The Comtois (pronounced con-twa) is a very old breed that is thought to have descended from
horses brought to France from northern Germany by the Burgundians in the fourth century.

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 bred with other draft
breeds like the Norman, Boulonnais and Percheron. Since 1905 a stronger horse with improved
legs has emerged by using small Ardennais sires. The Comtois has good qualities of endurance,
hardiness and balance. They are also good-natured, easy to train and hard working.

The breed has remained in the same area of eastern France since its original introduction, now
called the Franche-Comté region, where the Jura mountains border France and Switzerland.
In 1910 the first Comtois Breeder’s Competition took place in Maiche, where the Breed Show is
still held today. In 1919 the Comtois Stud was created and is located in Besancon.

During the last century the Comtois became an everyday farming work-horse in the region and,
despite the growing mechanisation of farming methods, the Comtois retained a strong presence
in the fields throughout the Franche-Comté.

Today, the breed is still widely used for farming and is particularly suited to hauling timber in the
high pine forests of the Jura and working in the hilly vineyards of the Arbois area of eastern France