Equus caballusClydesdale


  • Equidae


  • Generally 20 to 25 years


  • Height: 18 hands or approximately 6 feet
  • Weight: 1800 to 2200 pounds


  • The breed originated in Scotland in the mid 18th century.
  • Can be found in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.


  • Grassy fields for grazing.


  • Farm: Depending on the farm, they usually eat grasses, hay, and grain.
    • Each Clydesdale should eat 1% to 2% of their body weight in hay each day.
  • Zoo: Offered Timothy hay at least 2 times daily, and 1 pound or more of grain in the morning and evening.


  • Clydesdales reach sexual maturity at approximately 3 to 4 years of age.
  • Gestation occurs for 11 months.
  • Most foals are born in early spring and usually only one is born per year.
    • Male foals are called colts and female foals are called fillies.
    • Foals nurse from their mother for about 6 months.

Special Adaptations

  • Clydesdale horses are cursorial (adapted for running).
    • Specializations of the leg and foot enable Clydesdales to be strong runners.
    • Horses are able to sleep or rest while standing or lying down as a result of years of being a prey animal in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • Bay is the most popular color in the United States, but Clydesdales can also be black, brown, chestnut, or roan.
  • Clydesdales are usually characterized by a white blaze face and 4 white legs, though the legs can be black.

Conservation Status

    • IUCN: Not Evaluated
    • CITES: Not Listed
    • Clydesdales are listed as vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. 
    • Uses today include breeding, showing, driving, riding, hauling and farming. 


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Clydesdales grooming each other