Celebrating The Clydesdale Breed

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The 2018 World Clydesdale Show is the pinnacle event of our breed ... a breed with a long, rich history that began in Scotland.

Heavy horses, known for their size and strength, were originally developed for use in warfare to carry armor-clad knights into battle during medieval times. Scottish farmers and local industry soon tapped into this powerful resource, using large Flemish and English stallions with smaller local mares. What evolved in the Lanakshire (formerly Clydesdale) district of Scotland during the early 19th century was the Clydesdale, a powerful horse with a long stride and sizable hoof, perfect for the soft soils of the rough Scottish farmland, but also well suited for the coalfields of Lanakshire and for all the types of heavy haulage on the streets of Glasgow.

News and popularity of the Clydesdale breed flourished in the late 19th century, leading to large numbers of exports to the British Commonwealth countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

Today, the Clydesdale is virtually the only draft breed in its native Scotland and a favorite in all of the aforementioned nations. Clydesdales come in many colors such as Bay, Black, Brown, Red Bay, Sorrel and Roan (meaning a colored coat with white hairs throughout). Typically, the Clydesdale will have four white legs, but black legs are acceptable in this breed.

 

Characteristics & Facts About the Clydesdale Horse

What is a Clydesdale? Clydesdales are breed of heavy draft horse.

How much does a Clydesdale weigh? Mature Clydesdales weigh between 1600 and 2400 pounds, as much as a Volkswagen Beetle.

How much does a Clydesdale eat? Depending on their age and the amount of work they might be doing, an adult Clydesdale may eat 25 to 50 pounds of hay and 2 to 10 gallons of grain or commercially prepared feed each day. Plenty of good, clean, fresh water is a must daily.

Why do Clydesdales have so much hair on their legs? This hair, called "feather", originally helped protect the horses' legs. Now it is primarily for show.

How big is a Clydesdale hoof? Clydesdales are known for the size of their feet. One of their horeseshoes is about the size of a dinner plate and weighs about 5 pounds. The shoes are held in place with special nails that are hammered up through the shoe and exit the hoof wall. This does not hurt the horse, as the hoof wall is similar in structure to a human fingernail.

Disposition? The Clydesdale earned the images of the "Gentle Giants" in a very honest and honorable way. The Clydesdale is a gentle, intelligent Draft Horse that is trainable and always willing to please. The Clydesdale horse possesses the ability to fit into many a role and is a wonderful family horse. Symbolizing beauty and power, loyalty and obedience, strength yet gentleness, the Clydesdale horse has it all!