Horse Industry

Few equestrian sports fuel as much drama and controversy as the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede, and this year was no exception. During the GMC Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon Races, which ran in nine heats of four chuckwagons per heat each night from July 5 to 14, 2019, six horses died and several were injured over the ten days of racing that sparked critical and heated backlash from the public.

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He stood there. Distant. Detached. From the centre of the ring, his blue eyes cruised the riders in the equitation hunter class as he called for them to change gait. Yesterday, I would have assessed the gaze of this horse show judge as critically observant of the skills and presentation of the riders.

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This article shares the careers and stories of extraordinary horse industry builders who blazed new trails and took Canada’s equine industry to new heights, while at the same time motivating and inspiring the next generation of equestrians. Driving the growth and success of Canada’s horse industry are thousands of people who demonstrate an amazing level of skill, talent, dedication, diversity, and vision. This feature profiles just a few of these luminary individuals who have helped place Canada among the very best of the world’s equestrian nations.

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It’s a familiar story. A horse-crazy child gets her first pony. She takes riding lessons, excels at local shows, finds the discipline of her dreams, and goes on to compete at Regionals. Then she gets her off-the-track Thoroughbred and continues with lessons and clinics while she trains her gelding, hoping to earn a place on the provincial team and eventually compete at Nationals. But along comes high school graduation, university, career choices.

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In 2015, Jessica McNutt, who lives with her family in Truro, Nova Scotia and competes in hunter classes at the amateur level, was approached by Dalhousie University Agriculture Campus to provide volunteer coaching for their equestrian team as their (then) current instructor was no longer available. The school did not want to lose the program and, as a Dalhousie alumnus, McNutt was eager to offer her assistance. She had attended the university for six years, then returned as a distance student to obtain her Masters in Social Work in 2017.

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If building a barn is on your horizon, the first step is to make your wish list. Whether it’s a perfect four-stall barn with walk-out paddocks, or a large training and boarding facility, your dream barn will be a major construction project that should create a safe and comfortable home for your horses and their people, both at work and at play.

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The landscape of the horse world is continually changing. And changing along with it are the options available when it comes to shopping for our equine needs. In this digital era, we have access to many thousands of products and services through our computers, phones, and tablets. The internet has opened doors to tack shops worldwide. Although you might already consider yourself to be an expert online shopper, we have gathered some advice and tips to help you make every online shopping purchase a positive one.