600 Clydesdales From Across America Display Horsepower At World Clydesdale Show This Weekend

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  “Angel “and “Missy” prepare for World Class Show
with Ken and Sonja Airgood

In an American first, the annual world showcase event for Clydesdale horses — the big, stylish breed of draft-style animals made famous by the Budweiser hitch — will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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“Jake” of the Budweiser Team
gets beauty treatment.

Organizers said they would have felt the show was an unqualified success with 500 horses. Well over 600 stallions, mares and geldings of all ages and from all across North America have registered to be shown in a variety of classes.

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“Flower Girl” and “Penny” arrive from Alberta, Canada
with owner, Allen Gordeyko.

“It’s really a terrific opportunity to have a show of this quality here,” said Ken Airgood of rural Marshall. He and his wife, Sonja, have been breeding and raising Clydesdales for almost 10 years

Classes at the show will range from halter classes, which are like beauty pageants, to pleasure riding classes to genuinely exciting driving classes where elegant rigs pulled by the powerful animals compete against each other.

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The carriages and wagons are powered by as many as six of the huge, high-stepping horses harnessed together, driven by expert drivers who handle up to 40 pounds of reins.

There’s little room for error, and drivers need to be strong, capable and confident to handle horses that average about a ton each.

As they wait for the shiny show harnesses to be carefully attached to the cart, carriage or wagon they will be pulling, the towering horses fairly dance with excitement, eager to be off.

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“The breed has a reputation for being tractable. They are bigger than the light horse breeds, of course, but you handle and train them the same way you’d train any other breed, with consistency, discipline, rewards and praise.  It’s important, though, not to be intimidated,” Airgood said.

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“The draft horse people are so welcoming and really helpful as you begin to learn about the horses,” he said.

“If you are at a show, and you have something break on a harness, for example, three guys will trip over themselves to help you get it fixed or replaced, and these are the same people you’ll be competing against in the next class.

It’s a great community.”

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Airgood believes the popularity of all the draft breeds is increasing.

While there are several other popular draft breeds of horses, including Belgians, Percherons and Shires, the Clydesdales are undoubtedly the best-known heavy horse breed, thanks to the buzz surrounding the Budweiser hitches.

“They have really made the Clydesdales, which originated in Scotland, instantly recognizable.”

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Ken and his wife have always loved the Clydesdales’ appearance.

“They’re just classy-looking to me. They have so much presence and personality,” he said.

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fabulous! I would love to be able to attend that. Love the drafts.

  2. Hi “I Gallop On”

    Would be so easy to become a draft groupie!

  3. I love the picture of Jake and the horse that is galloping. I agree with Ken that Clysdales are classy-looking. They really are.

  4. That is exactly the photo I love. Can sure see the connection between those two!

  5. Hi Folks! I will be posting photos from the World Clydesdale Show very soon! I took photos for the folks that ran the show, and have some beautiful ones! Check to see if you are there! It was a wonderful show. Beautiful memories for all that attended. Thank you everyone.

  6. Sorry.. the website did not show up! it is
    http://www.carboncopyphotos.com

  7. I have anxiously been awaiting the photos from the World Clydesdale Show. Any chance they are going to be posted any time soon? You are the only hope as it seems no one else took the time or made the effort to photograph the event. Thank you for whatever you can do…

  8. Hi Clay,
    http://www.carboncopyphotos.com/ has photos posted on her site. Some great pictures!

    Hope to also find candid photos.

  9. Awesome photos. I am in a unit in the army. We are engineers and have adopted the clydsdale as our mascot..to take w/ us to iraq(not a real one).Was wondering if we could us one of your photos to draw out for our dozer blade and if you have any more photos of the clydsdale running or jumping… thank you Sgt Lopez

    ~~
    You have selected a wonderful horse as your Mascot! I’m sure any photographer would be very willing for you to use their photos of Clydesdales.

  10. I love your pictures of Shires. I hope to have one some day. I’d name her Rosie.

  11. wow!!!!! beautyfull animal….gorgeoushow much do they cost?

  12. MY HAT IS OFF TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT TAKE CARE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS.
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  13. HEY YALL!!! OH MY GOSH!!!! THESE HORSES ARE ONE OF MY FAVORITE HORSES YET. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED TO WATCH THESE HORSES EVERYWHERE I EVEN WAN ONE OF MY OWN EVENTUALLY.

  14. hi your pictures are amazing!!
    i train clydesdales at home in Scotland,i love every minute of working with these animals .It sound fantastic to be in a show with over 600 of these ,we only have a couple of hundred at each show the biggest is Royal Highland Show

    keep up the work


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