We see them every Super Bowl and Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. For some, Clydesdales are synonymous with Budweiser, and that’s about it. But there is a lot more to this beautiful, gentle giant than its marketing prowess. Below are things you may not have known about the Clydesdale horse. Do you own one? Share your images in the comments!
#1 – They Originate From Scotland
While many people see them as an “American Breed,” Clydesdales originated from Scottish Farm horses over two centuries ago. In fact, their name, Clydesdale, is the name of the place they originated (now called Lanarkshire). They date back to the middle of the 18th century. (ClydesdaleHorseSociety.com)
#2 – They Have Giant Feet
While all draft horses are large, the Clydesdale is known for its giant feet, which are ” as large as dinner plates.” A horseshoe for a mature adult usually weighs 5 pounds, making it four times the size of a thoroughbred race horse’s shoe. (ClydesUSA.com)
#3 – They’re a One Foundation Mare
While many breeds look at foundation stallions (like the Arab and the Lipizzaner), the Clydesdale breed has a very important mare. Sold as a two-year old in 1808, “practically every Clydesdale of recorded lineage can trace decent.” This mare was most likely related to a Flemish Stallion of England. (ClydesdaleHorseSociety.com)
#4 – Growing Popularity
Although Belgians are the most popular draft breed in America, the Clydesdale is more popular in the U.S. than anywhere else (perhaps in part for their Budweiser fame). There are approximately 600 new Clydesdales registered in America each year, and the number is growing. Whereas, the total number of registered horses in the United Kingdom is approximately 800, though they are seeing an increase each year as well.
#5 – They’re Big Eaters
An adult Clydesdale eats 25-50 pounds of hay and 2-10 pounds of grain each day. Imagine that food bill! That’s a whole lot of hay!