Breed Profiles - Cleveland Bay

By: Horse Deals

Find out more about the Cleveland Bay horse breed, including typical conformation, temperament and ideals disciplines

Breed Profiles - Cleveland Bay
Breed Profiles - Cleveland Bay

Cleveland Bay horse breed summary:

Origin - England
Height - Between 16 and 16.2hh
Colour - Bay
Conformation - Well muscled back and withers, large head, broad chest and strong legs
Ideal disciplines - Hunter, showing, driving, show jumping, eventing, steeplechaser

The Cleveland Bay breed can be traced back to the 17th Century and they are the oldest established horse breed in England. They were originally known as Chapman Horses after the travelling salesmen (called Chapman) that used to use the breed to transport their goods. However, they eventually became linked with the Cleveland district of Yorkshire and, as a result of this and their colouring, they ended up with the name Cleveland Bay. Although their numbers are increasing, they are listed as critical by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Cleveland Bay has royal support and H.M. The Queen is the patron of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society and they are regularly used in royal processions.


The Cleveland Bay generally stands between 16 and 16.2hh in height. As you can tell from the name, they can only be bay in colour. The Cleveland Bay has a well muscled back and withers, a large head, broad chest and strong legs. The legs have no feathers as the breed was originally used for working in deep clay soils which would have matted the hair.


Cleveland Bays are very docile and gentle horses. They are very hardy and tend to live much longer than most horses their size.

Ideal Disciplines

Cleveland Bays make great all-rounders and part breds are sought after in the top level competition world.

They are ideal for the following disciplines:

• Hunter

• Showing

• Driving

• Show Jumping

• Eventers

• Steeplechasers (when crossed with Thoroughbreds)

To find out more about the breed visit the Cleveland Bay Horse Society.


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