2015 CALGARY STAMPEDE HEAVY HORSE SHOW
When the Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch won the World Six Horse Hitch Championship at the 2015 Calgary Stampede, the crowd gathered in the Saddledome roared its approval. Fielded by Kirk Messenger of Cheyenne, Wyoming, his Percheron turnout topped eleven hitches (Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire) from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. Brian Coleman of Didsbury, Alberta, had the lines in hand. These colourful turnouts performed the first Friday and Saturday evening and first Sunday morning, in the Saddledome, to the Western music offered by members of Calgary’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Raised at Hinton, the conductor, Adam Johnson, is the Orchestra’s first Alberta-born maestro. A marriage of the arts and agriculture, this year’s powerful performance brought the full house to its feet. The ovation offered was boisterous!
Clydesdale breeders fielded the largest breed entry. Danny, the Supreme Champion Clydesdale was the Grand Champion Gelding. Exhibited by Bob Funk, Express Clydesdales of Yukon, Oklahoma, he defeated Amethyst Hayden, the Grand Champion Stallion, shown by the Cey Family of Scott, Saskatchewan and Willow Way Nappa, the Grand Champion Mare, shown by Allan & Wes Gordeyko of Ohaton, Alberta. When the show concluded Danny was this year’s Best of Show, capturing the $500 purse John & Lois Walker of Calgary, Alberta, offer in memory of the late Jim McPeak.
Schumacher’s Harmony was Grand Champion Percheron Mare. Exhibited by Gary Young, Young Living Percherons of Mona, Utah, she topped the Grand Champion Percheron Stallion, Vintage Od’ice, shown by Garth Klein of Rock Creek, British Columbia and Ace, the Grand Champion Percheron Gelding Jeff Berger, Black Gold Percherons of Williston, North Dakota, fielded, to become the Supreme Champion Percheron. Ace, the 3-year-old Percheron gelding had been purchased for $30,000 at the 2015 Mid-America Draft Horse Sale, Gifford, Illinois.
The Supreme Champion Belgian was Mundie’s Royce, the Grand Champion Belgian Stallion. He was fielded by Drew Mundie of Innisfail, Alberta; while Duhaime’s Carys was the Grand Champion Belgian Mare. She was shown by Duhaime’s Belgians of Payton, Saskatchewan. Prinsview Doc, shown by Bill Prins, Prinsview Belgians of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, was Grand Champion Belgian Gelding.
The Supreme Champion Shire, Gladwin Jane, was Grand Champion Mare. This bay, 2-year-old shown by Gordon & Fay Campbell, Riverside Clydesdales of Fawcett, Alberta, was bred by Keith Gibson of Dapp, Alberta. Howell Brothers Opie exhibited by Arlin Wareing, Wareing Shires of Blackfoot , Idaho, was Grand Champion Stallion; while Gentle Giant Rolex, a black 2-year-old, shown by Blake & Fran Anderson, Gentle Giant Shires of Didsbury, Alberta, was Grand Champion Gelding.
Jeff Berger, Black Gold Percherons of Williston, North Dakota, won the George Church Memorial Trophy for the Champion Team. His turnout was was wheeled by Gord Ruzicka of Viking, Alberta. The Golden Fork was lifted by Jim Lane and Family, Lone Oak Percherons of Birtle, Manitoba; while Halley Ruzicka of Viking, Alberta, won the hotly contested Youth Aggregate Trophy.