By Tania Millen
Canadian Horse Journal magazine has started a new column to recognize Canadians and horses who make a difference to Canada’s horse industry. Horse community heroes provide unending support to others regardless of whether they’re employed in Canada’s horse industry or not, are strongly committed to their regional equine communities, and often operate behind-the-scenes.
“We’re showcasing horse people and horses who are not necessarily big household names but who have made significant contributions to their horse communities,” says Kathy Smith, publisher of Horse Community Journals.
The inaugural Horse Community Heroes column was published in the Autumn/Winter 2023 issue of Canadian Horse Journal magazine and honoured Dan Wilson: a champion of the Canadian horse breed, who has retired at the age of 87.
Wilson was born in 1936 in Quebec and during his childhood, his mother drove a Canadian horse and buggy to her teaching job. In 1956, Wilson established Woodmont Farm, eventually switching from breeding cattle to breeding Canadian horses after becoming enchanted by their athleticism and quiet, willing natures. During 40-plus years of selective breeding, Wilson developed a championship bloodline. But he may be best-known for rallying horse enthusiasts and lobbying the federal government to designate the Canadian horse as the ‘National Horse of Canada’. His persistence paid off and on April 30, 2002, the Canadian government passed Bill S-22 which did just that. Now 87, Wilson has finally retired, after a lifetime ensuring the survival of the Canadian horse and its bloodlines.
Wilson is undoubtedly a Horse Community Hero and a perfect example of those the column seeks to celebrate: men, women and horses who have influenced and empowered others in the industry during their everyday lives, and in doing so have helped advance their horse communities.
The column will be published in every quarterly issue of Canadian Horse Journal plus be available online at www.horsejournals.com.
There are many unsung heroes across the country who often toil in obscurity but make a big difference to their horse communities. So if there’s a person or horse who you think should be recognized as a Canadian Horse Community Hero, please get in touch.
Horse Community Journals Inc. proudly serves all sectors of Canada’s horse community by publishing original, award-winning, high-calibre news and investigative journalism. Titles include Canadian Horse Journal, Canada’s Equine Guide, HORSEJournals.com, The Hoofbeat E-Newsletter.