The Commonwealth Clydesdale Horse Society (W.A. Branch) was founded in 1985 by a small group of dedicated owners and breeders of the Clydesdale Horse. Their aims were two fold. Firstly to continue to ensure the purity of the Clydesdale Breed of horses throughout Western Australia by promoting horses free from hereditary unsoundness.
Secondly to ensure the promotion of the Clydesdale Horse to the public through participation at Field Days, Heritage Festivals and other demonstration days. These events allow the Society to show methods of agriculture farming that were followed in the development of our early days in Western Australia.
Over the past twenty five years, membership of our non-profit organisation has grown and with it, peoples understanding of the important role the Clydesdale horse played in the states history. If you are interested in having the Clydesdales put on a display at your event, please contact the Branch Secretary, email to discuss the matter. As we are a non-profit organisation, we request a donation to the Society to attend the events and to assist our members with transporting their horses.
The Clydesdale Breed Characteristics
The characteristics of the Clydesdale can be found on the Commonwealth Clydesdale Horse Society's Federal website:
Some information extracted from an old book published in 1941 “Breeds of Draft Horses”:
The Clydesdale (figs. 6 and 7) originated and has been developed in Scotland, and is practically the only draft horse found or favoured in that country. The breed is of mixed origin, and its early history is more or less obscure.
In the formation of the breed and during the early stages of the breed’s development, however, it is probably that the blood of both Flemish and English horses was used quite largely. For a number of years the Clydesdale has been bred pure. In 1878 the Clydesdale Horse Society of Great Britain and Ireland was organised.
The Clydesdale is not so heavy as either the Belgian or the Shire, and probably, as a class, will not weigh quite so much as the Percheron. In general conformation, the Clydesdale is more rangy and lacks the width and compactness of the other breeds mentioned.
The Scotch breeders have paid particular attention to legs, pasterns, and feet, but have placed less emphasis on weight than has been the case in other draft breeds. Average mature Clydesdale stallions will probably weigh from 1,700 to 1,900 pounds when in fair condition, with an average height of nearly 16 ¾ hands. Mature mares will probably weight 1,600 to 1,800 pounds and average about 16 hands in height.
No other draft breed equals the Clydesdale in style and action. The prompt walk with a good, long, snappy stride, and a sharp trot with hocks well flexed and carried close together are characteristic of this breed. Sound, clean, flat bone; well-set, fairly long, sloping pasterns; large, round feet; and a moderate amount of fine feather or long hair at the rear of the legs below the knees and hocks are important and characteristic features. The colours most common are bay and brown with white markings, but blacks, greys, chestnuts and roans are occasionally seen. The white markings are characteristic, and it is the exception to see a bay or brown Clydesdale without a white face and considerable white on the feet and legs.
Some of the criticisms of this breed have been the lack of size of body, lack of width and depth, too much feather, and too much white with no regularity of distribution. Nor has the feather been very popular owing to the extra care necessary to keep the legs clean. This, of course, is not so objectionable in those sections where most of the roads are improved.
It is not always easy to differentiate between Clydesdale and shires, but taking the breeds as a whole, they are very distinct. The Clydesdale is not so heavy bodied as the Shire, has more refinement, and the feather is somewhat more silky or finer and less abundant than in the Shire.
Champion Stallion (Norwood) at the Perth Royal Show in 1936.
Comment below extracted from:
Toodyay Herald – Friday 8th October 1937
ROYAL SHOW AWARDS.
Satisfactory Standard of Stock.
Heavy Horses – The Clydesdales.
Scoring the highest honours for the second year in succession, Mr. Allan Jones’ Norwood topped the list again this year. Norwood won the open class for stallions, the champion and Messrs. T. Nixon & Sons were successful with Dees Ella, an outstanding filly, winner of her class and the championship for mares. Mr. Allan Jones’s Lady Hope, also owner of Norwood, was awarded the reserve championship for mares and fillies. An importation from Scotland won the award for colts, Mr. J. M. Woodlbank’s Outlook being the successful horse.
Representation in the class for two-year-old colts was large, the judges giving first award to Mr. L. H. Lawrence’s Craigie Warrix. Mr. S. Maughan’s Kirkbride Elford gained second award. The championship awards for Percherons, Suffolk and ponies were dealt with during the day. A number of nice pony mares were show, the championship award going to Miss J. Gore’s Peggy.