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Outstanding Cleveland Bay mare honoured with H&H award

One of the most prolific pure-bred Cleveland Bay mares of all time has won this year’s Horse & Hound outstanding mare award.

Stainmore Scotch Rose was revealed as the 2020 winner at the annual British Breeders Dinner and Awards Ceremony, organised by the British Horse Foundation on 11 March.

The 26-year-old mare was bred in Cumbria by Barbara Martindale and Barbara’s late husband Derek, and is by Mulgrave Royal and out of the stud’s foundation mare Osberton Rachel (by Littlebeck Masterpiece).

Stainmore Scotch Rose went on to produce 17 pure-bred Cleveland Bay foals, as well as one part-bred, and has made a significant impact on the future of the breed both in the UK and abroad.

“Stainmore Scotch Rose has had a huge impact on the Cleveland Bay breed — to have produced 17 pure-bred foals is outstanding, and some of these in turn have produced offspring that have gone into sport,” said Andy Dell, who is on the breed committee of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society.

Among Stainmore Scotch Rose’s offspring are the stallions Stainmore Wolfhound, who is standing at stud in the USA, Stainmore Scotch On The Rocks, standing in south Wales, and Lindon Principal, who himself has sired 17 pure-breds and 12 part-breds.

The mare is currently out on breeding loan to the Welford family. Her most recent progeny, Mulgrave Royal Emperor, has had outstanding success in the show ring and has just been awarded a basic stallion licence.

“The breed was really struggling in the 1950s, after the war,” says Andy, who explains that at the time only four Cleveland Bay stallions were left standing. “Because they make such brilliant carriage horses, yet can be ridden as well, they were the gold standard war horse, but the breed paid the price as so many never returned from the war.

“The final nail in the coffin for the breed was the same as that which threatened the Suffolk horse — the invention of the tractor and the mechanisation of agriculture.”

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The Queen was attributed with helping save the Cleveland Bay by buying Mulgrave Supreme, a stallion born in 1961 and a direct ancestor of Stainmore Scotch Rose.

“Numbers started to pick up again in the 1970s, but a real issue was inbreeding; in 2004 the effective population size was the genetic equivalent of just 20 horses,” explains Andy. “This has been increased year on year and is now 97.”

The outstanding mare award was presented by H&H’s sport horse breeding editor Polly Bryan and collected on Barbara’s behalf by Stallion AI’s Tullis Matson.

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