Return Of The Draft Horse: 2018 Minnesota Draft Horse Expo
Three years after the success of their first show in 2015, the Northern Minnesota Draft Horse Association and the Minnesota Horse Breeders Association, joined by the North Star Draft Horse Association, marshaled their forces once more to bring big horses and a variety of horse-drawn equipment to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the 2018 Horse Expo. All four of their presentations were standing room only at the Ag Star Arena.
Working equines are actually latecomers to the Horse Expo, which was born in 1982 as the brainchild of the Minnesota Horse Council. Founded in 1935, the Council's mission is to champion the state's horse industry. Its members conceived of the Expo as a way to bring horse, mule and donkey aficionados together with breeders, trainers and purveyors of every conceivable kind of horse equipment, all in one place–a veritable orgy of “equinimity,” if you will.
The 2018 World Percheron Congress
Turning east from the main entrance of the Iowa State Fairgrounds on the Sunday morning after the World Percheron Congress USA was a bittersweet moment. In front of me was a towering 18-wheel semi-tractor trailer loaded with horses heading for home. For an instant, I wanted to follow them, hoping for one more glance at these magnificent animals in action. One week was not enough time visiting hundreds of Percherons in the barns and watching them move from one venue to another for the various competitions.
Read all about it in the Winter issue!
The 2018 World Clydesdale Show
The 2018 World Clydesdale Show at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, drew conspicuously large crowds! Spectators had an opportunity to witness firsthand the versatility of the most famous breed in the equine industry compete in classes that have never before been offered in a world show ... and a lot that have been. As enthusiasts walked into Pavilion 1 of the Alliant Energy Center, there were immediate choices to be made. It was not difficult because they could see live action in the pavilion and simultaneously follow the classes in the coliseum via livestream.
See full coverage in the Winter issue!
A Tip of the Hat to Reinvention
Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas
Did you know that Pie à la Mode was invented (yes, invented) in Duluth, Minnesota? Well, it was, and if that doesn't qualify the city as an interesting place, nothing will. But it is. Located on the extreme western point of Lake Superior, the greatest Great Lake (the largest freshwater lake in the world, in fact), it's where the St. Louis River empties into the lake creating a natural harbor. This was a natural transportation artery for the Sioux and Chippewa people after they were pushed east by European settlers. Explored by French trader Pierre Esprit Radisson in 1659 for the purpose of expanding the fur trade, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, another Frenchman, came in 1679 to establish routes for the trade. In 1856, the city was named "Duluth" after him.
2018 Horse Progress Days – 25 Years!
Clare, Michigan, had the privilege of hosting the 25th annual Horse Progress Days (HPD) on June 29 and 30, 2018. Hosts Alvin Yoder and his wife Rosie, and son Leroy and his wife Mary Ann graciously allowed their properties to be invaded by the thousands of people who showed up at the event. One of the themes that kept coming back was that this was the best organized HPDs ever. This is quite a compliment for the local planners, many of whom were not local at all, but spent hours on the road traveling to and from planning meetings from the scattered Michigan Amish communities that came together to make it work.
See full coverage in the Autumn issue!
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
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