The draft horse industry across North America requires individuals who are leaders-enthusiastic people who are educated, articulate and respected-to lead the charge that Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire breeders must mount. There is a pressing need for statesmen, who are industrious, innovative and professional. Unfortunately, those individuals most qualified refuse to accept office.
Each year, the issues that face our industry multiply. A multi-million-dollar business, that involves North Americans from every walk of life, cannot be allowed to flounder.
Seldom have more Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons or Shires been registered on this continent. The contemporary population of each breed is large. However, as breed numbers grow, so can the divisions. Strong, effective leaders that have respect are a must.
The fate of many exhibitions is currently in the balance. There is a pressing need for exhibitions, whose importance to the health of the draft horse industry is beyond measure. If exhibitions fail, as Chicago's International Livestock Exposition failed, our industry is in trouble. New exhibitions should be explored, then promoted, to showcase our product. There is no question that breeding and performance classifications fuel the contemporary draft horse industry.
Despite the problems faced, there is no need for gloom. The success achieved at the Indiana State Fair, Manitoba's Clydesdale Classic and at Calgary's Exhibition & Stampede should encourage breed enthusiasts. Each is a cooperative effort, which has added spark to our industry. So has each World Percheron Congress, North American Belgian Championship and World Clydesdale Show & Trade. The success each respective breed has enjoyed at these exhibitions cannot be questioned.
The draft horse industry is strong. Given an enthusiastic membership that remains cooperative, plus a cadre of leaders who have insight and resolve, the problems faced will be addressed. However, every horseman and horsewoman must offer their support. Otherwise, the pinnacle of success currently realized will erode.
At least this is how I see it.