The Royal Horse Show Virtual Conformation Competition was a resounding success!
With over 250 international entries, our Loyal Royals were able to send photos in to be judged by top judges, Doug Cranston (Heavy Horses) and Bobbie Reber (Horses for Sport, Ponies for Sport).
Congratulations to the top three competitors in each of our three competitions! The winners will receive a coveted Royal Champion ribbon and VIP seats for opening night of the 2021 Royal Horse Show!
Royal Windsor Horse Show was first staged in 1943 to help raise funds for the War effort. It has continued to run every year since and is now the only show in the UK to host international competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving and Endurance all at the same venue! Action takes place in five different arenas, all set in the grounds of Her Majesty The Queen’s Windsor Castle, and highlights include 4* Dressage, 5* Jumping and top level driving.”
Find out more about the Royal Windsor Horse Show rwhs.co.uk
Doug Cranston, along with his wife, Joan & son, James, own and operate Cranston Farms in Ancaster, Ontario where they milk 100 head of Purebred Holsteins and market 35 acres of sweet corn at their farm market each summer.
Doug has always had a passion for Clydesdales which started as a boy with his Grandpa. In 1996, Doug purchased his first team of mares which lead to showing a 6 horse hitch of geldings, first locally in Ontario and then travelling stateside to the Big E, Indiana and winning the 6 horse hitch in Ocala, Florida in 2002.
Doug has always had a keen eye for livestock which earned him a Master Breeder award in 2002 from Holstein Canada. The farm has received recognition over the years for their innovation including being named Ontario’s Outstand Young Farmer in 1995, Hamilton Environmental Tourism Award in 2009 and Ontario Farm Family of the Year in 2013.
Bobbie is an internationally recognized trainer, coach and Hunter, Equitation, Breeding Horse Judge, with over thirty years of experience.
She is sought after for her keen eye and attention to the smallest of details from competitors in the ring.
Bobbie has won several national championships with her horses and students over the years and is known for turning out riders that excel in the equitation and hunter rings. Many Canadian professionals started out riding with Bobbie.
Her most recent accolade came in 2020 as she was awarded the Daniel P Lenehan Perpetual Trophy, given to a person who exemplifies dedication and a lifetime commitment to the judging of show hunters.
Let’s start by saying that this a tremendous class of draft horses that is presented for us today. I know that judging by pictures can be hard as you don’t get to appreciate the grandness of the individual that you are judging but I feel this group would rise to the top of any major North American show – especially the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
I have selected 5 of the best of the group of 17 entries and then have selected the top three of the group. I will start by saying that the top 3 exemplify what a powerful, modern and stylish top 3 that we have. All 3 have tremendous front ends, long necks and great power & width of front ends. They are all hard down their tops and backs, rolling into 3 horses with tremendous width of rump and curve.
Placing the top 3 as Willow Way Puzzle in First, Gor-Dey Pearl in Second & YF Hillary’s Isabel in Third. My top 3 placings were very close but I’m giving a slight edge to the winning entry in her tremendous power and being an incredibly well bottomed horse with a beautiful and correct set of legs and ankle with wide bottoms and beautiful feathers. Not to take anything away from the second & third placings as they are all tremendous examples of fine draft horses.
Top Five Honourable Mentions: 4th; Anderson’s Amoretta, owned by David Anderson. 5th; Willow Way Piper, owned by Wesley Gordeyko.
Thank you for letting me have the opportunity to judge this fine class of drafts. Let’s hope that next year we will all be able to be together again at the RAWF to see these great horses competing in the rings of the Royal.
When I judge conformation, I like to stand back and look at the horse’s overall balance. This mare has a beautiful topline, withers well back to give her an excellent slope to her shoulder. With that shoulder I would think she is a very good mover. She has a lovely expression and a beautiful eye. She stands well in front, nice short cannon bones. Has a beautiful hind leg, excellent hind quarter and well made in the stifle area. It looks she has four feet the same which is always nice to see as a judge. She is in wonderful condition and so well turned out.
My second, choice is a stallion and as such, some might think he is a little heavy. He looks very balanced, a beautiful legged horse, nice top line, excellent expression. He could have a little more slope to his shoulder. I would be very interested to see how he moves. It is hard to see that maybe his left front heel is a little low. This horse is in excellent condition and perfectly turned out.
Placing third is a beautiful mare. I love her top line, nice short coupled, I wish her neck was longer but overall, she is so well put together. She has a good hind leg and so much depth through her hindquarter. Her front legs look nice and clean. Good feet and she is a very striking colour. She is so well turned out and in excellent flesh.
I added this gelding for an honourable mention to my list because I love how athletic he looks. He has a nice expression, beautiful front end. He is a little straight in the pasterns. Very nice hind leg. Beautiful top line and nicely placed withers. I like when they are set back to allow good slope of the shoulder. He is also well turned out and in excellent condition. I like this type sporty and athletic. I would hope he moves and jumps as well as he looks.
My winning pony is such a beautiful type. So much elegance. He has a beautiful front end and I feel that how his neck comes out of his shoulder is perfect. The slope of that shoulder should make him a beautiful mover. He has a lovely top line, stands well, with an excellent hind leg. He looks like he has four feet the same which as horsemen and horsewomen, we love. I also think he has a beautiful head and eye. He is very well turned out and in excellent condition.
The second-place pony has a little more substance and looks like the perfect all-around pony. Even though he is a little heavier type he has a beautiful top line, big front-end and a wonderful shoulder. He looks like a very good legged pony, with good feet. He may not everyone’s type, but I would feel that he will be a very good competition pony.
My third position goes to a young pony that has so much elegance and is gorgeous. A wonderful front end, beautiful top line, and I love his hind leg. It shows he is very balanced even when at this age when he has lots of growing to do. His pasterns are touch on the long side, but I would guess he is and will be a fantastic mover.
Honourable mention (two ponies (listed forth):
Even being they are totally different types they both show elegance, lovely heads and top lines. They are both good legged ponies and so well turned out.
Judging the ponies was difficult because there were so many types but I picked the ones that I believed would be good show ponies.