CARP - Of the 368 Clydesdales gathered here Aug. 25-29 for the World Clydesdale Show and Trade, one galloped off with the title of supreme World Champion.
Carson's Dream was a dream come true for Archie Watson and family of Sarsfield.
And according to Scott McClelland, general manager of the first World Clydesdale Horse Show, Carson's Dream can count on keeping the title for at least the next two to three years.
"This was a very special event that took a lot of effort to make come about," says McClelland, "so we don't want to have it all the time."
Out to see the giant beauties were some 90,000 people, making this event the largest Clydesdale show in history.
Over 400 booths selling everything from miniature replicas of Clydesdales to lemonade clothed the huge fairgrounds with their white tents.
The world's largest Clydesdales - brought from Boston - were on hand along with the oldest breed of Clydesdales, the Icelandic Demonstration Team.
A Horses of the World featured paints and quarter horses, extreme rarities in the business, along with 14 other breeds including a 400-year-old Norwegian Fjord breed.
An eight-horse hitch was a big hit from New England, hooked up to a 7,800 lb. turn-of-the-century Studebaker wagon called Hallamore's Magnificent. Trying hard not to be outdone was an eight-mule hitch from Michigan, the Fancy Farm Mules.
But many animals were able to shine on Sunday during the parade through the village.
An international auction with sellers from Canada, the U.S., and Great Britain brought in buyers from Australia, New Zealand, France, South America and Japan, ensuring this was truly an international event as big and well-organized as it was classy.
"Every single animal went home healthy," says McClelland.
McClelland is fond of telling one anecdote that happened during preparations for the event. Although organizers met with many skeptics who said it couldn't be done, sometimes cynics get it wrong.
"We had a fella walk into our office one day. He is from Shallow Creek, owns a farm and organized a July 1 show for hunters. He thought it was important to participate in this show. He gave us a cheque left over from his show. $275," says McClelland. "Now that shows the community effort it took to put this thing together."