Cleveland Bay Horse Society
The Cleveland Bay is England’s oldest breed of horse with a history that goes beyond a time when records were kept. It is an incredibly versatile horse that can turn its hoof to all disciplines, a legacy of its need to adapt through the ages to the changing face of civilisation. It is a horse with substance, activity, stamina and a temperament that is unsurpassed by any other breed of horse. A brief explanation of its origins also explains its durability.
In the middle ages in the county of Yorkshire there was a race of clean legged horses, bay in colour which were the general purpose horses of their time that is to say for pack and pillion work. They had always been there for the people but nobody could map out their past.
They carried the goods of the Chapmen (Travelling Salesmen) and as a result initially became known as Chapman horses. The name Cleveland bay developed later as their colour and their association with the Cleveland district of North Yorkshire linked together.