Horse Cleveland Bay: origin, features, etc..

Cleveland Bay Horse is a very intelligent horse with a sensitive temperament. They have a strong character and they like to know and understand clearly what is expected of them and once they have confidence in their coach, who has to be patient and kind, they will do their best. They can be very willing, extremely kind, honest and knowledgeable horses

CCleveland bay horse

As its name suggests, Cleveland Bay emanates from the Cleveland area in the northeast of England. It is arguably the oldest horse breed in Britain and its type has been set much longer than the founding date of the UK’s official breed register suggests.

The church played a very important role in its upbringing. Throughout the Middle Ages, the monastic houses of the north-east of England were the main horse breeders. Horses were needed for the trade of goods between the various abbeys and monasteries.

Horse Cleveland Bay
Intelligent and sensitive

Certainly the ancestors of today’s Cleveland Bays, particularly on the female side, were these pack horses bred in Yorkshire Dales. Locally known as Chapman horses, the name is derived from the name given to the shippers and street vendors of those days.

There was an influx of prickly horses into the port of Whitby. These refined stallions were used in Chapman mares. By the end of the 17th century, the main ingredient of Cleveland Bay, the Chapman and the Barb, had merged to form the type of powerful horse whose popularity as a pack horse / harness began to spread beyond the field of northeast of England.

✍Horse breed

Cleveland Bay is the oldest horse breed in England with a history that goes back to the time when records were kept. He is an incredibly versatile horse who can adapt his helmet to all disciplines, a legacy of his need to adapt over time to the changing face of civilization. It is a horse with substance, activity, endurance and a temperament unmatched by any other horse breed. A brief explanation of its origins also explains its durability.

Origin of the horse cleveland bay

In the Middle Ages in Yorkshire there was a race of clean, brown-legged horses, which were the general-purpose horses of their time, that is, for the work of the herd and the passenger. They had always been here for people, but no one could map out their past.

They carried the property of the Chapmen (street vendors) and, as a result, were initially known as Chapman horses. The name Cleveland Bay was later developed when its color and its association with the Cleveland district of North Yorkshire merged.

You can also consult: Welsh ponies

📚Origin of the race

Cleveland Bay is the oldest horse breed in England, it is also the last purebred of warm blood left, the origins of Cleveland Bay predate any written record of its existence, but it is known that in the ‘middle age, his ancestors were natives of Yorkshire.

Origin of the breed
features of the Cleveland

They were a breed of clean legs, always brown in color, and were often used to transport goods between monasteries and abbeys, as monks were the main breeders of horses. The herdsmen and merchants of the time were known as chapmen, and their horses were named Chapman. Later, the name Cleveland Bay was coined thanks to its color and its association with the County of Cleveland within Yorkshire.

Over the centuries, Cleveland Bay became even more versatile: it took out the first carts and carts, plowed the land, took families to church, went hunting, and allowed long-distance travel. The horse Chapman was altered forever by the introduction of the barbed and Andalusian stallions that brought home officers returning from the war in the 1640s.

This infusion of ‘warm blood’ gave great speed and refinement to the breed, which later became known as the Yorkshire Horse Trainer. This elegant and practical horse became extremely popular among the aristocracy not only in England but throughout Europe, and was exported far and wide in pairs and teams. It also influenced a large number of European warm-bloods, especially in Oldenburg and Groningen, as well as several heavy breeds.

He is brave and intelligent


Cleveland Bay has excellent endurance and strength, with a willing and sensitive temperament to boot. He is brave and intelligent, but docile. The ancient and pure lineage of the breed means that it always reproduces faithfully to the type, imparting its best characteristics to the next generation without fail, and without any of the genetic deficiencies sometimes found in the younger breeds.

As its name suggests, Cleveland Bays are always bay-colored, with black dots and no white markings (although a very small star is allowed on the head). In general, they measure between 16 and 16.3 hands in height and have a powerful and dignified appearance. His action is straight, free and with long strides, his legs clean, muscular and hard with good flat bone.

They have a wide and deep body, with muscular shoulders, back and back and long neck. Its hind legs are long, level and powerful, with a well-seated tail. His head is relatively large, as are his ears and eyes, the latter being characteristically gentle and expressive. Last but not least, Cleveland Bays have extremely dense, hardy hooves, which are blue (below). This is part of the reason why they are so solid and tireless.

Friendly and docile to people


Cleveland Bays should be chestnut with black dots, i.e. black legs, black hair and black tail. White hair in hair and tail does not disqualify. These have long been recognized as a feature of certain Cleveland purebred strains. White is not permissible beyond a very small white star. Legs that are brown or red below the knees and claws do not disqualify, but have color defects.


The Cleveland Bay Horse has a body that is deep and wide and provides the animal with strength and endurance. Although the back is strong and the backs muscular, the back should not be too long. In addition, the shoulders are muscular, deep, and sloping, the chambers are powerful, long, oval, and level, and the tail should protrude well from the horse’s quarters.

The head of a Cleveland bay will not be too small and will have a bold appearance. The horse should wear its head well on a long, thin neck. The eyes must be well placed, be kind in their expression and also large. The ears are also thin and large.

Cures d’el cleveland bay

The legs of this horse should look muscular and the quartiles are sloping, not too long and strong. In addition, the legs of this breed should not have superfluous hair, and should be as hard and clean as possible. Finally, the horse’s legs, which are one of the most vital characteristics of the breed, should be blue in color and should not be narrow or shallow.


A mature Cleveland Bay is a friendly, docile horse, but he is also a thinker. Much of his behavior depends on his relationship with the cyclist. With a trusted cyclist, he is absolutely reliable and very brave, willing to deal with changes with spirit. With an unclear, inconsistent or unreliable cyclist

Cleveland Bay will likely take the course of a quiet escape. The young people of Cleveland Bay are quite and slowly mature. Although they are always nice and good-natured, they have extremely short attention spans. Too much pressure to concentrate too soon can teach bad habits.

Cleveland berries are excellent in riding


Cleveland Bay horses were once among the most common mounts in the stables of many members of the British royal family, now and throughout their history. These English horses are part of the tradition surrounding some of the ceremonies and are still used today to pull carriages in royal processions.

Today, Cleveland Bays compete in every conceivable discipline, from jumping, dressage, hunting, events and driving, to Western competition, such as police mounts, working cattle, trail riding and more. Most of the bay horses in Royal Mews (British royal stables) are purebred and mixed breed Cleveland Bays

Horse cleveland bay
Cleveland is the oldest horse breed in England


Although there are many benefits to this type of breed, the Cleveland Bay horse is much more expensive than similar breeds. Be prepared to spend $ 10,000 or more on a purebred trained horse; prices can reach $ 20,000 or $ 30,000. Cleveland Bay crossings and sport horses can bring lower prices.


Cleveland bays are often easy to care for, and with their naturally heavier height, it can be important to control their diets to keep them at a proper weight. These horses can live well in pastures, with concentrated hard feed, including straw although horses that do heavy work can benefit from supplementation with hay and cereals.


The purebred cleveland bay is a very intelligent horse with a sensitive temperament. They have a strong character and they like to know and understand clearly what is expected of them and once they have confidence in their coach, who has to be patient and kind, they will do their best. They can be very willing, extremely kind, honest and knowledgeable horses.

Cuiados cleveland bay
Wonderful cleveland bay

Although it is one of the oldest purebred British breeds, the Cleveland Bay horse has achieved fame for its ability to cross with other breeds, adding bone, size and resistance to lighter animals. Unfortunately, this caused the number of purebred horses to drop drastically, but the breed is now being valued again in its own right.

Watch this video before you go:

cavall cleveland bay

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