Our rare breed champion Harry the Cleveland Bay recently made his showing debut. The handsome gelding was as good as gold, but owner Jules said preparations didn’t go quite as smoothly, with Harry deciding he wanted a change of hairstyle the night before the show… We’ve all been there, our horses are bathed, groomed and plaited to perfection, but when we turn up early on the morning of the competition, practically all of our hard work has been undone.

Thankfully Harry redeemed himself, and after a speedy second makeover, it was a very successful day with plenty of ribbons and encouraging remarks.

“Harry was such a good boy taking it all in and strutting his stuff to all and everyone,” Jules told Your Horse. “He had lots of lovely comments and people were surprised at his breed.

“But getting a show ready is always a stressful time and any showing preparation tips from readers are always welcome. I however was very lucky and had the helping hand of local groomer Gemma and her daughter Jas Majestic Gems equine services.”

Harry started sharing his cartoons earlier this year, with the wish of promoting his rare native breed, the Cleveland Bay. The illustrations are created by Jules’ friend, artist Denise Le Breton. Emanating from the Cleveland area of North East England, the Cleveland Bay is Britain’s oldest breed of horse. Loved by the royals, the Late Queen was instrumental in saving the breed in the 1960’s but their fate still lies in the balance.

Today the Cleveland Bay is on the Priority list of the Rare Breed Survival Trust, meaning its numbers are dwindling. The Cleveland Bay Horse Society is a charity that regulates, promotes and protects pure and part-bred Cleveland Bay horses. To find out more, click here.

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