History of the breed

Like most other breeds of horses, the origin and early history of the Cleveland Bay Horse is somewhat obscure, but all the recognized authorities agree in claiming for him a pure and distinct breed, indigenous to that part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, (England), called Cleveland, from which the first part of his name is derived; the second being taken from the invariable color of his breed, which is some shade of bay, either light or dark, (an erroneous impressions prevails that only the bright Bay is admissible; no greater mistake can exist, as many of the purest and best bred horses of the breed have been dark in color.)

In 1823 the "Farmerīs Magazine" speaks of the Cleveland Bay as an original breed, and says: "For lighter soils a lighter horse is required. Probably the best horse of this description is the Cleveland Bay, an original breed of the country, neither blood nor black, that is a distinct race from the English blood horse, and equally distinct from the black or cart breed of the country" And again, Martin Doyle, in his Cycloepedia, published in 1843 describes them as being an original breed of the country. The main characteristics of the Cleveland Bay are its adaptability to almost all kinds of work in the field or on the road, and his wonderful uniformity of size and color, making him a most desirable horse to breed ordinary mares to, as he gives bone, size quality and color to his offsprings.

Excerpted from Volume #1, American Cleveland Bay Stud Book. Published 1889 Springfield Illinois.

How true this still is today!

The Cleveland Bay Horse Society was founded in 1884 in Great Britain and have recorded and maintained the Cleveland Bay Stud Books ever since. The Society can be contacted at:

Cleveland Bay Horse Society
c/o York Livestock Centre Murton York YO19 5GF
Telephone +044 01904 489731 Fax +044 01904 489782
email enquire@clevelandbay.com
Website www.clevelandbay.com

In 1889, The American Cleveland Bay Stud Book records 525 stallions of which eight are in Canada. The stallion DUPLEX. Foaled in June 1886, bred by John Kendrew, Tollerton, Yorks, England. Imported and owned by A.M. Rawlinson, Calgary Alberta, N.W.T. (for you non–western Canadians reading this the reference to Alberta as being in the North West Territories is of great interest!) Anybody wonder where all those great old ranch horses on the Rawlinson Ranch, Rockyview Alberta came from? Hmm. Imagine the logistics of importing this horse to Western Canada before 1889! If anyone has photographs of Duplex or his offspring or any history of him we would love to hear from you!

The record shows there were 124 pure mares in North America in 1889 and of those 2 were in Canada. Things havenīt changed all that much in Canada. As of 2004 there are, 4 pure stallions, only 3 of which are approved for breeding with the CBHS, and 3 pure mares!

The Cleveland Bay Horse Society of North America now represents North American owners although all registrations are still maintained through the CBHS in Great Britain.

The CBHSNA can be contacted at:

PO BOX 483
Website www.clevelandbay.org