Clydesdale: The Clydesdale is a breed of heavy draft horse bred by the farmers of Lanarkshire Scotland. It was bred to meet the agricultural needs of these farmers and also the demands the coal fields of Lanarkshire and for all the types of heavy hauling.
In the 19th century the breed was exported to Australia, and New Zealand. They were first shipped to North America in 1840, and later to South America, Russia, Austria and Italy.
Two stallions are recognized as the foundation of the breed, Lord Darney and Prince of Wales. All Clydesdales horses today can be traced back to these two sires. This breed can grow to over 18 hands tall with mature horses weighing between 1600 and 2400 pounds. The most common color in the Clyde breed is bay but black, brown, and chestnut are also seen. The preferred markings are four white socks to the knees and hocks, and a well-defined blaze or bald face. The Clyde has a very distinctive look when compared with other draft breeds. The combination of vivid body colors, bright white faces, and long white "feathered" legs with high stepping gait and a head held high leave no question that you are looking at a Clyde. The feather is the long silky hair on the legs that flows to the ground and accentuates the high knee action.
The clydes are now most often seen in competitive agricultural exhibitions such as state, county fairs. The breed became a symbol of the Anheuser-Busch beer company when August A. Busch II gifted his father with a team. Since that time, the Budweiser Clydes have appeared in many of their television commercials.
At one time there were at least 140,000 Clydes known in Scotland but by 1949 just 80 animals were licensed in England and by 1975 the Rare Breed Survival Trust had listed the breed
as "vulnerable". The breed has since seen a resurgence in popularity and population, resulting in the status being reclassified favorably to at risk, with an estimated global population of just 5,000 individuals.
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