Horse Community Heroes: Dan Wilson

canadian horse mare and foal, official horse of canada, Woodmont Farm Canadian Horses, Dan Wilson breeder

Champion of the Canadian Horse Retires at 87 years of age.

By David N. Nettleship

Dantan “Dan” Wilson was born in Valleyfield, Quebec in 1936, and was introduced to the Canadian Horse at Rockburn Farm as a youngster. His father spoke highly of the intelligence of the breed, and his mother drove a Canadian Horse and buggy to her teaching job in Havlock through the 1930s and beyond. Little did they know that their little boy would grow up to become a world-renowned breeder of the Canadian Horse and succeed in getting the breed designated by the Canadian Government on April 30, 2002 (Bill S-22) as the “National Horse of Canada.”

Dan Wilson of Woodmont Farms

Dan Wilson

Dan established Woodmont Farm in Huntington in 1956, and was registered with the Canadian Livestock Records Corporation (CLRC) in 1957. He developed his skills first as a successful cattle breeder and then became captivated by the beauty and athletic qualities of the Canadian Horse, and its quiet and willing nature. Through the early 1960s his focus changed from Angus cattle to the Canadian Horse, a breed that he felt could easily become an iconic symbol to represent Canada on the world stage due to its incredibly rich history and cultural French-English heritage dating back to the mid-17th century. Once this switch in direction was made, Dan quickly moved to construct a breeding program that gave him breeding stock unlike any other Canadian Horse breeder. When his herd reached a certain threshold, Dan felt the time had come to move to greener pastures and he selected Vancouver Island, BC, as the place to be. 

In 1967, to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary, he purchased a 100-acre property in Ladysmith, south of Nanaimo, and moved Woodmont Farm and the horses across the country. Once settled in, he spent the next five decades furthering the development and interests of Canada’s National Horse.

Related: Eagle Feather Riding

After 40-plus years of careful selective breeding, Dan has developed a championship Canadian Horse bloodline. His production of outstanding stallions and mares ranks extremely high among Canadian Horse breeders, and includes Xpression, a top Canadian stallion that has recently produced Cameo, a super Canadian mare, and Yargo, a top Canadian gelding. Over decades of hard work and careful analysis, Dan has shown that Canadians can excel in any discipline, from competitive trail riding to dressage. 


Woodmont Farm Canadian Horses, Dan Wilson breeder

Woodmont Farm, Ladysmith, BC.

Now, at 87 years of age, Dan has decided to retire and look back on his many accomplishments with Canada’s National Horse. We celebrate the retirement of a master breeder of the Canadian Horse who has spent a lifetime ensuring the survival of the breed and its exceptional bloodline. 

Congratulations, Dan, on your well-deserved retirement, and BRAVO on your unique and outstanding contribution to the protection and conservation of the Canadian Horse!

Related: Breed Profile - The Canadian Horse

Related: Bill desBarres: A Lifetime in the Service of the Horse

Main Photo: Cameo and her 2018 colt, Woodmont Triton Futuro.