Clydesdale: The redemption of the greatest horse


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What’s the tale?

The bailout of the greatest horse.

Black Beauty? Beauty? Uh, Red Rum? Uh? Silver?

Hey, nope. Just try again.

Champion? Champion? From Seabiscuit? Huh? Valegro?

Oh, no. I’m talking about a popular workhorse in Scotland: the Clydesdale. The plight of these gigantic creatures, who are threatened by a “vortex of extinction.” is illustrated in a new documentary.

Jonathan Watson and Doon Mackichan will ceremonially be “Two Doors Down” guests.

Only tell me more.

The horses originally came from the Clyde Valley in Lanarkshire, where they were bred in the 18th century. Bred for hard labor in agriculture and industry, they were in demand all over the world, with the pure blacks being the most sought after.

At that time, thousands of Clydesdales could be found in the Clyde Valley. They’ve all but died now. Janice Kirkpatrick, an award-winning graphic designer from Ayrshire who fell in love with horses at a young age, is on a quest to save the Clydesdale in Scotland.

About what that entails.

Research conducted in conjunction with a genetics expert has revealed that the low number of Clydesdales in Scotland is causing inbreeding problems, which could ultimately threaten their existence.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Marie Cassidy on her life on the front lines of death

What follows is a remarkable journey that takes Kirkpatrick from the Clyde Valley and Merryton Farm, where the horses were developed, to the Canadian prairies, where she follows the trail of a family that has protected pure Clydesdale bloodlines for five generations.

When to watch.

Clydesdale: Saving The Greatest Horse, BBC Scotland, Wednesday, 7:30pm.


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