10 to 11 in (25.5-28 cm) under knee, slightly more under hock and broadside on, of flat, hard quality. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. The great foundation sires of the Clydesdale breed, Darnley and Prince of Wales 674, both had English blood in them.

The (cannon) bones should be broad and flat with an abundance of long, silky hair from behind the knees and from the hocks to the ground. When John Bramley managed the Hollesley Bay stud near Woodbridge, Suffolk, he said that a pure-bred Suffolk filly would be at least as valuable as a Thoroughbred-cross one, but that a half-bred gelding was worth much more than a pure-bred one. This ended a thirteen-year search by Randy, who found Golden Eagle’s pedigree ‘impeccable’. Commencing with a dull chestnut body, the flanks and underline are a mottled ash colour, gradually shading off to a dirty white at the extremities, which are usually covered with soft hair of the same hue. Long and lean, neither too large nor too small, with long neck in proportion to the body. This invariably meant Shire, since the clean-legged Percherons and Suffolks were not considered for the register.

During the Crusades, further infusions of Arab blood were made.

The success of the effort has been one of the great success stories in animal breeding.

The claim of Britain’s heavy horses to be working class heroes was also championed by the author George Orwell, who wrote of being profoundly affected by the sight of “a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart horse, whipping it whenever it tried to turn.”, “It struck me,” Orwell added, “That if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.”. Further requirements of this breed vary somewhat from the orthodox and should be noted. Shire horses and Clydesdales are both draft horses, but they are different breeds. And the dual Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell was back in the winner’s enclosure — this time aboard a 17.2hh Shire.

The whole show attracts some 700 entries, and the Suffolk section is vital to the breed’s well being. Some of the latter take special pride in supplying a beginner with a suitable animal. Nowadays, the Dales tends to be taller, and an admixture of Clydesdale blood to some strains in the past may have been an influence here. What is looked for first and last by a Clydesdale man is the exceptional wearing qualities of feet and limbs.

Clydesdales are also available in more colors than Shires.

Fine, silky hair being combed out to perfection seems to be the main show ring activity; it is not uncommon to see one helper at each foot, teasing out the fine feather. We should not let down our grandchildren’s children and allow the breeds to become extinct.

No white markings permitted except on the head in stallions.

The bright chestnut is a lively shade, with a little graduation of lighter colour on the flanks and at the extremities – but not much. Indeed, since they developed in areas where small family farms predominated and there was little room for specialist breeds, these versatile animals also drew the market trap and carried the farmer round his sheep – and following hounds. The Shire is a ‘town and country’ horse, equally at home in front of the plough or in crowded city streets. Large, well opened nostrils.

It is important to be aware of this background since, despite the current standard, some judges were brought up to believe in the value of hair from their fathers and grandfathers. If the forehand is a little low, it is not objected to provided the neck is strong and the head well formed, and carried with spirit. Regarding colour, the dearth of true blacks in the Shire is a cause of some concern.

The breed evolved from the Ardennes type imported into North America from Belgium, but selective breeding for colour and size has made it unrecognisable from its origins. The original imports came in many coat colours, with a predominance of bay. In the inter-war decades, the Shire and Clydesdale breeds were more distinctive, the Shire being heavier-legged with masses of feather, the Clydesdale more active. Around the end of the nineteenth and into the early twentieth century, Shire breeders had a fetish for ‘feather’. Selling a horse these days is an art and an achievement, so bear in mind that the horse you are thinking of buying may one day be the horse you are trying to sell! Typical of the breed; straight, bold, with a long, free stride rather than short, snappy action.

The modern Belgian is still a great worker… and has become a great wagon horse. Severe drought threatens wild horses in American West, Science news in brief: From horses’ moods to snails and metamorphosis, Thousands more scientific experiments being carried out on horses, Footage shows demonstrator being headbutted by police horse, Horses 'can read human emotions from voice and facial expressions', You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. “The fact that there was even more of a competitive twist this year with the Shires v. the Clydesdales, has made it even more exciting.”, {"piano":{"sandbox":"false","aid":"u28R38WdMo","rid":"R7EKS5F","offerId":"OF3HQTHR122A","offerTemplateId":"OTQ347EHGCHM"}}, {"location":"Keystone Header","subscribeText":"Subscribe now","version":"1","menuWidgetTitle":"H&H Plus","myAccountLnk":"\/my-account","premiumLnk":"\/hhplus","menuLnks":{"2":{"text":"Plus Hub","href":"\/plus-hub"}},"colors":{"text":"#000","button":"#000","link":"#00643f"}}, Rare-breed foal brightens dark days at centre suffering without income, ‘Ride’ around the Pau five-star cross-country track with a top 10 finisher, ‘Boys, your duty is done’: Two ‘standout’ police horses retire from duty. 25. The girth varies from 6ft to 8ft (189-244cm) in stallions of from 16.2 to 18 hands. “We were determined to show that these fantastic horses have a place in the 21st century. Despite having been a feature of the British landscape for centuries, the Shire Horse is now in danger of extinction in the UK, Heavy horses like this Clydesdale, Dandy, seen here with logger Graham Gilmour, have been described as 'working class heroes', Soldiers and horses wearing gas masks during a German mustard gas attack in the First World War, An increasingly rare sight: a five-day-old Suffolk Punch stands beside its mother. The Shire world is a highly competitive one, however, and rivalry at the top, in all classes, is very keen indeed. Such issues aside, the hairy-legged Shire is numerically the most common heavy breed in Britain, and is popular not only in England and Wales but also in North America, Australasia and, more recently, in Europe. By the 1920s and 30s, when the breed really hit its stride in the USA, the colours had pretty well come down to ‘sorrels and roans’. Fine, showing no sign of throatiness or coarseness. Good, bold eyes, set well apart, long, well set ears, wide of forehead. The Clydesdale is considered “the pride of Scotland”.

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To some extent we can sympathise with them on seeing a few modern foals that have little more bone than a heavyweight hunter. All colours permitted, except part-coloured (skewbald/piebald). Deep and oblique, wide enough to support the collar. There are two related reasons for this. The poet Will H. Ogilvie knew their broad blazes: The breed standard for Clydesdales makes the following requirements: The head must be strong, intelligent and carried high. The ankles (the Clydesdale Horse Society use this term for fetlocks) should be fine, of medium length and set at an angle of 45 degrees. Many of them were Shire Horses: when the breed society was created in 1878, its stated aims were to promote the “Old English Breed of Cart Horse”. This caused a furore at the time and, with so few animals being registered, an outstanding sire of either breed might be used, along with an inaccurate pedigree. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts.

Neat, round feet with hard blue/brown horn. Smooth and free but without exaggeration and not heavy or ponderous.

Now, however, the Shire Horse, Suffolk Punch, and Clydesdale are in danger of becoming extinct in the UK. Walk and trot to be straight and true, with good flexion of the hocks and freedom of the shoulders.

But, as Biddell stresses, ‘Black, white, grey or dun is never mentioned in connection with a Suffolk horse.’. The gentle giants, which can stand 17 hands (1.73m, 5ft 8in tall) and in the case of some Clydesdales reach 18 hands (1.83m, 6ft), were used not just in the fields, but also, after the industrial revolution, for towing barges along canals and omnibuses and trams along streets.

Nowadays, although there are a few roans and even the odd bay now and then, for all practical purposes the American Belgian has become a chestnut/sorrel breed. The front of the bones should be clean, but the hair should again spring from the hoof head to the ground.

The Shire is found throughout England and Wales, but only rarely in Scotland, where the Clydesdale is first choice. Strong arms and full second thighs, big knees and broad hocks; heavy flat bone, short cannons, pasterns of medium length, feet of reasonable size, of good quality hard blue horn. This is not the only lead they give. One attractive of involvement with a breed in the throes of expansion is that there are sufficient fresh faces in evidence to ensure that the newcomer does not feel out of place. He should go straight and true before and behind. Cumbria is another Clydesdale stronghold, and the breed was, historically, in direct competition with the Shire in northern England above a wavering line from Kendal in Cumbria to Whitby on the North Sea cost. Trying to clean and dry a bushy-legged Shire after a day on wet clay was certainly no fun, especially as hair dryers were not then used on farm animals! Many more thousands were unregistered, even though many were sired in one of the best breeding organisations the world has ever seen. Limbs as clean and free from hair as possible.

‘Puffy’ and ‘sickle’ hocks should be avoided. Though both are impressively large horses, Percherons tend to edge out Clydesdale for muscle – but not height. Hind legs must be set close together with the hocks turned inwards. If you intend to acquire a heavy horse, of whatever breed, with the intention of showing it, it is imperative that you are conversant with the standards laid down by the relevant breed society. The breed has only one basic colour, of which ‘chestnut’ is the accepted spelling. No good stallion should be splashed with large white patches over the body. But even with his faults, those early Belgians made friends because they were easy keepers and willing workers with an amiable disposition. Although the Ardennes is more a working horse than a show horse, it does have its own classes in the United Kingdom.

The low numbers of the three working horse breeds today contrasts with previous centuries when they were an everyday sight all over Britain.

Geldings weigh from 17 to 22 cwt (864-1118 kg). The former originated on the heavy clays of its home county, where copious feather on the legs would be a distinct disadvantage. But Orwell, writing in the 1940s, was witnessing the last great age of the British working horse.