Pirionga Clydesdales

Pirionga Clydesdales - A New Zealand television commercial from the late 1980's, depicting the arduous delivery of the advertiser's product in days gone by. Shot in Central Otago, New Zealand. - Pirongia Clydesdales www.clydesdales.co.nz

DB - Clydesdale : Commercial

Through the Ploughman's Eyes - Horse drawn ploughing, New Zealand

Pirionga Clydesdale - Equidays 2014

Clydesdale Racing Boxing Day NZ

Behind the Reins: The story of the DB Clydesdales and a Kiwi Family - Pirongia Clydesdales

The Pirionga Clydesdales featured in the NZ DB Draft beer commercials. You can purchase a book about them from their Facebook page 'The Clydesdale Book'. Below are some throwbacks and more recent videos about these awesome horses.

Behind the Reins - Book for sale! Click the image to visit their Facebook page to order.

Clydesdale in NZ


New Zealand currently has 3000 of the worlds 5000 Clydesdales. Our horses are high quality stock that are admired worldwide. As a very large element of the horse market in New Zealand is built on sport horses with a Clydesdale element to them which adds bone and substance to lighter more athletic horses, the purebred Clydesdale in New Zealand has held relatively strong in a world where draft horses are in huge declines due to mechanisation.

We should in no way take this as word that the Clydesdales are safe. They are in fact in decline in New Zealand and a frightening fact that the number of breeding mares producing foals had dropped by half in a ten year period.

We must take care to ensure the Clydesdale does not fall prey to the same circumstances as the Cleveland Bay which found its purebred stallions down to only 4 when the sport horse cross was valued higher than the purebred and investment in breeding pure stock was cast aside.

An alarming fact is it often produces a better horse if the Clydesdale in a sport horse cross is the female, which wastes the chance for the female to produce a purebred Clydesdale foal for the year.


TradeMe often has Clydesdales for sale and in recent years there seems to be a drop in the prices for some listings.

Post World War 2

After the Second World War many of the remaining horses were exported to the USA and Japan and the UK population dwindled to only 4 pure bred stallions remaining.

11 Listed

Check out https://www.clydesdale.org.nz/studs.html for information about the current listed studs in NZ.


The early type of Cleveland Bay horse was developed in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1600's-1700's by crossing Barb horses into horses known as the 'Chapman Horses' which were used as pack horses. These same Barb horses were used in the creation of the Thoroughbred. They were bred for speed, stamina, strength and soundness for use in transport, farm work and navigating tough terrain - the same qualities NZ horse people seek when looking for a Stationbred type horse.

The Cleveland Bay is the oldest of the British breeds and is technically the last remaining purebred Warmblood horse.

A royal intervention

It was Queen Elizabeth II who greatly assisted in the saving of the breed when she purchased the stallion Mulgrave Supreme which increased their popularity. She was appointed the Patron of the Cleveland Bay.

Through careful matchmaking and by breeding every available horse the breed has managed to recover while mitigating the inbreeding coefficient of the tight gene pool that remained. II 11IIII

Global History


The Cleveland Bay is famously known and bred to be an all rounder horse. They succeed in Jumping, Trekking, Driving, Cross Country and more. They cross well into most breeds creating a superb sport horse almost to its own detriment in the past as the purebreds were neglected so that the gene pool narrowed dangerously down to just four remaining stallions.

Today's global population

Top of the wish list for the NZ Cleveland Bay breed is another stallion is needed to go over the weanling purebred fillies born 2023.

Secondarily, if you're seeking a real partner in your next Hunter type horse - consider a partbred Cleveland Bay. The partbreds, while in past years have played to the demise of the pure stock, these days form an important part of rebuilding the popularity of the breed in NZ. If good riders lead these horses to success and garner attention for the breed, this creates demand for future purebred horses.

Texlea Oliver is available standing at stud to suitable mares. Creating competitive sport horses using the Cleveland Bay ensures there is demand for the purebred horse lines to be preserved in New Zealand.

Add something special to your next hunter or stationbred horse, add the blood of cavalry horses with bravery and personable, calm temperaments worth the investment. With a Cleveland Bay you get a partner in your horse.

Cleveland Bay stallion hunting in the UK

Sourced from Thorpeley Irish Draught and Rare Breed stud. (Focusing on Irish Draught horse, Suffolk Punch and Cleveland Bays.)

Arab and Andalusian was added to the Cleveland Bay and we land on the breed as we know it today. By the 19th century it was an admirable cavalry mount and became one of the most common draft and coach horses in Britain and the U.S.A.

1700s - 1800s
Refining the breed

Clydesdale Sam dragging a boat!

Waikato Heavy Horse Society Annual Trek

Discover the Horse - Riding the Clydesdale

Discover the Horse - Riding the Clydesdale

Discover the Horse - Riding the Clydesdale

GlenLie Rebecca in 8 horse team ploughing at Erewhon Station

A visit from the Clydesdale Horses - Bluewave Living

Black Clydesdale Prancing

New Zealand Clydesdales

Foxton Clydesdales Foxton Clydesdale horses pulling tram around Foxton, New Zealand

New Zealand South Island Wagon Tour - One handed

Feeding the Clydesdale Horse at Willowbank

Clydesdales in the World

"A Strong History of Service"

Around 100 years ago, a group of people in New Zealand started taking Clydesdale horses pretty seriously. Today, this magnificent breed is still alive and well, enjoying a variety of roles from traditional farmwork through to pleasure riding. This short video was made to commemorate a century of service to, and from, this mighty breed. A Four Foxes Production. 2012. Made by Anna Wilde as part of a Masters degree in Science Communication at Otago University, New Zealand.