Whilst the Clydesdale is an Australian icon, the breed originates in Scotland, where it was bred and developed over the last 300 years. Its name was derived from the district in which it was founded, where the river Clyde flows. It was bred not only for the purpose of heavy farm work, but to meet the heavy demands for the haulage of coal and other trades in glasgow.
The reputation of the breed quickly grew and was soon found all over scotland. It is now found all over the world, and is popular particularly in the Commonwealth countries and the USA.
The Clydesdale is most commonly bay in colour, although black, brown and chestnut are also seen. Roan is common among all colours. The preferred markings are four white socks to the knees and hocks, with a well-defined blaze on the face. It is a tall, gentle and immensely strong animal, loved by many.
It is not clear exactly when the Clydesdale first arrived in Australia, although it is known to be earlier than 1830′s. It was however, the discovery of gold in the 1850′s that lead to the rise of the Clydesdale, where it began to supersede all other heavy breeds in Australia.
The Clydesdale fell victim to motorisation, disappearing from farms at a rapid rate, but has since regained popularity. Today, it’s use in brewery teams around Australia has greatly increased the profile of the breed.
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