Australian Draught Horse

Australian Draught Horse photo
Australian Draught Horse competition, Woolbrook, NSW
Photograph by Cgoodwin. Some rights reserved.


The Australian Draught horse, as the name says, is a native of Australia. This breed owes its origin to four other recognized pure draught breeds that contributed their genes in order to give rise to this new breed. The breeds that contributed to the development of this breed are the Clydesdale, Shire, Percheron and the Suffolk Punch. Hence, certain traits of each of these horses can be seen in this type of horse.

The average height of this horse is between 16 to 17.2 hands. They weigh anywhere between 1320 to 1980 pounds. The head of the Australian draught horse is average in size; however, the forehead is broad. Their clear eyes reflect their gentle character. Their ears are very alert. They have a neck of medium length. The stallions of this breed have a well developed crest. Their well muscled shoulders blend smoothly into the withers, chest and back. They have wide chest, hips and hindquarters. They have light to medium feathering on their legs.

These animals are very sturdy and suitable for draft work, the very purpose for which they were bred. These horses are hardy creatures that have an excellent stamina. These animals are intelligent and versatile. They are hard-working, easy to work with and kind hearted creatures.

16 - 17.2 hands

The Australian Draught horse can come in a wide variety of coat colors. Though, white color below the knee is considered acceptable, it is not favored if excessively present on the body or the face.

Suitable for
Australian Draught Horses are versatile creatures that find their use in a number of areas. Many years ago, these horses were used for ploughing fields. They were also used to pull rail wagons on to the docks and sidings. In modern times, these horses are used in various ploughing competitions and in forestry. These horses are also used as pleasure mounts.

The Australian draught horses evolved after years of cross breeding four major draught horse breeds that were brought to Australia by the early settlers. These horses were bred specifically to withstand the harsh conditions of Australia. In the early stages of development, these horses were used for farm work and to pull carriages. As technology evolved and machines replaced animals on farms, their numbers slightly dwindled. In 1979, the Australian Draught Stud Book was formed in order to preserve their bloodline.