The Yorkton area was well represented at the recent 2018 World Clydesdale Show hosted in Madison, WI. in the final week of October, including Yorkton’s Twylla Newton returning with a number of championships.
“This was new for me. It was my first trip to the Worlds,” said Newton.
The attraction of the show was obvious, said Newton.
“It’s the biggest of the big shows for Clydesdales,” she said, adding it had been an event she had wanted to attend for a few years. “I finally just swallowed real hard and took the chance.”
Joining Newton on the adventure were her daughter Tayvia Newton, friend Shelby Johnston and the three Clydesdales that the trio ride.
While Clydesdales might be thought of primarily as draft horses used to pull farm equipment, wagons and carts, the big horses can make good riding horses.
“It was the first year the show included a variety of riding classes,” offered Newton, adding the disciplines included dressage, English riding, barrel racing, pole bending and hunter jumper classes.
“It was a showcase for the versatility of Clydesdales.”
The trio of ladies made the best of the trip south entering as many classes as possible.
“We entered all of the pleasure classes,” she said.
That meant entering the win for 28 different classes, excelling in most.
“We brought home top-10 in 24 classes,” said Newton, adding the classes all had a minimum of 20 entries, “and some of the classes had over 40.”
In Newton’s personal case she also took the championship in barrel racing, with reserves in pole bending, hunter jumper and dressage, trail and western riding.
Newton admitted it might seem unusual that a Clydesdale could cut the barrels, but added they do it quite well.
“It’s super how they move out. They have a big stride. They can cover some ground,” she said.
As for the lengthy list of reserves in varied classes all with the same 10-year-old horse, Newton said the key was her basic focus on training hardest in dressage.
“It’s my main discipline. It’s where I spend most of my time training,” she said, adding that dressage basically builds the foundation for any other riding. If a horse and rider can excel at dressage “they are able to excel in other disciplines.”
However, if a rider wants to ride in different disciplines, why chose a draft horse?
“I’ve worked with a variety of breeds of horses,” offered Newton, noting that has included quarter horses, Arabian and mixed breeds. “But, I had always wanted a draft horse.”
When Newton came to purchase her first draft horse a Clydesdale was available and that is how she came to the breed.
Since then she has come to love the big horses.
“They really do like working for you. They try their hearts out,” she said. “No matter what you ask they give you 110 per cent.”
That effort from the big horses certainly showed in Wisconsin, making the entire trip memorable for Newton.
“We worked really hard in preparing to go, and it ended up being a pretty amazing experience,” she said.
The next World Show will be in three years. It will be hosted in Brandon, MB. in July 2021.