There is growing excitement in Clydesdale circles around the world, this with good reason. American breeders have a World Clydesdale Show at Madison, Wisconsin, planned for 2007. There is reason to celebrate, for it has been years since a world show was last held.
While it is early, I know this World Clydesdale Show will attract visitors from around the Clydesdale world. Already horsemen from the British Isles, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have signaled their intention to attend. Their presence will swell the ranks of American horsemen, who have every reason to look forward to this event. While the cost of transport is escalating, I hope the better horses bred in Canada and Great Britain will challenge those bred in America. This will make the signal event truly international in scope.
To have a World Clydesdale Show that is credible, respected Clydesdale men/women must judge the Clydesdale horses shown. These must be horsemen who have experience, horsemen who have no vested interest in the show, and horsemen who have no personal agenda. To find such individuals will be difficult. However, I suggest horsemen the likes of Dennis Gordeyko of Canada or John McMillan of Scotland, be employed to place the breeding classification; while horsemen the likes of Jim Westbrook of America or Paul Bedford of England, be employed to place the performance classification. Men and women such as these have background, expertise and respect, but no immediate link to the horses, breeders, importers or exhibitors, which one would expect to field entries in each classification. They also reflect the international character of this event.
The forthcoming World Clydesdale Show will be a success. The men and women on the World Clydesdale Show Committee will ensure this. However, do offer your assistance. This must be the first in a series of World Clydesdale Shows, spaced to keep the magic alive and international interest focused. The purpose of such an event is to showcase seedstock to the domestic and international market and to capture new breed enthusiasts both at home and abroad. If such events are held too often, they lose character. When this happens, they become but one more breed show. If held too far apart, the momentum a breed generates is lost.
I truly hope that a World Clydesdale Show is held every four years. A different venue should be selected on each occasion. If possible, it is important each venue is located in a different nation where Clydesdales are bred. This will fuel breeder enthusiasm, preclude breeder burnout and offer breeders new insights. It is important a World Show is educational and that a World Show facilitates new contacts. At least this is how I see it.