• Abi Kroupa

The Newport Draft Horse

The Newport Draft is a newly developed breed of Draft horse that was recently created by dear friends of mine. It is also the origin breed of a further developing sport horse (The Newport Horse). The Newport Draft is proving to be an exquisite combination of two of Europe's oldest and beloved draft breeds. Their intelligent, sturdy, and stoic nature, combined with their beautiful roan coats, make them the perfect all-around carriage, work, and family horse.


The breed originated with the unintentional, spontaneous pairing of:

1. A purebred bay roan Brabant mare (Milkwood Farms Bhula 'Rose') with;

Brabant mare (Milkwood Farms Bhula 'Rose')

2. A purebred pure black Percheron stallion (Chief's Hot Rod 'Chief')

Percheron stallion (Chief's Hot Rod 'Chief')

This yielded a bay roan Brabant-Percheron cross foal (Sierra).

Brabant-Percheron cross foal (Sierra)

This was followed two years later with the, again unintentional, spontaneous pairing of:

  1. A purebred, pure black Percheron mare (Jenni) with;

Percheron mare (Jenni)
  1. A purebred bay roan Brabant stallion (Duncan Van't Burghardt 'Duncan')

Brabant stallion (Duncan Van't Burghardt 'Duncan')

This yielded a bay roan Brabant-Percheron cross colt (Jeremiah).

Brabant-Percheron cross Stallion (Jeremiah)

Later Jeremiah and Sierra were intentionally bred, yielding three offspring: a colt – Riley; a mare – Nyah, and; a mare – Willow. They are the first horses of the new breed to exist that carry the Newport Draft Horse name.


In 1998, Milkwood Farms purchased Bhula 'Rose' from a breeder who, at the time, owned one of the first American herds of Brabant Drafts imported from Belgium. Rose was pregnant at the time of purchase, bred to Eros Van't Berrekenshof, an imported purebred Brabant stallion. This breeding yielded Duncan Van't Burghardt ('Duncan'), a purebred Brabant colt, born in April 1999.

In September 2000, Rose took a liking to purebred Percheron stallion, Chief's Hot Rod 'Chief'. Rose found her way into Chief's pen and, in 2001, gave birth to Sierra. (Brabant-Percheron cross)

In 2002 Duncan (purebred Brabant) bred to Jenni (Percheron mare) and, in 2003, Jeremiah was born. (Brabant-Percheron cross)

Sierra and Jeremiah were a coincidental pair of beautiful Brabant-Percheron Draft horses, Sierra being more brown/black roan and Jeremiah being more copper/black roan. My dear friends felt compelled to breed them and see what would come of it.

The results of crossing Jeremiah and Sierra:

1. Riley, A colt (looks just like his mother) – Born 4/2008, now 11 years old;

Riley Newport Draft Stallion

2. Nyah, a filly (blue roan) – Born 5/2010, now 9 years old, and;

Nyah Newport Draft Mare

3. Willow, a filly (bay roan-copper/black like her father) – Born 3/2013, now 6 years old.

Willow Newport Draft Mare

Uniquely New

These three are the first generation of the Newport Draft Horse. They display an optimal combination of characteristics from both the Brabant and Percheron, including the dominant roan trait of the Brabant. Like Brabants, they can range in color from light bay roan to blue roan. One of the attributes of the breed is you never know what base coat color variation you're going to get, but it is always roan combined with black mane, tail, and points and feathers. However, a spectacular new trait, unique to Newport Drafts, is the degree of roan in their coat color varies with the seasons such that their base coat color is often displayed seasonally to the exclusion of any other roans. It's not uncommon for people seeing the same horse in different seasons to not recognize that it's the same horse.

Nyah in the Summer
Nyah in the Winter

Riley in the Winter
Riley in the Summer

Willow in the Fall
Willow in the Summer

The Origination of the Name

It is not uncommon to name a breed of horse for its area of origin: Brabants, named for the Brabant province of Belgium; Percherons, named after the Le Perche province in France, where the breed originated, and; The Newport Draft Horse, since all three of the offspring were conceived in Newport, Pennsylvania.

For most Americans, the name "Newport" conjures up the town of Newport, Rhode Island, where several American aristocratic families had their oceanfront summer homes. This is a place where many modern "American aristocracy" come to play.

The Newport Draft breed is an "American aristocrat" in beauty, stature, and gait, while also displaying a kind and loving disposition.

The Newport Draft Horse originated from two beautiful European draft breeds, both of which were initially used by the regional aristocracy in defending territory, and both used as carriage horses in an era when the aristocracy traveled via horse-drawn carriages. Today both Brabantsand Percherons are often found in the driving show arena, Hollywood films, as carriage horses in New York and other cities, or merely as loving family pets.

Newport Draft Horse General Description & Registry Information

For those wishing to enter the registry:

  1. The Newport Draft horse must either originate from the breeding of two Newport Drafts or;

  2. It must originate from two horses that were the result of cross-breeding of two separate mating pairs consisting of a purebred black Percheron with no white markings (mare or stallion) and with a purebred bay roan Brabant (mare or stallion).

The Percheron should be chosen carefully concerning height so that the offspring are within the breed standard. The offspring from the breed crossings are Newport Drafts, assuming they are roan in color and meet the height characteristics. Expect the offspring to be roan because roan is a dominant trait. So, to be clear, if you are not starting with two Newport Drafts, then two generations of breeding are required before you can have your first Registered Newport Draft. For more registration questions contact - newportbreed@gmail.com

Breed Standards


  1. Must be offspring of two Newport Drafts; or,

  2. Offspring of the two breeds from different mating pairs that consist of a purebred bay roan Brabant and a purebred, purely black, Percheron.


15 to 17 hands (However, a slight deviation in height should not disqualify an otherwise excellent example of the "type.")


Approximately 1500-1800lbs, appropriate to height.


Roan. Any base color is acceptable so long as the coat is roan, and the mane, tail, points, and feathers are black. You should expect seasonal changes in the degree of roan displayed in coat color.


The Newport Draft has a deep, close-coupled body - optimally rectangular, a massive neck, and a neat head with bone structure stout but refined (between Brabantand Percheron in character) and proportional to body size.

The body should be broad and deep. The back should be of moderate length in proportion to the overall size of the horse and should be strong with muscular loins. The shoulders should be sloping, deep, and muscular. The quarters should be level, powerful, long and oval, with the tail springing well from the quarters and set neither high nor low. The back should be approximately 35% of the horse's total body length, ranging from 33% to 40% currently seen in the breed. The shoulder should be between 45º and 48º from the horizontal, measured from the point of the shoulder to the withers. Hips should fall at a shallower angle than the shoulder. Hips should be equivalent to the length of the scapula, measured from the wing of the pelvis to the point of buttocks.

Head and Neck

The characteristic head for the breed should be bold, not too small, and with a profile that is flat or slightly convex. It should carry well on a long, proportionate neck. The neck should be 1.3 to 1.5 times the length of the head, as measured from poll to muzzle (head) and poll to the point of the withers (neck).

Eyes & Ears

Eyes should be large, well set, and kindly in expression. The ears should be substantial but delicate.


Arms, thighs, and gaskins should be muscular. The forelegs should be between 1.2 and 1.3 times the width of the horse's body, as measured from withers to elbow and elbow to the hairline of the hoof. The hind legs should be between 1.3 and 1.5 times the width of the hip, measured from the point of croup to stifle, and from stifle to the hairline at the hoof. The lower legs should be dry and tight, without excessive padding or skin.

The knees and hocks should be large and well closed. There should be 9" upwards of good flat bone below the knee, measured at the nearest point on a tight tape.

The pasterns should be sturdy and sloping. The pasterns should be between 50% and 75% of the length of the cannon bone at an angle matching that of the horse's shoulder.

Feathering patterns may vary from a little to heavy. However, feathering should not be extreme as in feathers seen on Shires and Gypsy Vanner horses.


Hooves should be substantial, well balanced to the size of bone in the leg, and have an angle complementary to the angle of the pastern. Hooves can be either dark, light, or a combination of dark and light pigment. Feet that are shallow or narrow are undesirable.


Action must be true, straight, and free. High action is characteristic of the breed, and expressive motion is desirable. The horse should move freely from the shoulder, flexing his knees and hocks sufficiently. The action required is free all around, covering ground with some degree of suspension.


The Newport Draft is a calm and gentle draft with a willing disposition. These Drafts are ideal for carriage and driving horses, family horses, in the show arena, and sustainable farming and agricultural uses.

What's in the future for the Newport Draft Horse?– Breeding the Newport horse

The developers of the Newport Draft plan to continue breeding these distinctive draft horses as well as developing a unique new breed of sport horse that carries the most desirable traits of the Newport Draft (roan coat color with seasonal changes and calm, gentle demeanor).

The roan coat color is a dominant trait in Draft horses, and black coat color is recessive in Andalusian horses. So, to accomplish this, they are cross-breeding their Newport Drafts with genetically confirmed black Andalusian horses that have favorable pedigree and conformation.

Conquistador XII Black Andalusian Stallion

'Obsidian' is the first result of this sport horse cross-breeding venture. He is a colt by Conquistador XII (black Andalusian stallion) and Nyah (blue roan Newport Draft mare). Obsidian showed in 2019 at Devon. At the age of 1 year and 3 months old and in the Andalusian class he placed 2nd for all ages and sexes.

Obsidian at Devon Horse Show 2019
Obsidian in the Summer
Obsidian in the Winter

They anticipate breeding Riley (bay roan Newport Draft stallion) with Sambra (black Andalusian mare) and Willow (copper/black roan Newport Draft mare) with Nocturno MC (black Andalusian stallion). If all goes well, they hope to breed the offspring from those pairings to each other to create a new breed that they plan to name the Newport Horse.

If you have any questions or are interested in participating in the development of the Newport Draft Horse, please email: newportbreed@gmail.com