Général du Pommeau
Morphologically speaking, the ‘Trotteur Français’ is a powerful animal with a unique feature: the ability to run harnessed or mounted. In mounted events, he can carry a rider up to 75 kg and run over distances from 1,609 metres to 4,150 metres.
Although there may be significant physical differences between harness and mounted specialists, the Trotteur Français stands between 1.60 m and 1.70 m at the withers, sometimes a little more. He is therefore bigger than average compared to other breeds.
His coat is generally chestnut, bay, brown bay or dark brown bay. He may have white markings. There are no – or only very rarely – grey trotters, as is the case with the Standardbred or the Orlov.
His head, which has a straight or aquiline profile, is well-anchored. He has a wide forehead, long, widely spaced ears, wide open nostrils and bright eyes that are reminiscent of the Thoroughbred. The shoulders are muscular and the flanks are well-developed with a long and wide croup, slightly slanted. Histhighs are powerful and the legs long and very solid.
His lifespan in sporting terms is extraordinary. Not only can he be precocious and run from the age of two, but he is also capable of displayingexceptional vitality at ten or above, like in some countries, provided he has not been over-exploited.
Faster, stronger. This is how you could describe trotters performing today.
Rarely has a discipline recorded such remarkable progress over such a short period. On the racing scene, everyone agrees, from France to the US, from Sweden to Italy. It is even truer for certain breeds. Indeed, a trotter’s bloodlines are clearly identified. Among the four major breeds, the ‘Trotteur Français’is a unique case. The best all-rounder of all, he can rival with American speed merchants over the mile (1.609m) while remaining the best over marathon distances of 3,000 metres or more.The fruit of a long and demanding selection process, the talentedTrotteur Français is bigger than the American Standardbred. He is also a specialist in a truly French discipline, mounted trotting, which has given the Trotteur Français a more powerful build than his American counterpart.
According to the records, in the 1840s and 1850s the first trotters clocked about 2’10’’/km, but today they are capable of returning times of 1’10’’, or even 1’09’’ and 1’08’’ per kilometre! Thanks to the Cheval Français’ policy to promote the Trotteur Français on an international scale, the French breed is present today in most countries where trotting takes place, such as the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Italy.
The height at the withers ranges from 1.60 to 1.70 metres, with occasional extremes of 1.55 or 1.75 metres. The trend now is for smaller builds, but trotters measuring 1.70 m were frequent before the 80s. Starting out as a powerful build, the race has got more refined over time. The main feature is his relatively short back and powerful rear, meaning his hind quarters provide the thrust. His coat is normally bay or chestnut. There are no greys, but some animals may have a roan colour with a greyish tinge.