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Article of Benedictine in Draft Horse JournalBenedictine (21836) was a bay Clydesdale stallion with picture perfect markings foaled in June 20 1929. He was bred by John P Meikle, Pilmuir, Lauder Berwickshire Benedictine and as a foal he was purchased by Thomas & Matthew Templeton, Sandyknowe Farm, Kelso, Roxburghshire where he spent the rest of his life.

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.

Benedictine never really shined in the show ring like some breed sires did, but he managed to lift a fair number of honours in his time.

When viewed standing there were few Clydesdale stallions more impressive. Benedictine had all the size and scale that one could desire. He was a beautifully balanced horse that 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. Benedictines head was carried high on a neck of good length. His tight back, strong loin and muscled hindquarters catched a horsemans eye. Although an upstanding stallion Benedictine had a good spring of rib. Benedictine's bone was wide and flat. An abundance of silky hair furnished his legs and feet. He was especially known to pass on his great bones and feet to his offspring.

Benedictine was a most successful sire, especially of female stock. Seven of his daughters lifted the Cawdor Cup offered for females shown in Scotland. They were:

  • Dees Rosetta (Cawdor Cup 1936)
  • Dees May (Cawdor Cup 1937)
  • Gleneagles Myrene (Cawdor Cup 1939)
  • Gleneagles Helena (Cawdor Cup 1945)
  • Littleinch Morag (Cawdor Cup 1946)
  • Gleneagles Hilda (Cawdor Cup 1949)
  • Dockenflat Linda (Cawdor Cup 1954)

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.

While no son of Benedictine captured a Cawdor Cup, they where impressive stallions, popular in breed circles. Like their sire, their best offspring, with a few exceptions, were females. Sandyknowe Ideal was Benedictines foremost son. One of the first colts sired by Benedictine, Sandyknowe Ideal had an advantage of many of his paternal brothers. He achieved the height of his breeding career while the demand for draft horses was strong. Cowden Primula was the only filly Sandyknowe Ideal sired to capture the Cawdor Cup in 1948.

Benedictine also had many grandsons and granddaughters who made quite an impression on the breed and won Cawdor Cups. One was Dunsyre Footprint (24610) who was out of Harden Benedicta, a Benedictine daughter. Dunsyre Footprint lifted the Cawdor Cup in 1952 and four of his offspring did the same.

Benedictine died on Christmas eve in 1952, nearly 24 years old. He enjoyed splendid health throughout his life, never had a days illness, until three days before his death.

*(Benedictine (21836) should not be confused with a Canadian-bred stallion of the same name (30756)).

*(This is a short summary from an 8 page article by Bruce A Roy in Draft Horse Journal winter issue 2007-2008. Read the full article HERE or visit www.drafthorsejournal.com to buy the back issue of the magazine with the full article.)
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