The Clydesdale, first bred on the Carmichael Estates at the edge of the Carmichael Estates in Lanarkshire, is the Carmichael Church where one of the stained glass windows is dedicated to the Clydesdale horses first bred at Carmichael in 1826. This put the working farm on the map, and yes, this is a unique dedication but the artwork is lovely and worth a look. The Clydesdale is a unique breed of draught horses first bred on the Carmichael Estates in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The name “Clydesdale” is from the deep valley region along the River Clyde where the shires have been breeding work horses for years.
The Clydesdale is usually bay in color with white markings on the face and lower legs, like stockings. The breed was originally used for agriculture and haulage, and is still used for draught purposes today. Best known in the US is the team of Clydesdale used for the Budweiser marketing and in the UK, they are used as drum horses by the British Household Calvary. They have also been used to create and improve other draught breeds.
The breed was developed from Flemish stallions imported to Scotland and crossed with local mares. The first recorded use of the name “Clydesdale” for the breed was in 1826, and by 1830 a system of hiring stallions had begun that resulted in the spread of Clydesdale horses throughout Scotland and into northern England.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust considered the breed vulnerable to extinction. Population numbers have increased slightly in the intervening time, but they are still thought to be vulnerable.