The Clydesdale is a breed of heavy draft horse developed in and deriving its name from the district in Scotland where it was founded. Its type was evolved by the farmers of Lanarkshire, through which the River Clyde flows. The old name for Lanarkshire is Clydesdale.
The most common colour in the Clydesdale breed is bay with brown and black favoured by some. The preferred markings are four white socks to the knees and hocks, and a well-defined blaze or bald face. There are also many roans in the breed. The white flowing hair on the legs called feather is the main difference between the Clyde and the other draft breeds, hence people showing this breed of horse spend longer hours at the wash rack.
Today, the Clydesdales are used primarily for breeding and show, with approximately 50 members in the Manitoba Clydesdale Club including a number from the Strathclair-Hamiota-Shoal Lake area. Among the equine producers within the province, Blaine, Trinda and girls have approximately 200 horses, while his brother Calvin, who is the Manitoba representative on the Canadian Clydesdale Association board of directors and his wife Jayne, also of Strathclair, own 30.
“We strive to breed quality Clydesdales and have sold horses all across Canada and throughout the United States as far south as Texas,” said Blaine. “We travel each fall to a foal sale in Meadville, Pennsylvania with 10 colts. We have had horses in several of the famous Budweiser hitches and presently some of our breeding stock is at the Budweiser breeding farm in St. Louis, Missouri.” The Budweiser Clydesdales are the beverage industry’s most recognizable mascots. The company has six hitches (five travelling, one stationary), with thousands of requests for the gentle giants being received each year.
Like his father, Clarence, who showed across Canada from Ontario to Alberta, including with the legendary A. E. (Eddie) Arnold of Shoal Lake, Blaine and family love their Clydesdales, with the joy of foaling being second only to the great friends they have had the pleasure of making through involvement in a business centred around a heavy draft horse known for its size and gentle nature.