Italian Heavy Draft

Italian Heavy Draft photo
Italian Working Horse
Photograph by de:Benutzer:BS Thurner Hof. License: GNU.


The Italian Heavy Draft is a compact, muscular horse. It has a long head with expressive eyes and small ears. Its neck is short and strong while its back is wide and flat. The chest is broad and deep and the shoulders robust. It has muscular legs with boxy hooves and some feathering and strong, round hindquarters. Its overall appearance is robust and strong.

15 to 16 hands

Italian Heavy Drafts most commonly come in chestnut, while there might be white markings on the legs and head. The mane and tail are usually flaxen.

The Italian Heavy Draft are even tempered. They are docile, friendly and quiet. They are active horses that are willing to work hard without tiring or complaining and are very easy to handle.

Suitable for
The Italian Heavy Draft is very strong and was originally bred to serve as a working horse, in the agricultural sector and the Italian military. Nowadays these horses are most commonly used in the meat industry, although a few continue to be used as working horses.

Italian Heavy Drafts have no special care requirements; they are a very economical breed and easy to sustain.

As the name suggests, this breed is of Italian origin. Its Italian name is Cavallo Agricolo Italiano da Tiro Pesante Rapido, which means Italian Rapid Heavy Draft Farm Horse. This is the only draft Italian breed and was first developed in 1860 at the Deposito Stalloni in Ferrara. The Italian Heavy Draft as we know it today was the result of the crossing of native Italian breeds with Bretton and Ardennes horses. Up until the 1960's it was used as a working horse and the breed conformation was maintained at very specific standards. From the 1970's onwards it was selectively bred to produce more meat and standards have changed accordingly.

The horse matures quickly. Their normal lifespan is 25-30 years.