By Bruce Roy

Horses bred in Western Canadian made it three on the trot at the 2011 World Clydesdale Show. They lifted all three world championships, in a coup without precedent in the breed's colourful history, for more than 600 head of Clydesdale horses from Canada and the United States vied for these honours. Breed enthusiasts from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand joined those from across America and Canada ringside. The spectacular breed show, held at Madison, Wisconsin, October 20 - 23, attracted horses, horsemen and spectators in record number.

The Supreme Champion Clydesdale was Donegal Mr. Pepper, the Grand Champion Stallion. Shown by Bob & Laura Gookin of Boulevard, California, he was purchased a year ago from Gregg Gallagher of Canora, Saskatchewan, his breeder. A big, black horse, impressive in front, he made a powerful impression, for few horses, whatever their breed, can flash their steel shod bottoms as he can. A superb athlete, turned out in tremendous bloom, his sire was bred by Gallagher, as were the first three mares in his pedigree's distaff. He topped the massive breed entry to the ringing cheers of Clydesdale enthusiasts from around the world. 

Willow Way Jolie, a bay filly, bred and owned by Wes Gordeyko of Ohaton, Alberta, was Grand Champion Mare. Before advancing to these honours, she topped a class of thirty-three 2-year-old fillies. Near perfect in design, she was shown in great hair.  Not one hair on her well furnished feet and legs was broken. A big filly, beautifully turned over her top, sweet about her head and neck, she travels true, flexing her knees and hocks. Willow Way Chanel, the home-bred dam of Willow Way Jolie, was Reserve Grand Champion Mare at the 2005 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The Grand Champion Gelding was bred by Gordon Reinhardt of Didsbury, Alberta. Sadly, Reinhardt passed away in July. How proud, how very proud he would have been, had he lived to see his home-bred grade gelding top the exciting field of registered and grade geldings shown at Madison. Darryl Cobbs & Family of Huntington, Indiana, drive the handsome, Reinhardt gelding in their champion Six Horse Hitch of black Clydesdale geldings.

W.V. Greendykes Charismatic Finale, an American-bred female was the Reserve Grand Champion Mare for Reg & Carol Madsen of Hamiota, Manitoba; while the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding, Boulder Bluff Lynne, now owned in America, was bred by Calvin & Jane Martin of Strathclair, Manitoba.

Delvin Szumutka of Stockholm, Saskatchewan, suffered a heart attack, while preparing his 3-year-old gelding his class. Fellow exhibitors rallied, to ensure his horse was shown, for Szumutka was rushed to a nearby hospital by ambulance. This Saskatchewan breeder owes his life to the medical care received. His gelding, Crack A Dawn's Red Rock, bred by Calvin Mason of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, won his class of twenty-four!

There was a bouyant private trade for Clydesdales in the barns stabling the massive entry. Handsome five figure offers were reported by breeders, for international buyer interest was without precedent. 


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