The Percheron is a breed of draft horses that originated in the Perche valley in northern France. Although their exact origins are unknown, the ancestors of the breed were present in the valley by the 1600s. They were originally bred for use as a war horse, then for use pulling stage coaches, then for use in agriculture and the hauling of heavy goods. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, Arabian blood was added to the breed. In the late 1800s, exports of Percherons from France to the United States and other countries rose exponentially, and in 1893 the first purely Percheron stud book was created in France. After going through various incarnations and stud books, the current US Percheron registry was created in 1934. In World War I, the breed was used extensively by the British. In the 1930s, Percherons accounted for 70% of the draft horse population in the United States, but their numbers declined substantially after World War II. However, population numbers began to recover, and today around 2,500 horses are registered annually in the United States alone.

Percherons are usually gray or black in color. They are well-muscled, and known for their intelligence and willingness to work. Today, the breed is still used extensively for draft work. They have been crossed with several light horse breeds, such as the Criollo, to produce horses for range work and competition. Purebred Percherons are used for forestry work and pulling carriages, as well as under saddle work, including competition in English riding disciplines such as show jumping.