With the advent of harness racing in the 1800’s, the desire for a horse that was strong and sure-footed increased and breeders began investing their efforts in a French trotting horse.
To achieve a horse with conformation and ability, various horses were included in the breeding program. Thoroughbreds and Norfolk Trotters played the most central role in the breed’s early development and helped shape a horse that was functional, aesthetically pleasing and with a friendly disposition that allowed for easy handling.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Norman Trotter’ after Normandy, its place of origin, the breed is popular throughout the world today as a racing and leisure horse. The horse has evolved with a level stride and a well-balanced structure that allows for harness racing and eventing.
Generally speaking, the French Trotter is characterised by a finely-tuned physique, a deep chest and well conformed legs. The breed boasts an average height of 15-16 hands and is common in colours of bay, chestnut and brown.
It is said that the trotting speed at which a French Trotter can exceed is equal to that of a Thoroughbred racehorse running flat out.