Exploring Canada’s Enduring Connection to Clydesdale Legacy

While Scotland, the birthplace of Clydesdales, faces the vulnerability of the breed, Janice’s journey unfolds a tale of preservation and connection that spans across continents, in the sprawling landscapes of Canada, Janice Kirkpatrick, a designer and cultural activist, embarks on a mission that intertwines history, passion, and the majestic Clydesdale horses.

Credit: Ellen Cameron, Equestrian Photography

Chronicled in the documentary “Saving the Greatest Horse,” Janice’s quest for a black Clydesdale takes her to the heart of Canada. Beyond a personal quest, her mission to bring this regal equine back to Scotland aims to enrich the gene pool of these horses, elevating the breed’s status in its place of origin.

Throughout her exploration, Janice encounters Canadian owners of these horses who contribute to her profound understanding of the breed’s enduring history in Canada. A pivotal moment in her Canadian tour leads her to the Clydesdale farm of Stephen and Sherry Lewis in Cannington, Ontario. For the Lewis family, love for them is a generational legacy spanning five generations. Their century-long dedication to breeding and farming with Clydes unfolds a treasury of knowledge about the breed.

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Credit: Ellen Cameron, Equestrian Photography

Delving into the 19th century, when they shaped agricultural and industrial revolutions, the narrative reveals a significant influx of these horses from Scotland to Ontario.

The depletion of Scotland’s Clydes stock during this period marked a turning point for the breed in its place of origin. Lewis, a Clydes history aficionado, emphasizes that today’s Ontario Clydesdales trace their lineage back to a select few Scottish studs from that pivotal 19th-century surge. These resilient genes have not only endured but flourished across Canada, preserving the essence of their heritage.

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Janice Kirkpatrick’s journey becomes a bridge between continents, fostering a renewed appreciation for Clydesdales in Canada and revitalizing the breed’s legacy in Scotland. The symbiotic relationship between these two lands, woven through their history, stands testament to the enduring spirit of a horse that transcends borders and binds together the hearts of those dedicated to its preservation.

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Credit: Ellen Cameron, Equestrian Photography

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