First boys trip at some of the best breeders
of the United States

In 1999 my sons, Charles and Philippe, and I went to the United States to visit and learn about Clydesdales. We had the pleasure to visit the Cobbs family at Grandview Clydesdales, Wood Sproat at Saddle Rock Clydesdales, and last but not least, the Budweiser facilities in St-Louis. We met some very nice people during this sojourn, and also made new friends. We were especially impressed by the stallions owned at Grandview, especially Thistle Ridge Eaton Victor. We were also wondered by the landscape at Saddle Rock Clydesdales in Missouri, as well as the group of mares living in those special pastures.


The World Clydesdales Show in 1999

The World Clydesdale Show made us fall in love with the Thistle Ridge breeding. We had just bought ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Molly’ the month before the show. She was shown both in halter as well as in the hitch classes. We can honestly say that Molly became our benchmark for recognizing quality. She allowed us to develop a good eye for quality horses. She had been All-Canadian and All-American as a yearling. So for beginners like us, we tended to compare all the mares with Molly. The World Clydesdales Show also gave us the opportunity to develop a great relationship with Wilma and David Cleghorn. They allowed us to show in get of sire for ‘Commander Mark Argyll’ by lending us ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Avery’ and ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Ann’ to complete the entry with Molly. That was probably one of the most exciting class we have ever had.



Purchase of three Thistle Ridge Mares

In October 2000,we purchased ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Ann’, ‘Thistle Ridge Eaton Shawna’, and finally, the Supreme Champion foal of the 2000 National Clydesdale Show in Milwaukee, and the last daughter from ‘Commander Mark Argyll’; ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Y.2 Kate’. These three mares came home to Freedom Acres to find the first Thistle Ridge mare we had purchased the year before, ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Molly’. These mares became our breeding base. We had the pleasure to have the Cleghorn preparing and showing these 3 mares at the 2000 RAWF. They all placed at the top of their class, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd respectively. Y.2 kate later won the Ontario yearling bred and sire mare.


Undefeated on the Provincial level for 4 years

From 2001 to 2004, we showed 23 Clydesdales entries, without the group class at the provincial show in Quebec City. Surprisingly, we got all red ribbons! (red being means 1st place in Canada). In 2001, we had the 4 mares for the Grand Championship, all were Thistle Ridge bred mares. ‘Shawna’ was Junior Champion and Grand Champion, ‘Molly’ was reserve Grand Champion, ‘Ann’ was Reserve Senior Champion, and ‘Y.2. Kate’ was reserve Junior Champion.



First appearance at the U.S. National Clydesdales
show in Milwaukee

We had an interest in showing at the U.S. National show in Milwaukee. We decided to accompany Mr. and Mrs. Cleghorn to the 2001 show. They were bringing 6 horses. We brought one yearling mare, ‘Thistle Ridge Argyll Y.2. Kate’, who was named the Supreme Champion foal at the 2000 U.S. National Show. We drove over 22 hours to the show site. But, what an experience it was!!!



First time showing horses at the RAWF in Toronto

In 2000, after the purchase of the 3 mares at Thistle Ridge farm, we came to an agreement with Mr. Cleghorn. We knew that we did not have the knowledge and abilities to prepare and show these horses for a show as big as the RAWF. Mr. and Mrs. Cleghorn agreed to try and teach us what they knew and help us at our first RAWF. They became our mentors…and they are still today!!!