Five Percheron breeders and trainers from Manitoba brought home ribbons and a championship or two from a cream of the crop competition at the 17th World Percheron Congress in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 8-13.
From Virden, Darci and Sherry Strain, sons Ethan and Matthew and trainer Rob Gardiner loaded their best Percheron mares and headed south. Their big news was two championships for Ethan and Matthew.
Ethan drove to the World Championship in the Registered Percheron Mare Men’s Cart class.
“I drove the mare that we call Rhonda (real name Des Chutes Lyn),” said Ethan. “It was a pretty cool thing to be able to come home with that Championship.”
Big isn’t always better. “She’s a small mare that drives about three times bigger than she actually is. She’s animated, a beautiful moving mare that’s very smooth and elegant.”
“Rob (Gardiner) does a very good job in getting them going the right way. She had quite a bit of work to be done with her before she was ready.”
But that’s not all.
“My brother Matthew was the World Champion Youth Judge. It shows a lot about his knowledge of horses,” said Strain.
Elkhorn’s Gordon and Ross Joseph - Elkview Percherons - showed on the halter, placing in every class. Gordon’s son, 15-year-old Colby, helped out as well.
Elkview Phoenix, a registered two-year-old gelding stood third in his class.
Their yearling stud colt placed sixth, in the middle of the class.
In her debut show their junior filly placed ninth.
Josephs were pleased with their results from these large classes. “The horses we showed were all off home-bred stallions and mares. We were pretty happy about that too,” said Gordon.
Jim Lane of Birtle took nine head. Lone Oak Vegas placed third in a stallion class.
Lone Oak Carmen placed fifth overall in the two-year-old futurity class on the rail.
Lane’s 14-year-old granddaughter Robin Collier (parents Tina and David Collier) placed third in showmanship and fourth in her cart class.
Courtney Collier, 21, drove in the Ladies Cart class.
Lone Oak placed sixth in the Unicorn class and eighth in the four-horse hitch; 11th overall in the six-horse after three go rounds with three different judges.
Kent and Marnie Anderson and sons Owen and Tanner took seven geldings and one mare. Kent Anderson has Virden roots as the son of Vern and Anne Anderson.
Their stable, Charleswood Percherons of Pilot Mound competed in the gelding hitch, cart and halter classes, as well as youth classes.
Marnie Anderson said, “Our highlight was showing our home-raised gelding Charleswood Eli, who placed second in the Registered Gelding class and sixth in a huge men’s cart class. This same horse was the Supreme Champion Percheron in Manitoba this past summer.”
Owen Anderson competed in five Youth -14 classes placing: Jr. team-2nd, Jr. Halter-3rd, Jr. Judging-4th, Jr. Decorating-5th, Jr. Cart-6th.
Kent said it was exciting to do so well. They competed against a $40,000 horse in the Gelding Halter class, coming in second with their own bred and raised gelding.
With Owen doing well in the youth, it’s a family affair. “If the kids don’t enjoy it, why would we do it?” says Anderson.
Spud and Sharon Strain’s Silver Hills/Lightning Strike Percherons from Boissevain took home some ribbons. Son Dillon at 22 captured a second in cart class and a fourth place ribbon in halter.
In Youth driving Maddy Strain stood second in a class of 18. She barrel raced to 10th place in the Championship Round with a horse called Pennwoods Jetavana.
Maddy rode in 15-18 English Pleasure class, also receiving placings in decorating and showmanship classes.