By 1961 four purebred registered Cleveland Bay stallions remained on British soil. The other stallions had been sold, shipped abroad, gelded or at their end of days and usefulness they were finished off at slaughter houses. The Cleveland Bay, a British breed a gasp away from extinction, due to two World Wars, the railroad and the mechanization of agriculture in the British Isles almost vanished. The docile, strong and versatile breed stemming from Chapman stock crossed with Andalusion and Arab blood during the Middle Ages, could pull artillery or plough all day, foxhunt, steeplechase and then managed to pull the family carriage with grace. The once numerous Cleveland Bay horses lost against changing conditions over the previous forty-eight years in Great Britain. The pressures on the breed were too great. The wars killed millions of them and progress eliminated the remainder. Their accelerated decimation was astonishing. Breed extinction is a great loss, in the case of the Cleveland Bay, a tragedy. A horse by the name of Mulgrave Supreme was one of those four remaining stallions in the British Cleveland Bay Horse Society registry in the early 1960’s.
Hamlet of Dalehouse, U.K.
Gerald Mulgrave wrestled with a nasty choice. He dunked his head under the tap to try and dull his throbbing headache. He could sell the colt to secure his farm or sell the farm to secure the horse and pray he didn’t colic, develop laminitis or go through a fence and meet a truck on his way out. Lightning hit horses with great frequency in the country. Early in the 1960’s, Britain had troubles with Yemen, decided to invade Egypt over the Suez Canal with some help from France and had many other internal problems. The world Gerald lived in was uncertain. Being the third generation Mulgrave on the farm it was his duty to keep it for the fourth.
Mulgrave Supreme was foaled in 1961 about four a.m. on a dark, cold morning. Hiw dam nosed him, nudged him and nickered to him. The foal got his legs organized, staggered to his feet then found his mother’s udder. He was an hour old when he pulled at her and tasted her warm milk for the first time. By Cholderton Minstral out of Mulgrave Rose he had a grand pedigree. Four and five generations back he had double Cholderton and Mulgrave lines top and bottom. His impeccable breeding gave him the bone, the height, the muscle, the breed type and temperament. Mulgrave Supreme had the best of the Cleveland Bay. And he had to go. Gerald doused his head again. The headache wasn’t going away.
The phone rang, its shrill bells amplified by the throbbing in Gerald's head.
"Hello. 6810." Gerald said, confirming his number to the caller.
"Uh, yes. What is it?"
"I understand you are the owner of a horse farm?"
"Well, yes, I suppose you could--"
"I have a business proposition for you..."
And so began the successful launch of McDonald's into Britain.
Opening: Wilkins McQueen.....Continuation: anon.