Heavy Horse Day
"He serves without servility;
he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent;
there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient."
~ Ronald Duncan, "The Horse"
The Australian Draught Horse was developed over many years as a result of the crossbreeding of the four recognized pure draught horse breeds which were in Australia since the colonial day - the Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, and Suffolk Punch, along with other smaller horse bloodlines. Clydesdales, named for their origin county in Scotland, were originally used for agriculture and haulage. Exported in great numbers in the late 19th and 20th centuries, they became known as "the breed that built Australia."
This tartan was designed, firstly for the Clydesdale breed and for all heavy work horse breeds in Australia, in recognition of their role in the establishment of agriculture in Australia and the revival of their use in the new millennium.
The main colours of the tartan represent the heavy horses breeds. The dark grey and black also represents the use of horses in industry, with green for their use in Australian agriculture and brown for the ploughed fields.
The Clydesdale is a breed of draught horse derived from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland, and named after that region. Although originally one of the smaller breeds of draught horses and used for both agriculture and haulage, it is now a tall breed.
The Budweiser Clydesdales have achieved international recognition while other members of the breed are used as drum horses by the British Household Cavalry.
The breed originated from Flemish stallions imported to Scotland and crossed with local mares. The first recorded use of the name "Clydesdale" for the breed occurred in 1826, and by 1830, the spread of Clydesdale horses widened throughout Scotland and into northern England.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thousands of Clydesdales were exported from Scotland and sent throughout the world, including Australia and New Zealand, where they became known as "the breed that built Australia". However, during World War I population numbers began to decline due to increasing mechanization and war conscription. By the 1970s, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust considered the breed vulnerable to extinction, although population numbers have now slightly increased.
For more about the Clydesdale horse, click the horse!