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Clydesdale

The country’s elegance

Clydesdale
origin:Scotland
life expectancy:20 to 35 years
scientific name:E. caballus
family:Equidae
height:164 to 172 cm
Temperament: Coldbloodconservation: secureSaddleOlympic Games/Dressage/Show jumpingAgriculture/Ranch
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History [ edit ]

The Clydesdale got his name from the region where he was developed over three centuries ago. Now called Lanarkshire, the Scottish region, near the Clyde River, was a farm area that needed horse power to help in agriculture. In the 18th century, Flemish studs were imported and bred with local mares. The result was a heavy and strong horse that quickly grew in popularity because of his ability to work. In the next century, the breed would be improved by being crossed with Cleveland Bays and Shire horses.

It was very common to find throughout Scotland Clydesdales doing all sorts of farm jobs from pulling heavy loads to delivering milk. The breed was exported to the USA and Australia in the nineteenth century where it was an instant success.

With the industrial revolution the demand for this horse decreased drastically, to the point of only existing less then 100 exemplars worldwide. In the farms, tractors and other machinery took his place, and everywhere else, motor vehicles took over his path. After nailing publicity contracts and being the symbol of the country work for so long, the Clydesdale saw himself, during the 1970s, in the most difficult situation the breed had ever been.

Clydesdale horses are now appreciated in eco-farms were machines aren’t welcomed, state fairs and other agricultural competitions, and are often seen in the rural areas pulling wagons and in the cities pulling carriages for weddings or for tourists. There are more than 5000 registered horses nowadays. Still, the breed is considered “at risk”.
 
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Clydesdale is a gentle giant, docile and reliable, with a strength and resistance that still don’t dethrone its beauty. Energetic and sociable, the Clydesdale needs however lots of encouragement to get things going.
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Description [ edit ]

The proud head and broad forehead give the Clydesdale a dignified look. The body is slightly short, but the legs are long. The most recognizable feature in the Clydesdale is probably his feathered legs that are a great protection from the harsh Scotland weather.
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Color [ edit ]

Bay, brown or black are the usual colors seen in the Clydesdale. They have white marks on the legs, face and stomach. These markings sometimes can create a roan pattern.
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Influences [ edit ]

The Shire and the Clydesdale are deeply connected. During the 19th century the horses were often interbred since it was believed that they had the same origin.
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Uses [ edit ]

The Clydesdale is often seen in draft horse showing and small farms. This breed is also used to pull carriages.
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