Madsen s Clydesdales may be a small breeding operat ion, but the quality of registered draft horses being produced has enriched the lives of Reg and Carol Madsen and their family for over 30 years, at home and at small-town or big-city shows.
What s best about the draft horses is having foals and seeing them mature and grow up always hoping they will become that great hitch gelding, an outstanding stallion or the ultimate mare, said Carol. To accomplish this you have to assess the type of stallion that will cross well with a particular style of mare, etc.
An ultimate mare is indeed owned by the Madsen family, and can be found on their yard site situated along Highway 21, just north of Hamiota. WV Greendykes Charasmatic Finale, that the Madsens call Allie, was selected as the Supreme Clydesdale at the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Show in July, and also went on to be named Best of Show over all four breeds. The other draft breeds were Belgian, Percheron and Shire.
Having attended the Calgary Stampede several times, the Madsens feel it is the elite show in the West something like the Toronto Royal in the East. Other larger shows in which Madsen Clydesdales have attended have been the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, the Toronto Royal and the last World Clydesdale Show in 2007.
Along with Olds and Calgary, Alta., closer to home this summer we showed six head at Strathclair, Shoal Lake, Hamiota and the Manitoba Clydesdale Classic in Austin, said Carol. We had two yearlings entered in a Draft Horse Futurity in Virden. Next stop will be the World Clydesdale Show in Madison, Wisc. in October and will cap the year off in Toronto in November.
Presently owning 12 Clydesdales, ranging in age from foals to 12 years, the show family feels the most prized is none other than their six-year-old mare Allie.
From the time of being a youngster helping his uncle, Bill Madsen, show the Clydesdale draft horse also known as the Gentle Giant to today, Reg has taken great pride in producing quality horses and showcasing their pedigrees to others.
Along with the business side of the Clydesdale industry, the many people we have met on our travels has been gratifying as well, said the couple. The contacts you make with people in the same industry from throughout the world is like one big extended family in itself.
This summer the Madsens were fortunate to have an extra pair of hands helping out from 20-year-old Indiana resident, Shelby Zarobinski, for two months.
We met Shelby when we were in Rockton and Simcoe, Ont. last fall and when she heard we were looking for someone to lend a hand this summer she called us, said Carol. With her and her mother having seven Clydesdales of their own which they exhibit in the United States, her knowledge and passion were very valuable.
Even though the couple has been working on building their retirement acreage from the ground up since 2008, idle time has been hard to come by.
Apart from the horse industry, Reg and I have an interest in antiques, Carol said. Reg has also recently become a municipal councillor, and has also become involved with coaching the senior hockey team in Hamiota as well as attending grandchildren events.
Although it seems busier now than when they were farming 1,600 acres, the Madsens in association with other members of the Manitoba Clydesdale Club take great pride in producing and promoting the beauty of the Clydesdale draft horse.
Darrell Nesbitt writes from Shoal Lake, Manitoba