YORKTON - The World Clydesdale Show was held in Brandon July 19-22, with a number of Yorkton region breeders taking part.
Tail Winds Clydesdales of Yorkton was one of the local exhibitors, as Twylla Newton showed five Clydesdales with daughter Tayvia Newton, daughter in law Shelby Newton and good friend Lee-Anne Toma in classes for riding, chore events and cart obstacle.
“Previously I attended the WCS 2015 as a spectator in London Ont., and then with horses in Madison WI in 2018,” said Twylla Newton.
Attending the big event is a process for those participating.
“The WCS 2023 in Brandon was an event that I had five years of planning into; ever since attending the show with horses in 2018. Of course five years is a long time and there was a lot of changes to the original plan,” said Newton. “Horses that were originally slated to attend 2023 were sold and thus new ones started from scratch, shortening the training time for the horses leading up to the show.”
Newton said then when the event days come it’s more hard work.
“To attend a show of this calibre is all about the years of prep work leading up to it,” she said. “Then add to that the week-long show of no less than 16hr days, every day. The physical aspect is only one component.
“The mental pressure that a person tends to put on ones-self is also a huge part of it.
“The horses themselves feel the pressure too. Our horses in particular are in the pasture 24-7, and then to take them to the city for a week they need to be able to handle the pressure of constant public, the heightened tension of showing and just being in a different environment of the stall and standing on cement -- very heavily bedded though.”
In the end though, the effort created many memorable moments for the Newton crew.
“The show held so many highlights for us,” she said. “A mare that I trained, by the name of Brelee, that I show in dressage and Shelby shows in jumping took the world title in all four of the dressage and jumping classes.
“We knew that in order to win those classes it would be no less than a spectacular performance and we gave it our all.
“(Then) Tayvia and Lee-Anne pulled out all the stops and brought home the world title and reserve title respectably in their dressage class.”
Overall the Newtons came home with seven world titles and three reserve world titles, and top-ten placing in all of the classes they were part of; up against some very talented competition in large classes. The riding classes consisted of Western & English pleasure riding, trail class, 2’6” jumper & 2’6” hunter, barrel race, three dressage classes and of course the entertaining costume class; the harness classes consisted of obstacle cart class, feed team race, team barrel race, chore team skills.
But, in the end the ribbons were secondary for Newton.
“I have to say the biggest highlight for myself was to have the girls and I work as a team to be able to not only show, but excel at this level. There was so much going on all the time that I did not realize until we took the group ‘ribbon’ picture just how well the show went for us,” she said.
Newton added it’s actually very much a team effort.
“When it comes to being able to attend this level of a show, of course there is the horse and rider; but what most people don’t see is the others involved and the sacrifices that are made that make this work,” she said. “It is a huge network of dedicated support from family, friends and coaches that believe in you, that make a show like this a success. To everyone that helped us along the way, the girls and I would like to offer our biggest thank-you.”
Delvin Szumutku of Stockholm has shown at four previous world events but a health issue popped up this year and he sat out the event – well sort of.
While admitting not showing horses hard, (“I really missed being in the show ring”), Szumutku kept his hand in things being involved in the event in different ways.
For example, Szumutku is involved in the Canadian Clydesdale Hall of Fame, which started in 2020 when four people were inducted.
“I grew up with all the old-timers. They really carried the Clydesdale industry along . . . A lot of people were really influential,” said Szumutku as the reason to launch the hall of fame.
Four more people were added in 2021 including Saskatoon’s Doug Charles, and another four were announced in Brandon.
And when not doing committee work Szumutku added, “I actually drove some of the classes (for others),” and he was behind the scenes helping a trio of exhibitors get their horses prepared for the ring.
Szumutku said at 71 “it gets harder and harder to get to these things (shows),” adding he feels at times like he should maybe leave exhibiting to younger people.
And then Szumutku paused a moment before admitting “we’re already thinking about Springfield, IL (in 2025).”
Like Szumutku, Newton is already looking ahead too.
“You never know, I may be at Springfield IL with horses, but I definitely have plans of being a spectator for Scotland 2028,” she said.
What Szumutku did see at the show in Brandon were Clydesdales from all over North America taking to the show ring, from B.C. to Quebec and as far south as Florida in the USA.
“I don’t think this year there were any coming from across the ocean,” he said, but added compared to the four world event he competed in previously “ . . . I think this show would be comparative. Maybe the numbers were down (about 350 this year). But on-the-whole the quality was still there – the really good horses were still there.”
Among the really good horses were those shown by Linda Banga of Canora.
“This was my third World Show,” Banga told Yorkton This Week, adding “I decided to go because it was so close to home.”
It was also a chance to get back into a show ring.
“It was a different feel to the show because of COVID there has been no shows,” said Banga. “So it was great to to see our horse friends again.”
It was also a big show as the next generation of Banga took part.
When asked about what the highlight of the show was Linda Banga said first it was that son Ty Korol got to experience his first World Show.
And then she turned to the show ring.
“Second I had two mares that I was showing that were raising babies and it’s so hard to show them when they have a foal but the mares drove great and in the end we were Reserve World Champion mare and foal,” said Linda Banga.
The show in Brandon featured three judges, American Jim Emmons reviewing the mares, David Anderson from Ontario looking over the males, and Steve Lewis, also from Ontario judging the hitches.
The top eight horse hitch was shown by High Point Clydesdales of Cache Valley, Utah.
The top stallion was exhibited by Steve Westgate from B.C.
The top mare, and overall show champion went David Anderson out of Ontario.
There was also a chore horse component to the event, with Moose Jaw’s Bill Aulie making the decisions.
Kristina Just and daughter Jillian of Yorkton competed with their chore team placing seventh, then taking sixth in the feed team race, then in the barrel race it was a ninth place finish.
The event was not so much about placing high, but taking it was a unique experience, said Kristina.
“This was our first World Clydesdale Show ever. We went as it was so close, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
And the event lived up to expectations.
“It was a very large, well run competition with horses from all over Canada and the USA,” said Kristina Just. “A highlight, being in the ring at the same time as riders and horses who compete nationally and in some cases internationally.”
The next World Clydesdale Show is set for 2025 in Springfield, IL.