During the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, the conquerors took some of the Great Horses from Europe across the English Channel and crossed them on native mares. Eventually, a distinct type evolved that was known as the Old English Black Horse.
Despite the name, the breed had not been a color breed. For a long period of time, bays and browns were more commonplace than blacks. There were also roans, grays, and chestnuts among them. The color markings were not unlike those of Clydesdale horses, with the desired pattern being four white stocking and a well-defined bald face.
Large Dutch horses (possibly of Brabant and Friesian descent) were imported by William III when he discovered that the cart horses of his era were not strong enough for the task of draining the Lincolnshire Fens. These horses became known as the Lincolnshire Blacks.
Eventually, the Old English Black Horse became extinct as a distinct breed and its bloodlines merged into other breeds. According to Hall and Clutton-Brock, Robert Bakewell developed the Old English Black Horse into the Black Horse of Leicestershire, a forerunner of the Shire Horse of the Midlands. The Old English Black Horse heavily influenced the bloodlines of the Clydesdale and Shire, and these breeds today have many features inherited from their ancestors.
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Famous quotes containing the words black and/or english:
“Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling Old Black Joe.”
—Stephen Collins Foster (18261864)
“I went to a very militantly Republican grammar school and, under its influence, began to revolt against the Establishment, on the simple rule of thumb, highly satisfying to a ten-year-old, that Irish equals good, English equals bad.”
—Bernadette Devlin (b. 1947)