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Canada’s National Horse at the Fair at the PNE in August

Langley, BC August 4, 2017 – As part of the celebrations for Canada’s 150th Birthday, the Canadian Horse Heritage & Preservation Society (CHHAPS) has organized a full day dedicated to Canada’s National Horse, the Canadian at The Fair at the PNE  in Vancouver on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Mark your calendar and be sure to come see these horses right from the pages of history live and in person.

During the Canadian Horse Extravaganza, you are invited to take a journey through time to celebrate the history of Canada’s National Horse. Through a narrated story set to music, Canadian Horses and their riders will tell the story of The Canadian Horse.  The story starts with their arrival on our shores in Quebec and continues with their role in Canada’s history during times of peace and war through to the present day. See King Louis XIV, early fur trappers and farmers, US Calvary, western ranching horses, an english dressage pairs demo, a jumping exhibition, and a four-horse quadrille team. The Canadian Horse Day Extravaganza will introduce Pacific National Exhibition fairgoers to one of Canada’s best kept secrets . . . its Little Iron Horse!

Canadian Horses and their owners will be coming from around the province to take part in the Canadian Horse Extravaganza, which will be performing throughout the day in the Agrodome at:

  • 12:00pm,
  • 1:15 as the pre-show for the RCMP Musical Ride @ 1:30pm,
  • 4:30pm,
  • 6:30 pm.

The public is invited to meet all the Canadian horses up close and personal in the Agrodome Horse Barn throughout the day! CHHAPS members are happy to answer questions and share their experiences with Canada’s National Horse.

It’s not uncommon for members of the Canadian public to have never heard of the Canadian Horse, nor be aware that it was designated Canada’s National Horse by an act of Parliament in 2002. The Canadian is descended from the original horses that arrived in Canada in July of 1665, sent by King Louis XIV of France from his Royal Stables for the use of noblemen in the French Colonies in Quebec. The horses soon became indispensable to city dwellers and farmers alike, and eventually could be found right across Canada.

Over the years, the Canadian breed developed into a strong and hardy horse with unmatched strength and stamina. Not only did the Canadian Horse help to build Canada by serving as a farm horse, carriage horse and riding horse over the centuries, it also figured prominently in founding other North American horse breeds, such as the Morgan, Standardbred, and Tennessee Walking Horse. In spite of its rarity today, it was once a well-known and popular breed.  Many were sent to the U.S. during the American Civil War and in spite of a robust population in the mid-1800s, the breed’s future was in jeopardy by the end of that century. Steps were taken to preserve the breed then and again in the 1970’s when its numbers had dwindled to dangerous levels.

Again this year, in 2017, the Canadian Horse has been placed on the Livestock Conservancy’s list of critically endangered breeds. The number of Canadian Horses of breeding age has declined sharply, without enough young stock being born to take their place. It’s a warning call that horse lovers should take seriously and attention must be paid to the careful breeding of remaining horses to allow the population of purebred Canadian Horses to grow. It would be a shame to lose this historic national treasure!

For more about the Canadian Horse, see the Breed History and Breed Information pages right here on the CHHAPS website!

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