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Hi, Bob,

I have a question. Where did Clydesdales come from?

D. P.


A Clydesdale team The Clydesdale breed originated during the second half of the 18th century in the valley of the River Clyde, southeast (and upstream) from Glasgow, Scotland. Local mares were bred to imported Flemish stallions -- and later to Shire stallions -- to produce an active and powerful, yet docile, draft horse. Two men -- the Sixth Duke of Hamilton and John Paterson -- are credited with breeding the foundation stock that later merged to produce the modern Clydesdale.

(The photo at right shows Ray Kennedy of Little Fork, Minnesota, and his Clydesdales, Dakota Lucy and Misty.)

Clydesdales can be bay, brown or black. Some of the most distinctive breed characteristics are the large, strong head with bright eyes and big ears; a long, arched neck and sloping shoulders; a short back, and muscular fore- and hindquarters. If in doubt, look for the long, silky hairs -- or "feathering" -- around the fetlocks, and large, round feet.

Clydesdale stallions are generally between 17 to 18 hands high, while mares run from 16 to 17 hands. Although similar-looking to the Shire, the Clydesdale is slightly smaller, higher in the hindquarters, and has a flatter face than the "Roman-nosed" Shire.

Scotland's River Clyde Valley Here are some links to other information you may find helpful...

Oklahoma State University:

Canadian Clydesdale Club:

Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A.:

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