Through an intensive and aggressive breeding program, French breeders have over the past several decades created the extraordinary breed, called the Selle Francais.
By selectively crossing their sturdy native horses with Thoroughbred stallions.
Judicious introduction of the French Anglo-Arab and the French Trotter has added brilliance, agility and energy to the breed.
The selle francais breed was developed in the area around the government stud farms of Saint Lo and Le Pin in the French department of Normandy.
During the nineteenth century, Norman breeders imported English Thoroughbreds and Norfolk Trotters to cross with their native stock.
These crosses resulted in two types of horse:
- The French Trotter, a fast harness horse
- and the Anglo-Norman, with both a saddle and Draught type.
The saddle type of the Anglo-Norman would be the prototype for the modern Selle Francais.
The Anglo-Norman horse is the most recognized foundation stock of the Selle Francais horse breed.
However, many of the local French breeds which were bred as saddle horses played an important role in the breeds development; like the
Following World War II, the French began to emphasize the production of a riding horse possessing speed, stamina, and ability.
As the Anglo-Norman began to be crossed with the regional breeds the resulting stock began to resemble each other more and more.
In 1958 Because of this growing similarity among the regional breeds they were merged together under one name, "le cheval de Selle Francais," meaning the French Saddle horse.
The Selle Francais Horse Breed