While working horses is our speciality we take the horses out in public to attend A&P shows, Field Days, Ploughing competitions and Parades. Despite the logistics of transporting horses and gear out of Erewhon it is well worth the effort to help keep alive the Clydesdale traditions. Keeping them in the public eye and inspiring new enthusiasts ensures the breeds future. The smile that comes over people’s faces when they see the Clydesdales makes it all worthwhile.
At the shows we compete in breed classes where conformation & breed character is assessed. Ridden classes are a great display of how impressive a well-bred & trained Clydie can be to ride. The traditional working classes replicate what horses did in the old days including; sledge, singles, pairs, wagon and log skid.
Our truck carries ten Clydesdales comfortably and we tow a trailer behind with wagons, harness, feed etc. for each event. The white flying feathers stay pretty clean with the rivers here at Erewhon. However, the minute we put them on the truck & take them down the dusty road they are filthy again. Therefore once at the show we hot wash & shampoo the horses with our steam cleaner. This magnificent machine makes cleaning so many big horses a breeze. The feathers themselves get a special purple shampoo wash to make them extra sparkly white.
The team has special show harness including the impressive scotch collars with their high peaks. There is plenty of ‘bling’ and sparkly bits on this harness and it is only used for special occasions. The rest of the time it is kept clean in a dry room with covers on to protect the valuable parts. The horses get their manes & tails plaited to show off their features and we use stools to get up high on their manes.
Our biggest show for the year is the Canterbury A & P show held in Spring and we usually take about 15 horses to this show including young stock. With 2011 being the NZ Clydesdale Centenary year we made an extra effort and used the 8 horse team to pull our vintage wagon laden with Erewhon wool. Many other Clydesdale enthusiasts paraded their horses & equipment which made for a very impressive display. During centenary week our Eight Horse team participated in a street parade through Dunedin and a photo-shoot at Larnach’s Castle with other teams from around NZ. This made prime-time news and was great publicity for the breed.
Pictures tell a thousand words so check out our Showtime Album: