The first Cleveland Bay filly has been born at the University of Lincoln’s breeding unitd

Staff at the University of Lincoln’s equine unit are celebrating the birth of their first filly, Lindon Minerva.

The unit, set up to help save the breed from extinction, has already produced two colts.

Mark Curry, senior lecturer at the unit, said: “It was very nice to have the colts, but in breeding terms, a filly is more valuable as we can only produce one foal from each mare.”

Lindon Minerva is expected to join the unit’s breeding stock in around four years time. At the moment, the unit has three mares – two of which are on loan to the university.

Minerva, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, had a trouble-free birth but the staff had been concerned.

“We were very relieved that everything went well because her mother, Bullwood Lady Dorothy, lost an eye in an accident last year and had to undergo surgery with a general anaesthetic.”

Saving rare British breeds

The Cleveland Bay breed, along with the Suffolk Punch, faces the highest risk of extinction among Britain’s native horses.

“When we are at rare breed shows, people often are surprised that the breed is at-risk. But I think Cleveland Bays have more fans than we think.”

The unit at Lincoln university is hoping that its programme will help save the breed.

“It’s taken a while to get going, but I think we are starting to make a contribution,” said Mark.

For more information visit www.lincoln.ac.uk/lsa/cleveland/index.htm

Read more about Cleveland Bays: