Belgian draft horse is one of the strongest of the heavy breeds. During the Medieval times, these powerful animals were carrying knights onto the battlefields. Today, they are used for hard work, but can also be seen participating in pulling contests. Belgians are the most popular horse breed of their type in the United States. The Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America shows that Belgians actually outnumber all other draft horse breeds combined. Watching this powerful horse trot is a pleasure. So much strength and beauty, it’s hypnotizing! Please, SHARE.
The Belgian Draft Horse and Brabant were the same breed up until about 1940. Then, they were selectively bred for different purposes in different countries. In Europe, the Brabant is stronger and heavier, while in the United States, it was bred to be taller with a lighter frame. Today, both are still used in farming and forestry.
Currently, the world’s tallest horse is a Belgian Draft horse named Big Jake, born in 2000. He stands 82.75 inches, or 210 cm tall. Belgian Draft Horses hold many records. The world’s largest Belgian was named Brooklyn Supreme. He weighed 3,200 lb, or 1,451 kg and stood at 78 inches, or 198 cm. Another record belongs to Mcllrath’s Captain Jim, a stallion who has the World Record for being the Most Expensive Draught Horse Ever Purchased. He was sold at the Mid-America Draft Horse Sale in 2003 for $112,500. Everyone knows that Belgian Drafts are the strongest horses. In a team competition held in Colorado, a pair of Belgian horses pulled 8.5 tons of weight a total distance of 7.2 feet. The team of horses weighed just 4,800 pounds in comparison. And at the Iowa State Fair, a Belgian and a Percheron pulled a total of 14,600 pounds a distance of 15 feet.
The Belgian Draft Horses are very low maintenance. They have a gentle disposition and are always ready to work. However, this breed is subject to more health issues than other breeds. The most common problems are azoturia, mud fever, and shivers. Many Belgians suffer from an inherited genetic disorder, called junctional epidermolysis bullosa, or JEB. This disorder causes newborn foals to lose large areas of their skin and have other birth defects. Nearly 1 in 5 Belgian horses in North America are carriers. As long as a carrier is not mated, JEB can be avoided.