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Clydesdale Breed of Horse:

The Clydesdale breed of draft horses are a combination of the farm horses of Clydesdale in Scotland and are named after the region.

This breed is believed to be more than 300 years old. These horses were widely used for pulling heavy cargo in rural, urban and industrial settings. They have also been exported to the Commonwealth region and the United States where they are renowned for their use as mascots of many brands of beer. In 1975 this breed was listed as vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

However in recent times there has been resurgence in the population of this breed. These horses have also gained in popularity and as such the breed has now been classified as “at risk”, rather than “vulnerable”. The population of Clydesdales is the highest in the United States where a reported 600 foals are born every year. The presence of these horses is most significant in parades and exhibitions.

The Clydesdale breed is renowned for its gracefulness and versatile nature. They stand at about 16 to 17 hands high. The head of the Clydesdale horse is elegant and has a straight profile. The ears are small and the eyes are large and dark. The forelock is heavy and the neck is long with a slight arch. The chest is deep and the shoulders are muscular and well sloped. The withers are well defined and these horses display a longer coupling than the Shires. The hindquarters are muscular with a rounded silhouette. The legs are long and possess a great deal of strength, and the hooves are distinctively large. The most popular characteristic of the Clydesdale horse is its abundantly feathered appearance, with long hairs extending from beneath the knees and extending to cover the hooves.

Clydesdale horses have an animated gait characterized by high hoof action at the front and rear. These horses are large in size but are display an energetic quality. They can be of different colors such as bay, black or chestnut. They also have distinctive white markings such as white feet. They also generally have a full blaze and white markings on the face near the lips and chins. The Clydesdale foals have a gestation period of 11 months and can weigh up to 180 pounds at birth. The foals grow fast and gain up to 4.4 pounds daily in the initial months. As such a Clydesdale mare should be able to produce more than 55 pounds of milk each day to support such development.

  Submitted on February 22, 2010