The Clydesdale horse holds a special place in the hearts of almost every human being, thanks to a certain beer company and their gentle giant disposition and appearance. Perhaps a lesser known fact is their versatility for activities other than pulling red wagons. Draft horses in sport still turn heads – it seems almost an impossible deniance of gravity to see them clear a jump.
Shasta, a 21-year-old Clyde owned by Kendall Campbell, is a testament to the breed’s multi-tasking abilities – from the Canadian Clyde Ride, including the Rose Bowl Parade, to eventing and jumpers, carriage driving, mounted archery, and serving as a Baraat horse for Indian weddings. To top it off, she’s a six year old girl’s 4H project this year.
Kendall enthuses that the horse makes the transition between disciplines and activities seamlessly, and is particularly excited about jumping. Shasta even makes time for a movie star career on the side, having been cast as Merida’s horse in Once Upon A Time. She’s been with Kendall for fifteen years, since she found her in a magazine ad and fell in love.
It’s become a family affair, as Shasta’s daughter, Vieva Vancouver, lives on the same farm. She’s also grandmother to a 10-month-old colt, Logan. Kendall has thus far trained three Clydesdales to jump, and says that they can be “just as graceful as any warmblood.” However, she likes to take it slow, as she says they take a little longer to physically mature.
After an injury sidelined her last year, Shasta is enjoying her semi-retirement by teaching Kendall’s daughter to ride, making great use of the breed’s reputation for patience and kindness.