White Clydesdale Horse

White Clydesdale Horses

Can Clydesdale horses be pure white?  Good question!  Is it possible? Yes.  Is it likely? No.  A white Clydesdale horse while not genetically impossible, would be very unlikely;

What colour are Clydesdale Horses

Bay and roan are the most common colours and a very light strawberry roan is probably the closest you will get to a pure white pure-bred Clydesdale.  If you look at the Clydesdales ancestors you will see why pure white is so unlikely, with the breed originating from Flemish stallions crossed with native Scottish mares. This is where the roan and bay colouring came from. The black is likely to come from some Shire blood.  Clydesdales do have some white, with the most popular colouring being 4 white legs and a white blaze

Can Clydesdales be pure white?

When you think of a Clydesdale horse, you most likely picture its signature bay color with white markings. In fact, this is the most common colouration for these majestic beasts. But what about white Clydesdales? Is it possible to have one of these majestic creatures with pure white hair? Let’s take a look at why this is so rare and what it would take to find a true white Clydesdale horse.

The Genetics of Colour in Horses

Horses come in a wide variety of colors. From white to black and everything in between, there is no shortage of coat patterns. To understand why we rarely see pure white horses, especially among breeds like the Clydesdale, we first need to look at their genetics. All horses are born with two main base colors—black or red (also known as chestnut)— This is determined by two sets of genes that interact with each other.

In some cases, the dominant gene overrides the recessive gene and completely masks it from view. This is known as “overo” patterning and explains why some horses have white patches on their bodies despite having two different base colors. However, when both genes are recessive, this can result in an all-white horse—but only if those genes happen to be present in both parents’ DNA strands.

Can you breed a white Clydesdale

Clydesdales are bred from Flemish stallions crossed with native Scottish mares. This combination gives them their classic bay coloring and distinct roan patterns along with occasional black spots found near their ears or legs. As such, they do not typically possess the necessary genetic makeup needed to produce an entirely white horse as both sets of genes must be recessive for this trait to be expressed fully.  As such, you will usually only find very light strawberry roans that appear almost white but still have some visible reddish features on them if you look closely enough.


While purebred Clydesdales almost never come in solid white, there are still ways for owners to get close to this unique look without sacrificing pedigree or quality breeding standards. The best way to achieve this is through careful selection of breeding stock and focusing on lighter shades that approach near-white levels while still retaining some classic characteristics associated with the breed such as bay coloring or roan patterning around the edges of its fur-coat. That way you can enjoy all the benefits associated with owning a true Clydesdale without sacrificing its iconic look!

George Skinner Looks at Ally, a white clydesdale foal

George Skinner checking out Strathorn Ally – What colour is he now?find out here

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