The rare Vercors de Barraquand horse is a French mountain horse breed. Resulting from a very old selection in the Vercors Massif, it may come from a small herd of animals selected by religious communities, in particular those established in the Abbey of Léoncel. It takes its name from the Barraquand family, which developed its breeding from the end of the 19th century until the 1950s, thanks to the practice of transhumance.
The first documents concerning this horse were written by the Abbey of Léoncel, who in 1760 wrote about the abbey and its region and in particular about the Vercors horse.
In the 18th century, mares were more present than donkeys, mules and mules: as all trade outside the mountains was done only on difficult paths using “paths”, rusticity and sure-footedness were certainly the criteria of first choice. During the 19th century, the growth of the breed of horse took a rather strong extension in the mountainous region.
The breed was really born at the end of the nineteenth century, Jules Barraquand is considered to be the founder of the breed. In 1894, as a young fourteen-year-old tenant farmer, he created his herd from a stallion and six local mares. A strict selection process led to the homogenisation of the type of horses. In the winter of 1908, Jules Barraquand set up transhumance; hundreds of horses then crossed the South of France along the Rhone valley, leaving the summer pastures to spend the winter in the Crau.
These robust horses spend the whole year outdoors and have the sure-footedness of mountain horses. The sturdy, agile and versatile Vercors de Barraquand horses were known for their frugality but were also easy to train. They are uncomplicated horses, and breeders want animals with a balanced character.
These old mountain and field horses are today very suitable as universal and versatile leisure horses, for trekking and driving. With their medium size they also cover adults very well.
Although the rare Vercors de Barraquand horse has been a recognised breed since 2017, it has so far only been known to connoisseurs. As the market for leisure horses is constantly growing in importance, this breed could develop further in the future. Currently there are about 250 horses and one use breeder. It is the rarest breed in France.
Cheval du Vercors — Vercors — Barraquand — Cheval Barraquand — Vercors horse
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