THE CLEVELAND BAY
The Cleveland Bay is the nearest that we have to a fixed type of any race of horses in England and has been so for nearly two centuries. It remains as the only British Bred, clean legged, true Warmblood. Even so last century and into this, two types of Cleveland developed. One was the agricultural class, the other a coaching class, the one developed from the other. The photograph of Julian shows the archetypal conformation so true of the breed. The roots of the Cleveland lie in the county after which they are named. The early Cleveland's were an all round beasts of burden. They pulled the plough and the cart and carried their masters to market as easily as to hounds. They were renowned as pack animals, and were known as Chapman's as they carried the packs and wares of the Chapman's or Tallymen, after whom the Chapman type of Cleveland was named. Littlebeck Cavalier is typical of the Chapman type,as a true descendant being a grand son via his Sire Countryman.
They were well-known for their stamina and their ability to carry great weight.
The early Clevelands were evolved from a small admixture of the best racing blood of generations ago, when the qualities of courage and endurance were put to the highest test on the turf. Manica (by the Darley Arabian) and Jalap (by Regulus, by the Darley Arabian,which was a barb) are considered to be the chief contributors. The photograph of Pembridge Midshipman is a classic example of the influence of the Arabian influence with the high set of his tail.The modern thoroughbred has evolved in parallel with the Cleveland and has not contributed to the purebred type of today. This is not true of the Coaching type of Cleveland that evolved, last century and was known as the Yorkshire Coach Horse. The thoroughbred has been largely used as an infusion of blood to produce this type.
With the demise of coaching the two stamps of Cleveland have merged over the decades and now only pure Clevelands are recognised as a single type.
The Cleveland is finding a new roll in life as a competition horse. Their endurance and stamina and their natural scopey jump have taken them beyond the hunting field into all the disciplines. The three stallions her are well known for their prowess in the hunting field and in show and working hunter classes. Their scopey jumps and endurance are a hall amrk of the breed. They are equally at home in all the disciplines and have sired stock that has achieved the highest levels in competition,both pure and partbred.
Crossed with the thoroughbred they make outstanding eventers and showjumpers, to the highest examples of International Competition. In Dressage Lady Joicey’s Powder Monkey will be well remembered. As a shinning current example Is Ferdie Edbergs ride Arun Tor. The immortal Foxhunter was a part-bred Cleveland. In eventing Pembridge Minstrel flies the flag.He is the leading BHD ranked stallion in stallions under ten and is high in the senior rankings.William Hill needs no introduction or Willy Go Go to name but a few.The photographs are of Pembridge Master and Pembridge Minstrel,eventing.
The Cleveland is very much a horseman’s horse in competition. They are very strong minded, which has earned them an unjust reputation amongst many riders for being stubborn. This is not the case. Those that really know them admire this trait, in that you can ask or show a Cleveland anything but tell it nothing. They are intelligent and businesslike All they ask of their riders is that they explain clearly what they want them to do and they surely do it. All they ask is that the explanation is clear. If not they are renowned for digging their heals in until they are sure what is required. Hence the expression a horseman’s horse.
With the advent of the BHD the success of the Cleveland in top level competition is slowly emerging as more and more are now registered. On analysis they are our unsung heroes and their roll in the breeding of the ultimate athlete the competition horse has not yet been fully realised.
They are well known for their prowess as driving horses. HM The Queen has a keen interest in the breed.Her CB Stallion Forest Forman was a well known sight as a carriage horse on ceremonial occasions, until his retirement to Stud duties,first at Busk Hill Stud and the remainder of his life here at Pembridge.The photograph is of Foreman in the Parade of Premium Stallions at Ascot. The Royal Stud at Hampton Court breeds pure and many Cleveland's both pure and part-bred can be found in the Royal Mews. Prince Phillip did much to keep a focus on the breed with the Cleveland team with whom he was so successful. Fortunately via their own success the ability of the horses is assisting in their own rescue. The breed has been on the rare breeds endangered list for some time and but for the dedicated efforts of some of the studs and caring individuals and the stalwart efforts of the dedicated breeders who hold the remains of the genetic bank of this most wonderful British Breed horse, this pivotal part of our equestrian heritage could have been lost.