The Annual Death Valley '49ers Encampment
Each year in the Death Valley National Park, Xanterra Resorts (owner of the Furnace Creek Ranch Resort, recently renamed, The Ranch at Death Valley) kicks off the "nice" season in the desert by hosting the Death Valley '49ers Encampment. The event is always held the first full week in November, when the temperatures hover around a pleasant 80 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night–in an environment which regularly reaches a furnace 120 degrees during summer.
The annual Encampment began in 1949, marking the 100th anniversary of the experience of a group of '49er California gold seekers as they passed through this valley. The event is a week-long celebration that commemorates those early pioneers that gave the valley its name.
America's Percheron Centurions
If you've never met a Honsberger, you must be new to the Percheron breed, for this American family has bred and shown Percheron horses successfully for four generations.
John Albert (J.A.) Honsberger, the family's patriarch, was born September 28, 1888. He married Bessie Lundy and they became the parents of seven children: Burton, born in 1904; Clyde in 1906; Ralph in 1910; Paul in 1912; Albert in 1917; Cleo in 1921; and Raymond in 1923.
Read the full story in the Summer 2019 issue!
The Sale Results are In!
Trepidation concerning the horse market can now be put to rest. The sales in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Gifford, Illinois, have confirmed that demand remains high, supply remains low and prices remain strong.
Since Gordyville has a reputation for records, let's start with them. The overall average, which is arguabley the most important stat, was $10,121 on 231 head of horses. That topped last year's average, which, in turn, topped the average from 2017.
See reults in the Summer 2019 issue starting on age 113!
Pictured is 2019 Mid-America Sale topper, Thunder Hill Knight Ryder.
A Spectacular Suffolk Event
Suffolk horse enthusiasts enjoyed a rare treat October 5, 6 and 7, 2018. The Southern Suffolk Punch Gathering Group organized and put on the North American Suffolk Punch Spectacular (NASPS) at the fairgrounds outside Dublin, Virginia. They pretty much knocked the ball out of the park, drawing 32 Suffolk horses from eight states, more than 100 spectators from 18 states as well as Canada, Australia and England–as well as a certified Suffolk judge from the United Kingdom to evaluate the 19 classes that were held to showcase the horses and their abilities. The group also brought in expert speakers to encourage and instruct Suffolk Punch owners how to increase genetic variation in this too-rare breed of draft horse.
Willow Way Clydesdales
The stellar success Allan and Wes Gordeyko, Willow Way Farm, Ohaton, Alberta, Canada, achieved at Madison, Wisconsin's 2018 World Clydesdale Show has few precedents. Willow Way Puzzle, the World Champion Clydesdale Mare; Best Mare Bred/Born in Canada, was one of three 3-year-old females bred at Willow Way, that placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 3-year-old Mare Class (Split #2) ... while their 2-year-old filly, Willow Way Quella, was Reserve Junior Champion Mare. This was a sweep like few others in breed history, for few of the 161 females entered in the halter classes were scratched. However, their success didn't end here, for Willow Way Prestwick, the World Champion Clydesdale Gelding, was also bred by the Gordeykos.
In 1946, Willow Way farm was purchased by Allan's parents. Their farm was located across the road from Killallan Farm ...
Read the full story in the Spring 2019 issue!
The 2018 World Clydesdale Show
The 2018 World Clydesdale Show at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, drew conspicuously large crowds! Spectators had an opportunity to witness firsthand the versatility of the most famous breed in the equine industry compete in classes that have never before been offered in a world show ... and a lot that have been. As enthusiasts walked into Pavilion 1 of the Alliant Energy Center, there were immediate choices to be made. It was not difficult because they could see live action in the pavilion and simultaneously follow the classes in the coliseum via livestream.
See full coverage in the Winter issue!
History of Draft Horses
The Industrial Revolution proved to be responsible for both the rise and collapse of the heavy horse in America. Demand for draft animals was spurred on by the growing transportation, construction and agricultural needs of the nation. The last half of the 19th century made draft horse breeding both essential and profitable. Massive importations from Europe took place. The period also ushered in the development of the present day breeds of heavy horses. The number of horses and mules in The United States peaked in 1920, at about 26 million. The groundwork for today’s agriculture had been laid.
The horse lost the battle of the streets to the automotive industry rather quickly. As for the battle of the agricultural fields, it fought very tenaciously, but eventually yielded in most cases to greatly improved tractor power. By 1950, it was indeed, on thin ice... Read more
History of The Draft Horse Journal
The post WW II years were not kind to the draft horse and mule. Both horse numbers and horse use plummeted. The number of animals being exhibited dwindled and many shows dropped heavy horses altogether. The industry needed a boost and it got one when the first issue of The Draft Horse Journal was published in May 1964. New interest was stimulated and the heavy horse has since made a convincing resurgence. From the 28 pages in the first issue to over 300 in recent ones, The Journal has grown, evolved and progressed right along with the draft horse trade.
In addition to the magazine’s traditional content, covering breeding, raising, showing, selling and using all breeds of heavy horses, the modern version includes veterinary advice from “America’s Draft Horse Vet,” Dr. A.J. Neumann; historical accounts by the publication’s founder, Maurice Telleen; legal advice from Ken Sandoe;... Read more
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity: the Draft Horse Journal’s fiftieth year in publication: to acknowledge and bestow gratitude upon, not only the founders of this fine magazine, but the current editor and his team who relentlessly strive to unify our industry through their quality quarterly publication.
The draft horse industry is not a product-driven industry. We do not yield an item that humans willingly wish to consume; like milk, meat, feathers or fur. Except for a rare sliver of history, when naturally-synthesized premarin was of value, the draft horse has contributed little in the last 75 years... Read more