Six Decades of Stampeding – Bruce Roy
This July, at the 2019 Calgary Stampede, Bruce Roy of Cremona, Alberta, was honored for his 60 years of volunteering with the Stampede's Heavy Horse Committee. Prior to his becoming a volunteer, Bruce was a Percheron exhibitor at the venue, he served as Secretary of the Canadian Percheron Association and he published Feather & Fetlock for 11 years. He's attended every Stampede since he was a kid in the 1940s. Though his influence is evident throughout the heavy horse show, his primary role as a volunteer today is announcing the halter and hitch competitions.
We're glad to see credit bestowed where it's deserved. We also wanted to provide our own tribute (of sorts), so we harnessed Bruce with a few questions.
2019 Horse Progress Days
During the past quarter century, Horse Progress Days (HPD) has been held in Illinois, its westernmost location, three previous times (2002, 2007 and 2013). Each of these times it was hosted on the Vernon J. Yoder farm, north of Arcola. In keeping with the event's six-year rotation, 2019 marked the return to the area, but this time, the venue was moved to the Arthur Sale Barn–new facility, new challenges and a few new faces.
On Sunday, June 30–four days prior to the event–straight-line winds ripped down three of the four tents that had been erected at that point. The largest one, 60' x 220', was completely destroyed. In terms of morale, this would have been devastating to many, but we're talking about the HPD committee. By Tuesday afternoon, they had patched up those tents ...
See full coverage in the Autumn 2019 issue!
Advancing The Breed Registries Through Technology!
Two of America's breed registries recently made significant investments in the future by way of new technologies. We've asked the two people most knowledgeable about these developments to explain.
Jenna Hovermale, Chief Operating Officer, Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America.
The Belgian industry has remained strong over the past few years. The Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America (BDHCA) has seen a steady increase in our registrations, transfers and memberships during these fruitful years. The Board of Directors has taken the opportunity to use the increase in revenue to prepare for the long-term future and any possible changes to the market, as well as invest in our registry. In June we debuted an upgraded registry to our membership and to the public.
Stacie Lynch, Executive Director, Percheron Horse Association of America
Technology! Technology refers to methods, systems and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes. I always say, “Technology is great … when it works!” Technology needs to be maintained to ensure it has been a worthy investment.
While serving on the Board of the Percheron Horse Association of America (PHAoA), it became evident, due to my background in information systems and technology, we were in need of new registry software.
Read about the advancements these two breeds made on page 29 of the Autumn 2019 DHJ!
The Annual Death Valley '49ers Encampment
Each year in the Death Valley National Park, Xanterra Resorts (owner of the Furnace Creek Ranch Resort, recently renamed, The Ranch at Death Valley) kicks off the "nice" season in the desert by hosting the Death Valley '49ers Encampment. The event is always held the first full week in November, when the temperatures hover around a pleasant 80 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night–in an environment which regularly reaches a furnace 120 degrees during summer.
The annual Encampment began in 1949, marking the 100th anniversary of the experience of a group of '49er California gold seekers as they passed through this valley. The event is a week-long celebration that commemorates those early pioneers that gave the valley its name.
America's Percheron Centurions
If you've never met a Honsberger, you must be new to the Percheron breed, for this American family has bred and shown Percheron horses successfully for four generations.
John Albert (J.A.) Honsberger, the family's patriarch, was born September 28, 1888. He married Bessie Lundy and they became the parents of seven children: Burton, born in 1904; Clyde in 1906; Ralph in 1910; Paul in 1912; Albert in 1917; Cleo in 1921; and Raymond in 1923.
Read the full story in the Summer 2019 issue!
The Sale Results are In!
Trepidation concerning the horse market can now be put to rest. The sales in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Gifford, Illinois, have confirmed that demand remains high, supply remains low and prices remain strong.
Since Gordyville has a reputation for records, let's start with them. The overall average, which is arguabley the most important stat, was $10,121 on 231 head of horses. That topped last year's average, which, in turn, topped the average from 2017.
See reults in the Summer 2019 issue starting on age 113!
Pictured is 2019 Mid-America Sale topper, Thunder Hill Knight Ryder.
History of Draft Horses
The Industrial Revolution proved to be responsible for both the rise and collapse of the heavy horse in America. Demand for draft animals was spurred on by the growing transportation, construction and agricultural needs of the nation. The last half of the 19th century made draft horse breeding both essential and profitable. Massive importations from Europe took place. The period also ushered in the development of the present day breeds of heavy horses. The number of horses and mules in The United States peaked in 1920, at about 26 million. The groundwork for today’s agriculture had been laid.
The horse lost the battle of the streets to the automotive industry rather quickly. As for the battle of the agricultural fields, it fought very tenaciously, but eventually yielded in most cases to greatly improved tractor power. By 1950, it was indeed, on thin ice... Read more
History of The Draft Horse Journal
The post WW II years were not kind to the draft horse and mule. Both horse numbers and horse use plummeted. The number of animals being exhibited dwindled and many shows dropped heavy horses altogether. The industry needed a boost and it got one when the first issue of The Draft Horse Journal was published in May 1964. New interest was stimulated and the heavy horse has since made a convincing resurgence. From the 28 pages in the first issue to over 300 in recent ones, The Journal has grown, evolved and progressed right along with the draft horse trade.
In addition to the magazine’s traditional content, covering breeding, raising, showing, selling and using all breeds of heavy horses, the modern version includes veterinary advice from “America’s Draft Horse Vet,” Dr. A.J. Neumann; historical accounts by the publication’s founder, Maurice Telleen; legal advice from Ken Sandoe;... Read more
Draft Horse and Mule Youth & Beginners Manual
"This is the first bulletin prepared by the DRAFT HORSE & MULE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA which was incorporated in the state of Illinois in October of 1980. It contains information that should prove valuable to the new or beginning draft horse and mule owner, whether he or she be a youth or an adult.
"Several men with many years of experience have given generously of their time to help prepare this bulletin. We do not claim that it is without error, we only hope to give you some information that will make it more interesting and hopefully contribute to your success, as you begin working with man's most noble helper–the draft horse and mule." Click here to download
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity: the Draft Horse Journal’s fiftieth year in publication: to acknowledge and bestow gratitude upon, not only the founders of this fine magazine, but the current editor and his team who relentlessly strive to unify our industry through their quality quarterly publication.
The draft horse industry is not a product-driven industry. We do not yield an item that humans willingly wish to consume; like milk, meat, feathers or fur. Except for a rare sliver of history, when naturally-synthesized premarin was of value, the draft horse has contributed little in the last 75 years... Read more