World War after tractors and machinery were introduced. Now there are very few Dutch Drafts around and are mostly seen in competitions at farm shows.
Distinguishing features: The Dutch Draft is a massive cold-blooded horse, with free movement, a calm temperament and good stamina. The breed is tall and built strongly with a well-formed head with a straight profile and pronounced jaw. Its chest is built to be deep and the shoulder length long and sloping with withers that are also broad and low. This is contrasted with a short back and sloping croup. The Dutch Draft has four common coat colours (bay, black, grey and chestnut), which is less diverse than other horse breeds.
What is important is that the Belgium Draft has an easy-going demeanour that makes them great with children.
Modern day Dutch Draft: There are very few Dutch Drafts left today, at last estimate, there were only around 1424, so they are mostly seen in competitions at farm shows. They can also be used mostly for pleasure and farm work as they are not suitable for sports.
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