Originally the show was hosted and funded entirely by the City Council, who at that time had many Clydesdales still working in Aberdeen as draught horses. It is a very well-known event in the annual Clydesdale Showing Calendar and was a highlight in the City Council working year, to show their working horses off to the public. In addition, it provided an opportunity just like all other shows in Scotland, for other breeders and owners to come to Aberdeen and take part in the traditional in-hand and harness classes. Of course such a large gathering of Clydesdales in the one place, provided those spectating with a fantastic opportunity to get up close to these amazing animals.
Aberdeen has previously boasted entry numbers in Scotland second only to The Royal Highland Show, and is considered the largest gathering of heavy horses in the North East. In more recent years the popularity of the Clydesdale as a ridden horse across all equine disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, side saddle and cross country has increased. The numbers of these big horses now competing and qualifying for major events, such as Blair Horse Trials and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has rocketed, and shows us just how versatile a breed it is. Traditional heavy horse shows were then modernised in line with this popularity as a riding horse, and a class for ridden Clydesdales was added to the schedule.
Within the last decade or so, the ownership of the show transferred to a group of local Clydesdale enthusiasts when the City Council decided to step down from organising the event. A committee was formed and the organising and running of the annual event became their responsibility. For several years thereafter the City Council actively sponsored a proportion of the running costs, leaving the Committee to make up the shortfall through sponsorship and donations. The City Council no longer donate any money towards the show but provide the venue at Duthie Park, free of charge. The City of Aberdeen Clydesdale Horse Show is very grateful to all those who volunteer to serve on the Committee, and all those who sponsor it.
Without the generosity of these people it would cease to exist. Our Main Sponsor, Malcom Allan House Builder, has been a huge supporter over the years and the show is indebted to him for his enthusiasm for the Clydesdale horse. Only by promoting the breed and its versatility at shows like this, as a ridden horse as well as a draught animal, and encouraging people to get involved, will we continue to keep the breed going.