The Cleveland Bay developed in the Cleveland area of Northern Yorkshire in northeast England. In medieval times, the Cleveland Bay was valued as a packhorse for the church, carrying goods to and from various monasteries and convents. When the first roads were developed, Cleveland Bays were coach horses. The Cleveland Bay is the oldest breed of native horse in the United Kingdom, and one of the rarest and endangered equine breeds in the world. The Royal Family has been breeding Cleveland Bays for the past 100 years. Her Majesty is the patron of the United Kingdom Cleveland Bay Society and currently breeds her own horses. Cleveland Bays are used throughout the world for general riding and driving.
The Cleveland Bay stands 16 to 16.2 hands. The color is always bay with a black mane, tail and legs, but rare, chestnut horses are possible. Traditionally a draft horse, the Cleveland Bay isn’t high stepping like other coach horses. The motion can vary. Some have long, flowing movements and others are shorter in their strides.