The Comtois Horse:
The Comtois is a very old breed that is thought to have descended from horses brought to France by the Burgundians, a people from northern Germany that immigrated in the fourth century. The Franche-Comté and the Jura Mountains on the border of France and Switzerland are the original breeding ground of the Comtois breed.
In the sixteenth century, the Comtois was used to improve the horses of Burgundy and became famous as a cavalry and artillery horse. Louis XIV's used this breed in his armies, as did Napoleon on his campaign into Russia.
During the nineteenth century the Comtois was breed with other draft breeds like the Norman, Boulonnais and Percheron. Since 1905 a stronger horse with improved legs has emerged from using small Ardennais sires.Today, the Comtois is bred in the mountainous regions of the Massif Central, the Pyrenees and the Alps for which they are perfectly suited. The Comtois has good qualities of endurance, hardiness and balance in these rugged landscapes. The breed is still widely used for hauling wood in the high pine forests of the Jura and for work on the hilly vineyards of the Arbois area. The Comtois is second only to the Breton draft horse in numbers in France.