The Origins of the Clydesdale Horse

Clydesdale horses are a beautiful breed cherished by owners for centuries. They are a large, powerful horse that was once used as a working animal to help around farms or for road haulage.

Today they are kept and appreciated by horse owners across the world. But where do Clydesdale horses come from? If this is something you’re wondering about—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’re going to give you a complete overview of the breed in the run-up to the World Clydesdale Show 2022.

We’re going to explain some of their features, history, and why they’ve been so loved worldwide for such a long time.

We’ve also made sure to include a short Frequently Asked Questions section to help answer any questions you may have left over at the end of the article.

What country do Clydesdale horses come from

Clydesdale horses originate from Scotland. They were named after the Clydesdale, which is a valley around the River Clyde situated in the southern Scottish county of Lanarkshire.

Lanarkshire is one of the lowland areas of Scotland has long been a place of farming and industry.

In many ways, the Clydesdale horse can be considered the crowning jewel of Scotland’s horses, and they have a rich history within the country.

You can date the history of the breed back to the 18th century when they were bred to become more powerful versions of the native Lanarkshire horse.

The breed was cultivated from the year 1715 by mating (what was at the time) the superior Flemish stallion with native Lanarkshire mares.

They became a popular breed in this part of Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom, and then in the early 19th century were taken to North America.

The existence of the breed was threatened during WW1, where many Clydesdale horses were used to haul artillery and other weaponry.

This caused the loss of many horses, but thankfully the Clydesdale horse has since flourished.

Today, the Clydesdale horse population is highest in the United States of America and is a beloved breed in many other parts of the world.

The World Clydesdale Show is a modern event that helps to celebrate the beauty and importance of this breed.

Clydesdale Horse Facts

In this section, we’re going to give you an overview of the breed and what you could expect when encountering, training, or owning one. Let’s begin with a brief overview of their general features/traits.

  • Life Expectancy: You can expect a Clydesdale horse to live from 20 to 25 years. This is around the average lifespan of any type of horse.

  • Height: Clydesdale horses are typically 16 to 19 hands in height.

  • Weight: They typically weigh anywhere from 1600 to 2400 pounds.

  • Physical Build: You can usually recognize a Clydesdale horse by its arched, long neck, broad foreheads, and white feathering down their legs.

  • Color and Markings: Clydesdale horses are most commonly found with bay colouring, but there are also chestnut, grey or black variations. They have some variation in their coats, which can be either a solid or roan color. People generally consider bay or black Clydesdales as the most favorable colors, but this comes down to personal preference.

  • Unique Traits: Their large, circular hooves are one of their most striking features. This is a stark contrast to what you might expect to find with a racing horse. Because of their large feet, they have a recognizably high-stepping action when they walk and trot which makes them very eye-catching when on show.

  • Temperament: One of the reasons that Clydesdale horses are so loved is their gentle temperament. Because of this, they are good for beginner riders and also as police horses

  • Grooming: Grooming will keep your Clydesdale’s coat in great condition. One of the most important areas of their body to groom are their legs. Because of their distinctive feathering, it’s important to take care of them to make sure they don’t get any kind of skin infection.

The World Clydesdale Show 2022

The World Clydesdale show is an event that was first held in 2007. It is usually a 4-day long horse show and aims to celebrate the best that the breed has to offer.

Although traditionally it has taken place in the USA or in Canada, in 2022 it’s coming to Aberdeen, Scotland!

It’s usually a very well-attended event and features competitions, shoeing & shoe crafting championships, and everything else you could expect from a horse show!

This year the world Clydesdale show is being held on the 20th-23rd of October at P&J Live in Aberdeen. There are still tickets available so make sure you check now to reserve your place!

Final Thoughts

The Clydesdale Horse is a fantastic animal and one that you should definitely see in person at some point in your life.

They have been kept and loved by horse owners for centuries now and will likely be for years to come.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the breed and that you now know a lot more about them! If you still have some questions, make sure to check below for our short FAQ section.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Flemish Horse?

A Flemish Horse is a name given to a Belgian breed of draught horse. In many ways, they’re quite similar to the Clydesdale horse as they share genetic history.

Flemish horses are large, and powerful and have been used for a long time as working horses.

Is The Clydesdale Horse Breed The Right Choice For Me?

The Clydesdale breed is a great choice for horse owners who are looking for something with an easy temperament and a hardy demeanour.

They’re easy to train, calm around families, and a great breed for those who don’t have so much horse training experience.

Because of this, they’re a great choice of horse for lots of different types of people. However, like all horses, they do require a lot of care and attention.

Who First Bred The Clydesdale Horse?

The Clydesdale Horse can be linked back to two breeders who were looking to improve the native Lanarkshire horse in the 18th century.

Jon Paterson and the 6th Duke of Hamilton took some Flemish stallions and mated them with horses native to Clyde Valley.

Because of their power and good temperament, they became much more popular throughout the next two centuries.

How Many Clydesdale Horses Are There In The World?

The Clydesdale horse breed, although popular, actually has a fairly small population. It’s estimated that there are around 5000 Clydesdale horses alive in the world today.

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