History & Heritage

1930. The Great Depression. Money wasn’t flush anywhere. But savvy and successful businessman Conn Smythe had become the newly minted owner of the Toronto St. Patrick Hockey Club, or Toronto St. Pats. This hockey club was no slouch. It had won the Stanley Cup in 1922.

Do horses have just one toe or several? do horses have five toes? understanding equine foot

Researchers at the New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) are suggesting that, in fact, the four side toes did not completely disappear but remain even today as remnants still present within the horse’s modern lower leg and hoof. Scientists widely accept that the essentially redundant splint bones – the small bones found along the outer sides of the metacarpal or cannon bone - are remnants of the second and fourth toes.

Przewalski Horse, are Przewalski Horses wild?, evolution of Przewalski Horse, Przewalski Horse Chernobyl

Recently, genetic research published in the journal Science showed that the Przewalski’s horse, also known as the Mongolian wild horse and the Takhi, was actually not wild as defined by its heritage but descendants of the horses first domesticated by Botai people of Kazakhstan over 5,500 years ago.

Inspiring horse stories, equestrian Juliet Graham, equestrian Nick Hlmes-Smith, equestrian Sandra Donnelly, equestrian Bruce Mandeville, equestrian Rob Stevenson

Representing Canada at the Olympic Games is the Holy Grail for many riders, but not every rider has the good fortune to get there. Those who represent Canada at the Games all have very different stories about how they qualified, the experiences they had, and the exceptional horses they were fortunate to ride. Canada’s top-placed three-day event riders from the 1976 through 2008 Olympic Games have had many years to reflect on their Olympic experiences and fortunately, five of those determined men and women were happy to share some of their life lessons, anecdotes, and wisdom with those who want to follow in their hoofprints. These are their stories.

Clydesdale horse, Stan Carruthers, Gordon Carruthers Sr, Clydesdales, Eastern Regional Clydesdale Association, Clydesdale breeding program

Born in 1940, Stan Carruthers of Carp, Ontario, was predestined to work with Clydesdales. “My grandfather was a stallioneer in Carp, and he used to have Percherons,” explains Stan. “In 1922, he sold his Percheron and bought a Clydesdale stallion. That’s how the love affair began.”

These days, importing European horses generally means flying expensive horses with high-performance Warmblood pedigrees over to North America. But importing horses to North America isn’t anything new. Horses were brought over from Europe when Spanish explorers and conquistadors sailed the ocean blue in the 15th century.

Horses in war, war horse, horses world war 1, horses world war 2, dumb heroes, Riding into War, The Horse in War, my horse warrier, the war illustrated

The sacrifice of the ten million men who lost their lives during the conflict, which endured from 1914 to 1918, is well known. Less well known is the price paid by the estimated eight million horses that perished in the Great War, a fact lamented by Private James Robert Johnston, a horse transport driver who served with the 14th Canadian Machine Gun Company, in his memoir, Riding into War: “Very little has been said about the horses and mules that were used and what they suffered is beyond all description.”

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