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The Clydesdale Horse is the pride of Scotland and is a native breed founded in Lanarkshire, Clydesdale being the old name for the district.
The history of the breed dates back from the middle of the 18th century when native horses of Lanarkshire were graded up in an effort to produce greater weight and substance by the use of Flemish stallions.
The first stallion, imported by the Sixth Duke of Hamilton, was dark brown in colour and was kept for the benefit of his tenants who were granted its use, free of charge. Around this time, John Paterson of Lochlyloch brought from England a Flemish stallion, black in colour with a white face and some white on his legs. The venture proved successful, and Lochlyloch blood speedily became famous and sought after, a marked improvement apparent in the colts and fillies from this district offered at the various fairs in the county.
The Clydesdale became very strong and could be seen working within the towns and cities as well as the farms within Scotland and Northern England.
Sadly, after the First World War, many strong bloodlines were lost, and by the end of the Second World War and the introduction of mechanical means, the Clydesdale numbers almost became critical. The Clydesdale now is still registered on the Rare Breeds Watch List, and with the work from dedicated breeders and the Clydesdale Horse Society, numbers are building back up slowly.