Soviet Heavy Draft Horse

The Soviet Heavy Draft is a breed of horse originating in Russia in the late 1800s and the modern breed established by the 1940s.

The horse was developed by crossbreeding native mares with imported Belgian stallions. By 1936, three breeding centers were established, Pochinkovsk, Mordovian and Gavrilovo-Posad. Other breeding centers branched off of these and in 1952 the Soviet Heavy Draft was officially recognized as a heavy draft breed.

The average height of the breed is 60.4 inches and weighs between 1,430 and 1,720 pounds. The head is usually straight with a well pronounced jaw, but sometimes the head is convex. It has a short but muscular neck, a wide, deep chest and straight, powerful shoulders. The back is wide, it has a rounded abdomen and a sloping muscular rear. The legs are short, but sturdy with solid joints and hooves. The front hooves are prone to be pigeon toed and the rear have sickle hocks.  The coat can be chestnut, bay, or roan.

The breed tends to mature quickly and is resilient to disease.

Image Caption: Soviet Heavy Draft Horse. Credit: Iskulikov/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)