If you talk to anyone in the heavy horse barns at the Calgary Stampede and you mention the name Brian Coleman, you can bet that they know the trainer and driver from Didsbury, Alberta.
The Chairman of the Heavy Horse Show committee is no stranger to the Calgary Stampede, this is the 33rd year he is showing and the 31st time he’s been the driver of a six horse hitch.
The unsung hero of the committee says it is watching the horses and people on his crew grow, with what keeps him keeping on.
“We have a young crew this year, some of them it is their first show ever and just watching young people develop as well as young horses develop to see them reach a pinnacle and reach a championship or people who work for me and go on to other things and other jobs.”
He says he’s had two people go on to be assistant trainers in Express Ranches in Oklahoma and Ames Ranch in Minnesota.
Coleman himself was introduced to horses at a very young age and didn’t start showing until he was 17.
The people he shows for are as equally passionate about horses, the Messenger family out of Cheyenne, Wyoming have also been showing for years.
It’s a busy show season for the Coleman clan, who ranch near Didsbury, Alberta. Their show season this year will take them as far as Indiana and Iowa.
He says the way the committee, which is made up of horse breeders, enthusiasts and people come together and work hand in hand to make it happen is incredible.
“All the way from the organization of the event to the physical traffic directing and running of the footwork that goes in, we have a great group of volunteers out back that guide traffic, direct hitches to the arena and back from the arena and just make sure everything flows smoothly in a crew that keeps the action going.”
The Heavy Horse Show event is running seven days this year at the Calgary Stampede with the highlight being the World Six Horse Hitch Championships on Tuesday night.