10 things you never knew about the Cleveland Bay
1. The Cleveland Bay is Britain’s oldest breed, but it now faces critical status as a rare breed.
2. There are less than 250 purebred Cleveland Bay mares of breeding age left throughout the world.
3. Cleveland Bays are bred at Hampton Court Stud for use at the Royal Mews in ceremonial carriage duties.
4. The oldest recorded age for a horse in the Guinness Book of Records was an incredible 62 years – a part-bred Cleveland Bay called Old Billy who was born in 1760.
5. America’s Buffalo Bill came over to England to perform his Wild West Show for Queen Victoria in the 1880s. He borrowed some Cleveland Bays to pull the stagecoaches in the show and was so impressed he bought some and took them back to the USA to breed from.
6. There have been, and still are today, many part-bred Clevelands competing successfully at international standard. Many people will remember Powder Monkey and, more recently, Arun Tor for their great perfomances in the dressage arena. In eventing, Sumatra competed regularly at Burghley and Badminton and formed part of the winning Canadian team in the 1978 World Championships with Juliet Bishop, and Osberton Holly was a very successful junior ride for Sarah Kellard. In show jumping, Madison Time formed part of the British team with Harvey Smith in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Harvey also competed on another Cleveland cross – Brook Street Vista.
7. The Imperial Household in Japan has been importing Cleveland Bays for several years.
8. A part-bred Cleveland Bay called Peter Simple was the Red Rum of his day, winning the Grand National twice in 1849 and 1853, finishing second in 1845 and third in 1841 and 1842. He is also the oldest winning horse to this date, aged 15 on his second win.
9. The Cleveland Bay was chosen by Breyer to feature as a design in its extensive range of collectable model horses.
10. The Cleveland Bay Horse Society is a registered charity, set up to protect and promote the breed. Based in Harrogate, the society aims to raise funds as well as awareness of the plight of this ancient British breed, which originated in the Cleveland Hills.
* More information on the breed can be found at www.clevelandbay.com or by contacting the Cleveland Bay Horse Society on 01423 546168 or 541000.
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