Monday, 16 August 2010 14:17


Written by  Bruce A. Roy
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Those horsemen who followed the judging at the World Clydesdale Show held in Madison, Wisconsin, several weeks ago, had to be impressed by the design of the class winners. Class after class, the Clydesdales that collected the ribbons awarded were patterned like Benedictine, a Clydesdale stallion once well known in breed circles. I suspect this celebrated breed sire surfaces repeatedly if the pedigrees of these class winners were extended.

Bred by John P. Meikle, Pilmuir Farm, Lauder, Berwickshire, Benedictine was purchased by Thomas & Matthew Templeton, Sandyknowe Farm, Kelso, Roxburghshire, as a foal. He spent the balance of his life in their possession. While Benedictine never shined in the show ring as some breed sires did, he managed to lift a fair number of honours. Reserve Champion Stallion as a yearling at The Royal Show, Benedictine was also shown as a 2-year-old. Second at Kilmarnock, fourth at the 1931 Royal Highland Show, Benedictine's tanbark career ended on a high note at The Royal Show in July, where he was the Champion Stallion.

When viewed standing, there were few Clydesdale stallions more impressive. Benedictine had all the size and scale that one could desire, and in Clydesdale character he had no equal. He was a stallion designed to wear harness. However, when called upon to move, then, and only then, did the celebrated horse disappoint the breed’s pundits.

Benedictine was more than a worthy son of his sire, the great Benefactor. Messrs. Thomas & Matthew Templeton paid 4,400 guineas for Benefactor in 1925 at the Netherhall Dispersal Sale. He was a tightly bred stallion, for his dam, Maud of Begg, like his paternal granddam, Lady Ivo, was a Dunure Footprint daughter. A son of Fyvie Sensation, Benefactor led the breeding sire list in Scotland for seven years, 1928 to 1934.

Benedictine’s dam was Ailsa, whose sire, Apukwa, was a Hiawatha son. This stallion appears twice in Benedictine’s pedigree, for Benefactor’s sire, Fyvie Sensation, was by Hiawatha Again, another of Hiawatha’s successful sons. Ailsa foaled Benedictine June 20, 1929. He was a bay colt, marked picture-perfect.

A beautifully balanced horse, stood on lots of leg, Benedictine had the look of eagles. His large, bright eye suggested an alert stallion of pleasing disposition. His strong jaw and small, sharp ears were trademarks of a stud horse. Marked picture perfect, Benedictine’s head was carried high on a neck of good length. Clean about his throat, he was a horse with a sharp wither. A horse of pleasing stretch, his tight back, strong loin and muscled hindquarters, captured a horseman’s eye. Although an upstanding stallion, Benedictine had good spring of rib.

Few Clydesdale horses, then or now, veteran horsemen suggest, were supported on underpinning more structurally correct. His front legs were plumb, their forearms muscled. Centered in Benedictine’s broad, deep knees, his cannon bones, viewed from his front, were sharp. The slope of pastern found on Benedictine matched his slope of shoulder.

Stood tight behind, Benedictine might have had a higher hock. However, he was a breed sire, one with sons and daughters that were employed each day in harness. High hocks facilitate greater action, lower hocks generated greater power in a horse. The deep, wide hock joints, sharp as hound’s teeth, found on Benedictine, tempered like steel, were beyond reproach. Muscled through his gaskins, Benedictine’s bone, viewed from the side, was wide and flat. The tendons on his legs were laid well back. An abundance of straight, silky hair furnished his legs and feet.

The ankles and joints found on Benedictine’s underpinning remained flesh and fluid-free throughout his long life. A stallion anchored on the best of feet, they had depth, great width of heel and the large open hoofheads, which facilitate the development of a large frog, a frog two-thirds as wide as its length at the heel.

While Benedictine never attained signal honours in the show ring, Clydesdale breeders were impressed with this stallion’s male character. He was a breeding horse, one that combined the positive traits so sought after in a Clydesdale. His offspring were well known for the excellence of their front feet.
Female Sire

Benedictine was a most successful sire, especially of female stock. Seven daughters lifted the Cawdor Cup offered for females shown in Scotland, though none of his sons won the corresponding trophy offered for a stallion. He surpassed Benefactor as a sire of females.

Three daughters of Benedictine that lifted the Cawdor Cup were owned and shown by J.K. McFarlane of Gleneagles; Dees May, shown by Alex Murdock, C.A., was sold to Australia following her win; while Littleinch Morag was owned and shown by David Blair of Newport.

However, Littleinch Morag is the only Cawdor Cup winning daughter of Benedictine that has influenced today’s Clydesdale breed on this side of the Atlantic. Her daughter, Langalchorad Blossom, a Gartness Control mare, bred well. Two stallions out of this mare were well known in breed circles. Langalchorad Blossom foaled Muirton Supreme, a Muirton Sensation son, in 1954; and Lochland’s Flashdale, a second Muirton Sensation son, in 1959.

Thomas Clark & Sons of Muirton, who showed him with great success, purchased Muirton Supreme as a colt. Champion at the Stirling and Kilpatrick Foal Shows, Muirton Supreme was Reserve Champion Stallion and the Cawdor Cup winner as a yearling at the National Stallion Show. That summer, he was Champion Stallion at the Royal Highland Show, an honour he also captured the following year. Muirton Supreme’s last public appearance was at the 1958 National Stallion Show, where he was named the Champion Stallion.

Sadly, Muirton Supreme left few foals. However, his son, Muirton Surprise, sired a number of powerful geldings. These were hitch horses. Several were shipped to North America. Cognizant of his success as a sire, Aubrey Toll of Blyth, Ontario, bought Muirton Surprise. The exciting stallion was shipped to Canada. Unfortunately, only his shoes and halter arrived. Muirton Surprise had died at sea.

Lochland’s Flashdale also sold overseas. This good horse was purchased in April, 1963, by Charles Bolger of Lemont, Illinois. He left two registered foals in America. Trucked north to Manitoba for the 1964 breeding season, Lochland’s Flashdale died weeks after his arrival. Two daughters of the big, handsome horse bred on. Riverview Centennial Choice, a granddaughter of Lochland’s Flashdale, was a prolific brood mare for the Watson Brothers of Sarsfield, Ontario.
Brood Mares Par Excellent

The most prolific brood mares Benedictine sired were females less successful in the show ring. These were big, powerful mares, that filled the eye. Stood on the best feet and legs, they had a wealth of feminine character. Unlike their seven paternal sisters listed, they never won a Cawdor Cup. However, their influence on today’s Clydesdale breed is considerable.

Haggs Nancy, a daughter of Benedictine, was the dam of Ratlingate Marigold. Bred by John Dick of Haggs, Ratlingate Marigold was exported by Archibald Henderson of Ratlingate. Brought to Canada by Wreford Hewson, Malton, Ontario, the North of England mare was a sound investment. Few females enjoyed greater success in the show ring this side of the Atlantic.

Grand Champion Mare in 1949, 1952 and 1954 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Ratlingate Marigold was the Reserve Grand Champion Mare in 1950. Tom Devlin, then Secretary of the Clydesdale Horse Association of Canada, stated in December, 1949, “She has a grand set of underpinning, flat flinty quality bone with not too much straight silky hair and she sits into her ankles to perfection. When moving she does a beautiful job of going straight, true and close. Up to a good size, 'Marigold' stands 17 hh and should improve after she becomes acclimatized.” Improve she did!

Ratlingate Marigold produced a colt foal in 1947, which she lost at birth. She foaled a colt by Virol’s Ideal in 1948 and was carrying a foal by this good horse when she was shipped to Canada. This was the filly registered as Leading Lady. The winner of her class at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1951, Leading Lady was also the Reserve Junior Champion Mare.

One of Scotland’s better sires, Dunsyre Footprint, was out of Harden Benedicta, another Benedictine daughter. Bred by R.W. Meikle of Falla House, the brown sire, foaled in 1949, was owned by James Barr of Dunsyre Mains. Reserve Champion Stallion in 1951 and 1952, Dunsyre Footprint lifted the Cawdor Cup at the 1952 National Stallion Show. A favourite stallion with horsemen overseas, Dunsyre Footprint stood at stud for two years. He was hired by the Fyvie and District Horse Breeding Society in 1954 and 1956, the Scottish Central Horse Breeding Society in 1955. Unfortunately, he died in 1957.

Considered one of the best breeding stallions then in Scotland, Dunsyre Footprint’s first crop of foals included Gleneagle, Champion Stallion and Cawdor Cup winner at the 1954 National Stallion Show. The competition that year included Craigie Superb and Muirton Sensation, two former champions highly regarded in breed circles. Sadly, Gleneagle died following his stellar victory. He was never registered. However, it is interesting to note Gleneagle’s dam, Tofthill Anna, was yet another daughter of Benedictine. One can only speculate as to the brilliant career this tightly bred youngster might have achieved had he lived to breed on.

The numerous awards Dunsyre Footprint’s offspring lifted in Scotland and the North of England, increased his reputation as a breed sire. Gleneagle and Tolquhon Windsoer, two of his sons, lifted the Cawdor Cup, as did a daughter, Glororum Patricia. He sired some big, weighty geldings, which had few equals in the breed. These were hitch horses the North Americans imported in some number. They were fielded on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Smeaton Mighty Fine, a bay roan colt foaled in 1949, was out of Sunhoney Peggy, still another daughter of Benedictine. This prolific female’s full sister, Dees May, lifted the Cawdor Cup awarded in 1937. A tightly bred stallion, Smeaton Mighty Fine’s sire, Smeaton Ideal, was by Sandyknowe Ideal, easily one of Benedictine’s best known sons. Smeaton Mighty Fine was first bought by James A. Sommerville of Smeaton, who sold him for export. Purchased by Agriculture Canada, this handsome stallion left Scotland a proven sire.

Captain Bowser, Grand Champion Gelding in 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962 and 1963, and Reserve Grand Champion Gelding in 1965 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, was a Scotch-bred son of Smeaton Mighty Fine. Well remembered in breed circles, Nile Shantz, Plattsville, Ontario, brought Captain Bowser to Canada. A handsome horse of great weight, Captain Bowser could hammer on halter and in harness. The pundits who remember Captain Bowser maintain no better Clydesdale gelding has since been seen at Toronto.

On his arrival in Canada, Smeaton Mighty Fine was offered for public service at Ontario’s Agricultural College, Guelph. Transferred to Alberta for the 1958 breeding season, Agriculture Canada had Lawrence M. Rye of Edmonton, take charge of the splendid horse. Unfortunate for the Clydesdale breed, Smeaton Mighty Fine sired only seven foals registered in Canada. Vandals shot Smeaton Mighty Fine in the testicles!

Smeaton Highlight was also out of Benedictine’s daughter, Sunhoney Peggy, which made him Smeaton Mighty Fine’s maternal brother. Sired by Hyperion, this good horse, first in the Veteran Class at the 1951 National Stallion Show, was bred by George Robertson of Sunhoney, as was Smeaton Mighty Fine.

Southmains Bett, yet another of Benedictine’s good daughters, foaled the stallion Dunsyre Hiawatha in 1951. Bred by James Warnock of Southmains, he was sold to Agriculture Canada by James Barr of Dunsyre Mains. This lofty Balgreen Final Command son accompanied Smeaton Mighty Fine on the ship to Canada. Stationed at the Federal Experimental Farm, Lacombe, Alberta, Dunsyre Hiawatha bred with exceptional success. Although the trade for draft horses was in the tank when Agriculture Canada offered Dunsyre Hiawatha for public service, thirty-three offspring by this upstanding horse were registered with Canadian Livestock Records. Buyers in the United States bought eleven of them. They became foundation stock American horsemen employed to rebuild their decimated breed in the 1960s.

Lacombe Hiawatha Blanche was one of the better mares sired by Dunsyre Hiawatha. She was purchased by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, as was Banffshire Hiawatha Lady, a Dunsyre Hiawatha mare that could wear harness. The offspring sired by Dunsyre Hiawatha were shown at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair by breeders in Alberta. On several occasions they surfaced in the short list of entries in the class offered for Three Animals, Get of Sire.
Sandyknowe Ideal

Arguably, Sandyknowe Ideal was Benedictine’s foremost son. One of the first colts sired by Benedictine, Sandyknowe Ideal had an advantage over many of his paternal brothers. He achieved the height of his breeding career while the demand for draft horses was strong.

Sandyknowe Ideal was bred by William Clark of Tillifar. The successful bay sire, foaled June 25, 1935, was bred in the purple. Royal Footprint sired his dam, Manar Lady Jewel; Bonnie Buchlyvie sired his second dam, Bonnington Pearl; while Everlasting sired his third dam, Lily Grey.

Purchased for the Sandyknowe Stud by Thomas & Matthew Templeton as a colt, Sandyknowe Ideal spent the last years of his life at Wester Cowden, which was owned by Andrew A. Sommerville. Sommerville bought the veteran stallion February 26, 1942, at the Sandyknowe Clydesdale Dispersal Sale which was held following Thomas Templeton’s death. Offered for public service by both of these name stables, Sandyknowe Ideal was repeatedly hired to a number of Scotland’s horse breeding societies. This exposed Sandyknowe Ideal to several of the Clydesdale breed’s better females. His success as a sire cannot be questioned. One of his sons, Cowden Again, came to the United States.

Nathan Goff, Clarksburg, West Virginia, bought Cowden Again, the leading four-year-old stallion, from Andrew Sommerville of Wester Cowden, following the 1951 National Stallion Show. Successfully shown in North America, this capital horse was Grand Champion Stallion in 1951, 1952 and 1953 at Chicago’s International Livestock Exhibition and at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1950. However, it was unfortunate Cowden Again had little opportunity to cover more mares in America. There was little interest in breeding Clydesdales in America at that time, especially in the state of West Virginia which was the end of the Clydesdale world. Nonetheless, Cowden Again did have a limited impact on the Clydesdale breed that was rebuilt over the following years in the United States.

Hugh McGregor of Ballinton, paid 800 guineas for Re-Union, a Sandyknowe Ideal son, which sold at the Sandyknowe Dispersal Sale. He was a three-year-old horse at the time. Ultimately owned by Thomas Smith & Sons of Birniehill, Re-Union left two good sons, the stallions Art Union and Cawdordene. A son and daughter of Cawdordene were brought to America.

Cowden Primula was the only filly Sandyknowe Ideal sired in Scotland to capture the Cawdor Cup. Champion Female at the 1948 Royal Highland Show, where she lifted the coveted trophy, Cowden Primula was a beautiful mare. Females of her pattern, breed stalwarts in North America would appreciate today. Her dam, Strath Sallie, was a Craigie Beau Ideal mare.

The pundits still consider Ballochmorrie Mist the greatest daughter of Balgreen Final Command. This powerful mare was out of Ballochmorrie Elsie, a Sandyknowe Ideal mare. Champion Female at the National Stallion Show, Ballochmorrie Mist was also Champion Female and the Cawdor Cup winner at the Royal Highland Show in 1952. Ballochmorrie Mist ranks with the great Clydesdale mares of the breed. William Taylor, Grand Valley, Ontario, imported Hayston Lady Luck, a daughter that bred well in Canada. Females descended from Ballochmorrie Mist are still to be found in Scotland.

Most Sandyknowe Ideal offspring sold to North America were geldings. These were big, upstanding hitch horses, which could perform in harness. Magnificent specimens of the Clydesdale breed, these draught horses were fielded in the turnouts campaigned by Anheuser-Busch, Inc.; Wilson & Company, Inc., of Chicago, Illinois; Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy, of Chicago, Illinois; and Nathan Goff of West Virginia.
More Benedictine Sons

While no son of Benedictine captured a Cawdor Cup, they were impressive stallions, popular in breed circles. Like their sire, their best offspring, with a few exceptions, were females. A number of Benedictine’s better sons are listed.

Classic was one of these popular Benedictine sons. His offspring caught the eye of several breed enthusiasts of note. His daughter, Howford Classic Lady, and his son, the gelding, Glen, number among his better offspring. A granddaughter, the mare Dean Ladybird, was the mother of Clifton Nellie Dene.

Howford Classic Lady first captured the public’s attention in 1956. Champion Female and the Cawdor Cup winner at the Royal Highland Show; she topped the Clydesdales shown that summer at East Kilbride, Strathaven and Biggar. A dark brown daughter of Classic, her dam, Burnton Florence, was a Knight Commander mare. Tightly bred, Benedictine appears top and bottom in her pedigree, for Classic and Knight Commander were Benedictine sons. Benefactor, the celebrated sire of Benedictine, also sired Watchword, whose daughter, Burnton Florence, was Howford Classic Lady’s second dam; while Burnton Corona, Howford Classic Lady’s fourth dam, was also a Benefactor daughter. Needless to suggest, few horses regardless of breed, had a higher co-efficient of inbreeding. Yet this female was a good one; a prolific brood mare with a stellar production record.

Dunsyre Benefactor, Dunsyre Double Star and Collessie Royal Gift were sons of Howford Classic Lady. Their influence on today’s Clydesdale breed, both sides of the Atlantic, is well known in breed circles. Howford Classic Lady also foaled the good mare Howford Venus. Collessie Royal Gift was exported to Canada; Dunsyre Benefactor and Dunsyre Double Star remained in Scotland. All three stallions bred with considerable success. In the extended pedigree of today’s Clydesdale, the names of these three stallions appear repeatedly. The name of Dunsyre Benefactor in particular, for his son, Dunsyre Silver King, covered a great many mares owned by Anheuser-Busch.

While he was not the largest horse, Dunsyre Silver King left some upstanding foals. A stallion of exciting quality and great character, his body was splashed with white. First shipped to Canada, he left eight foals registered north of the 49th parallel. He was then trucked to the United States, where fifty-four Clydesdale foals by Dunsyre Silver King were registered. Dunsyre Silver King was a maternal brother to the mare Milltimber Snowflake.

Bellmount Ideal, Grand Champion Stallion in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1965 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, was a son of Dunsyre Double Star. This stallion, owned by Wreford Hewson then at Beeton, Ontario, left some quality offspring. Best known was the stallion Melbourne Royal Ideal.

Glen was a Classic son well known in America. Shipped to Nathan Goff in West Virginia by Irving Holliday of Cliftonhall; the four-year-old gelding placed third in class at the 1955 National Stallion Show some weeks earlier. Glen caught the fancy of horsemen ringside at Chicago’s 1955 International Livestock Show, where he topped a powerful class of Clydesdale geldings. Tom Devlin, long secretary of the Clydesdale Horse Association of Canada, maintained Glen compared with The Boss and Churchill, two geldings that remain breed icons. Right or wrong, Glen was a topper.

Clifton Nellie Dene had more owners than most Clydesdale females. One of the great Clydesdale mares of her time, “Nellie Dene” attracted buyers as honey draws flies. Bred by Richard Good of Wreays, the 1958 filly was foaled property of Irving Holliday. Sold to Mrs. G. Argyles of Glasinghall, she was procured by Peter Sharp of Bardrill, who shipped her to Wreford Hewson. The magnificent female, a Balgreen Final Command mare, was out of Dean Ladybird, a Classic daughter. She was Grand Champion Mare in 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1971 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which was a considerable accomplishment. Unfortunate for the Clydesdale breed, Clifton Nellie Dene dropped but one registered foal. This was the registered filly, Bardrill Rosa, a Cliftonhall Ambassador daughter, which Eric Barton of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, owned for several years. Two of her daughters can be found in the pedigree of several horses shown today.

Nemesis was the third son of Benedictine to command attention in breed circles. He sired Nemesia, Grand Champion Mare in 1950 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Brought to Canada by T.A. Wilson, Wilson Beaver Stock Farm, Cannington, Ontario; the roan female was bred in Scotland by John Crawford of Ballymenach. Coldoch Reluxe, a stallion brought to Canada by Nelson Wagg of Claremont, Ontario, was her maternal brother. Nemesia was shown in Scotland by Alexander S. Chapman of Creagh Mhor. Placed first in class at the 1949 Royal Highland Show, she stood second to Heads Inn Princess at the 1950 Royal Highland Show.

Nemesia was the Grand Champion Mare in 1950 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. She captured this stellar honour days after stepping off the boat from Scotland. The following spring Nemesia dropped a colt sired by Tarraby Pioneer. This youngster won the foal class at Toronto in 1951, and was sold to Fred Dunn of Alexander and George Smith of Carberry, Manitoba. A review of the National Clydesdale Sale catalogues will illustrate the influence Scotland’s Pioneer had on the breed. Many descendants can be found in the United States and Canada.

R.A. Cumming, Kenton, Manitoba, bought Nemesia following her win at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Grand Champion Mare at the Manitoba Winter Fair and Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba on several occasions, Nemesia foaled two daughters, Coronation Morn and Nemesia 2nd, females that appear in many Clydesdale pedigrees issued in North America. Nemesia’s last years were spent in the care of Claude L. Worthington, Chilliwack, British Columbia. Nemesia was Reserve Grand Champion Mare at the 1955 Pacific National Exhibition as an eleven-year-old matron. The beautiful mare was put down when Worthington died, in keeping with the instructions found in his will.

Like so many of Benedictine’s sons, Dunbritton Chief also left some grand females. The mare Carmains Princess was best known. Bred by William R. Filshie of Cardross Mains, this celebrated female was cornerstone to a successful breeding program developed by James Chapman of Johnston. Like so many of Benedictine’s prolific granddaughters, Carmains Princess was tightly bred. Her dam, Brunty Ella, was a Sandyknowe Ideal mare. Hence, Benedictine appeared top and bottom on the pedigree of Carmains Princess.

The progeny of Carmains Princess reads like a Who’s Who of the Clydesdale breed. Johnston Realisation, foaled in 1957; Johnston Sensation, foaled in 1959; Heather Enchantress, foaled in 1961 and Heather Princess, foaled in 1969; were foaled by this grand female. Sons and daughters of her progeny sold in number to America, Australia and Canada, where they, too, bred with considerable success.

It has often been said, no Benedictine son stood on a better hind leg than Dunsyre Benedictine. Was this stallion’s greatest claim to fame his daughter, the prolific matron, Kirklandhill Lady Elizabeth, dam of the incomparable Kirklandhill Queen o’ Carrick, Grand Champion Mare in 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair? No female ever shown at Toronto has approached this record. Equally impressive shown in harness, Queen o’ Carrick will ever remain a breed icon. Unfortunate for the breed, she never left a foal.

Dunsyre Benedictine sired other daughters of note. Milltimber Snowflake was Champion Female and Cawdor Cup winner in 1959 at the Royal Highland Show; Woodend Jean was the dam of Bardrill Glenord, Grand Champion Stallion in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1975 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair; Collessie Lucinda, a beautiful mare that bred well in Canada, was Champion Female in 1964 at the National Stallion Show; while Backshiels Nora is cornerstone to a great family of females currently breeding overseas. Almost without exception, Dunsyre Benedictine’s best offspring were foaled by Muirton Monarch mares. This was a golden cross, the kind Clydesdale breeders dream about.

The influence of Dunsyre Benedictine on the Clydesdale breed across North America requires little further comment. Like so many stallions that were marked with considerable white, he left some exceptional offspring that achieved substantial success on both sides of the Atlantic.

One last son of Benedictine commands attention. This was Pearl Stone, an evergreen stallion shown for eight successive years, at least, at the National Stallion Show. Bred by George McDowell of Briarbrae, Pearl Stone was owned by James Chapman of Johnston. His mother, Briarbrae Lucinda, one of the most celebrated Clydesdales of her time, was Champion Female and the Cawdor Cup winner in 1936 at the Royal Highland Show. The front shoes which fitted this mare’s natural foot, measured eleven inches across. A stallion that inherited his mother’s great feet, Pearl Stone was a long-lived horse fashioned much like his celebrated sire.

Johnston Realisation was a son of Pearl Stone out of Carmains Princess, the prolific mare by Dunbritton Chief. Benedictine appears three times in the first three generations of his pedigree. Champion Stallion and the Cawdor Cup winner at the 1966 National Stallion Show, Johnston Realisation was bred by William R. Filshie of Cardross Mains. Purchased by James Chapman of Gartcosh in 1958, the handsome stallion did spartan service as a sire. The Londonderry Horse Breeding Society (Northern Ireland) hired Johnston Realisation in 1962, as did the Lanark Horse Breeding Society in 1963. He spent some time on the Isle of Man, where he bred Shire mares under the name of a Shire stallion. His registered Clydesdale offspring and his Clydesdale x Shire crossbreds, registered as pedigreed Shires, won Johnston Realisation acclaim in heavy horse circles. They were draft horses, which could wear harness.
Christmas Eve

Benedictine died December 24, 1952. He was rising twenty-four, for he was foaled June 20, 1929. His age exceeded that of Dunure Footprint, which had just reached twenty-two when he died in 1930. One of the most prolific sires of the Clydesdale breed, Benedictine was hired by horse breeding societies most every year of his lengthy breeding career. The districts in Scotland that engaged him included Scottish Central, the Lothians and Fyvie, the latter engaging him for six breeding seasons. When the Sandyknowe Stud was dispersed February 26, 1942, Benedictine was one of the few Clydesdales Matthew Templeton retained. The last four or five years of Benedictine’s life, Templeton kept the veteran sire home at Charterhouse. The horse enjoyed splendid health throughout his life; he never had a day’s illness until the three days before his death.

Benedictine was the prototype of the Clydesdale horse today’s breeder seeks in North America. Unlike most breed sires, Benedictine could not appear too often in a Clydesdale horse’s pedigree, for the more often he appeared, the better the Clydesdale in question was.

Benedictine (21836) should not be confused with a Canadian-bred stallion of the same name. This was Benedictine [30756], a stallion bred by Wreford Hewson of Beeton, Ontario, once a popular sire in Eastern Canada. Sired by Bardrill Castle, the Canadian-bred Benedictine [30756] was out of Bardrill Marina, whose dam, Dryfe Dolly, was one of many Benedictine (21836) daughters foaled in Scotland. However, that is another success story!

Keradon's Camelot, the Supreme Champion Horse at the recent World Clydesdale Show descends from Benedictine at least 14 times!


Bay Clydesdale stallion. Foaled June 20, 1929.
Breeder: John P. Meikle, Pilmuir, Lauder Berwickshire
1st Owners: Thomas & Matthew Templeton, Sandyknowe, Kelso, Roxburghshire
2nd Owner: Matthew Templeton, Charterhouse, Kelso, Roxburghshire

Hiawatha Again
Jean Whyte 2nd
Fyvie Sensation
Dunure Footprint
Lady Ivo
Chrissy Sleigh
Sire: Benefactor
Baron of Buchlyvie
Dunure Footprint
Dunure Ideal
Maud of Begg
Gentle Annie of Begg
Summit’s Favourite

Prince Robert
Old Darling
Royal Favourite
Royal May
Jennie of Redhall
Dam: Ailsa
Baron’s Pride
Baron of Buchlyvie
Young Maybloom
Lady Evelyn

One of the most successful and popular premium horses of his time in Scotland, Benedictine sired seven Cawdor Cup winning daughters. Many other daughters numbered among the great brood mares of their time, as did daughters of several of his sons.

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