8 Year Anniversary party winners: Joan Hochstetler's book winner is -- Caryl Kane, Naomi Musch's ebook goes to Crissy Yoder Shamion, Roseanna White's winner is -- Connie Saunders, Pegg Thomas's "A Bouquet of Brides" goes to Deanna Stevens, Debra E. Marvin's winner is -- Becky Dempsey, Carrie Fancett Pagels' giveaway of Colonial Michilimackinac: Michigan State Parks goes to Wilani Wahl, Carla Olson Gade's winner is Leila Reynolds, Shannon McNear -- Kaitlin Covel

Friday, June 28, 2019

Cleveland Bays -- A Rare Breed

In the Summer 2019 issue of Trend & Tradition, the Magazine of Colonial Williamsburg, there is a wonderful article by Ben Swenson. If you are not receiving this magazine, it is sent to donors/subscribers to Colonial Williamsburg and is a much-appreciated benefit. 

The Cleveland Bay horses have been some of my favorites, with their beautiful rich brown coloring with contrasting black manes and socks. They are sturdy, strong, and temperamentally calm--what a great combination. Yet they have become a rare breed! That's because horse enthusiasts in modern times are looking for the best at some particular thing, e.g., fastest. But back in the colonial and Early American times, the Chapman horses or Cleveland Bays were the workhorses and preferred. According to Wikipedia the ancestors of the Cleveland Bays were the  Chapman Horses (which many of you historical fiction fans may be familiar with as medieval pack horses.)

The British royal family has been active in the push to maintain this rare breed (see two of their beautiful Cleveland Bays above). Swenson's article gives details on how Colonial Williamsburg is now actively involved with increasing the numbers of these beautiful animals. Their breeding program has resulted in the birth of a foal names Valiant who was born in late April. I hope I get to see him sometime soon! I am fortunate to live in the area, where so much is being done to preserve history and to keep beautiful horses like the Cleveland Bays continuing in their lineage.

Question: Will you be visiting Colonial Williamsburg soon and would you like to see Valiant?


  1. I wish I go see him! I love that people are working to save the old breeds. It's the same with sheep. There was a very popular breed of horse in Colonial times known as the Narragansett Pacer. It completely disappeared after the Colonial era. No idea why it fell out of favor, but it's gone. How sad.

    1. Pegg! I just read about these while doing research for my current story. They're one of the founding breeds for the Tennessee Walker and other gaited horses--my hero, in fact, rides a horse whose mama was a Narragansett Pacer. So cool!

  2. I have never been to Colonial Williamsburg. It ranks high on my list of places I really want to visit! I would love to see the new foal :)

  3. The commute from central Kansas is a little daunting at this point. Thank you for the article. I'll have to settle for photos.

  4. I’ve always wanted to visit Colonial Williamsburg.

  5. Great post Carrie. Pretty horses. I would like to see young Valiant.
    Russell and I visited Colonial Williamsburg for our 25th wedding anniversary 23 years ago. I would love to go back for a visit, (maybe on our 50th anniversary in 2 years!).
    Blessings, Tina

  6. Gorgeous horses, Carrie, and a very cool topic! <3


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