Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category
Here’s my little gang, standing at the barn door, waiting for me to let them in for their supper. In summer, they stay outside day and night, but in winter, they enjoy the night in their comfortable stalls where they are protected from the worst winter has to offer.
Usually, when I go out to the barn to let them in as dusk falls, they are waiting for me at the door. Some nights, though, they are hanging out down the field, and I have to go fetch them. When that happens, I catch the leader of the pack and the others follow us back to the barn. Who do you think I catch?
Not Czarina. Although she is senior mare, she has not mellowed in old age. She is crotchety and defiant and not a leader of horses.
Not Diva. As junior mare, she is cowed by Czarina’s aggressive behaviour and hangs back when Czarina is about.
Not Teddy. Although Teddy loves his supper ration and is anxious to eat, he is young and frisky and not inclined to be led.
That just leaves Louis. That’s right, little Louis is the Boss. When I go out to bring the herd in, I loop my arm over Louis’s neck and he comes along sweetly. The others quickly fall into line, first Louis’s pal Teddy, and then Czarina and finally Diva, bringing up the rear. They all follow Louis’s lead and march quietly into their own stalls for supper.
Posted in Horses, Local, tagged 48th highlanders, butter sculpture, coach and four, giant pumpkin, lit dressage quadrille, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, The Royal, The Royal horse show, Toronto events on November 29, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Here I am, posing with the Great Pumpkin at The Royal. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, that is. Now in its 90th year, every November The Royal brings a little bit of the country to the city of Toronto. I first attended the fair many years ago with my parents. Tickets to see the horse show were my birthday treat. Later, I took my own kids. And this year, my sister and I enjoyed a night out together at the fair.
The Royal is a bit more commercial, a bit less agricultural than it once was, but you can still see cattle and sheep and chickens and prize-winning pumpkins and many other great displays. This pumpkin from St. Thomas, Ontario took first place in the largest pumpkin contest, weighing in at 1414.6 pounds.
This piggy on his scooter took first prize in the butter-carving contest.
All the enteries were well-done. I particularly liked this goose.
The third place entry presented an interesting juxtaposition of babies.
After we had had a good look around the displays, we moved on to the horse show.
The horse show offers a good assortment of classes. On the night we attended, we saw the six-horse percheron class. I was pleased that a team from my region, the Wilson’s of Vankleek Hill, took second place against stiff competition.
The coach-and-four class is a spectacle you don’t have a chance to see most anywhere else.
This year, there was an exhibition by the Lit Dressage Quadrille, who performed to James Bond theme music. You can watch the whole performance, complete with music, on Youtube, linked here.
The 48th Highlanders were on hand for a brief Remembrance Day ceremony.
The highlight of the horse show evening is always the international jumping class. On the evening we attended, the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open was featured. This is a timed event in which horses must jump a challenging course of huge fences. The best combination of low faults and time secures first place. The winner was young American rider Kent Farrington and his horse Voyeur, who had one of just 5 clear rounds in the field of 18 entries, and a blazing time. As the winners, Kent and Voyeur took home $16,500. You can read more about the class here.
I forgot to take my camera. Doh! Thanks to my sister for allowing me to use her photos and sharing a fun evening with me.
Horses are social animals. They want to be with their own kind. Loners are few and far between among equines. In a pinch, they’ll make do with the company of other animals if that’s the only choice. I sometimes pass this field where a flock of sheep are joined by a single horse. He has a proprietorial aire, often standing slightly apart from his sheep, as if he were a sheep-horse keeping watch over his flock.
In another area paddock, this pretty dappled draft horse has a llama for a companion.
Right beside the Heavy Horse show ring, the Miniature Horse show was taking place. What a contrast! The four-horse hitch class attracted 3 entries. The little blacks came away with first prize.
Posted in Horses, tagged Allan Foster Belgians, Allumettes Clydesdales, Copenhagen NY, four-horse hitch, Karvelton Clydesdales, Nicol belgians, Richmond Fair, Steadholm Farm on September 19, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The six-horse hitch class was followed by the four-horse hitch class. The same 9 farms competed again, with the addition of an entry from Nicol Belgians from Copenhagen, New York.
And the winner is…the Karvelton Clydesdales of Richmond.
Posted in Horses, tagged Allan Foster Belgians, Allumettes Clydesdales, Bourbonnais Percherons, Heavy horse show, Karvelton Clydesdales, Kelly Farm, Maple Creek Belgians, Reid Acres Percherons, Richmond Fair 2012, six horse hitch, Steadholm Farm, Trout Brook Belgians, work horse, work horses on September 18, 2012 | 2 Comments »
The Richmond Fair, which took place this weekend past, is my favorite. That’s partly because there is such a great Heavy Horse show. There’s nothing like seeing all these gorgeous, huge horses, all together, and no better display than the six-horse hitch class. This year, there were 9 entries, bringing together 54 horses in the show ring. What a spectacle!
Here is a selection of photographs of the competitors. I thought that every team should be awarded first prize! Every entry represents a huge investment of hours of work, dedication, knowledge and skill, a love and passion for horses, and of course, money. The judge had the unenviable job of having to choose just one entry to pin the red ribbon on. She chose the Maple Creek Belgians, of Stittsville, Ontario. Thank you to all the competitors for a fine show.
And the winners…
It’s been a sad spring. In April, my beloved little white mare, Mousie, suddenly fell seriously ill. In spite of the best care available from a team of skilled veterinarians and an extended stay at the Université de Montréal Veterinary Faculty at St-Hyacinthe, her recovery was not to be.
Her passing leaves a ragged hole in my heart and she is sorely missed by all of us who loved her. If all horses go to heaven, then she is surely contentedly grazing now with her old friend Baybarr.
Somewhere…somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
Every morning, when I arrive at the barn, the horses and donkeys are delighted to see me. Sometimes the horses nicker, but mostly they leave the welcoming to Teddy, because, after all, how could you beat that voice! This morning, I made a little recording of his donkey hello.
Below, Teddy enjoying his breakfast with Mousie.