Breed Description


The body type of the Spotted Draft Horse reflects that of his draft horse background, with emphasis on a build more suited for power than action. The splendid disposition and easy temperament of the Spotted Draft mimics that of his draft ancestors - very intelligent, sensible, willing to please, and hardy; and -- because it is not always quite as large as some of its predecessors -- more athletic.

Spotted drafts should have conformation which closely reflects the draft type they most resemble (Percheron/Belgian type, Suffolk type, Shire/Clydesdale type, etc.). Generally the frame should be large, supported by clean, dense bone, with short, strong, muscled forearms and thighs. Legs are placed well under the horse. Intelligent heads with active ears, powerful, arching necks which are clean cut at the throat. Shoulders tend to be upright, suitable for power rather than action. The back is short and strong. Ribs spring high from the backbone. The hindquarters are long and smooth to the root of the tail, which springs higher up than other breeds.

The hip bones are wide apart smoothly covered, the croup usually level. Depth and thickness from the withers to the legs are essential and they should be as deep in the flank as over the heart.

The average height of the spotted draft is 16hh to 17hh+.

Spotted drafts exhibit pinto coloring in the patterns of tobiano, overo, or tovero; with color distribution of approximately 40% spots and 60% coat color. Any base coat color is acceptable, though the most common are black, bay, and brown. Blue eyes are uncommon, but acceptable.

The spotted draft has a splendid disposition and an easy temperament. It exhibits a ready willingness to work, great endurance and the quality, known as “heart,” which is well known. These horses are used for agricultural work, pleasure driving, parades, commercial carriages, showing, logging and riding.

NASDHA currently registers Premium Spotted Drafts (7/8 or more draft blood, with no Appaloosa, pony, donkey, mule, gaited horses, saddlebred, or Gypsy Vanner/ Irish Tinker blood permitted) and Regular Spotted Drafts (1/2 to 3/4 draft blood).