There’s no question that horses are the four-legged mammal of choice at the Keystone Centre during the 2019 Canadian National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show.
However, the people in town for the competition are clearly fond of a smaller four-legged type of beast as well.
Dogs of various sizes can be seen all over the place helping their owners herd horses, providing emotional support, playing fetch and napping.
When people at the show are asked why they’ve brought their dogs such a long distance from home, there’s a pretty common answer. These dogs are part of their families and they couldn’t imagine being without them.
Leslie Mohr of Alberta brought her dog Eva, a 3-year the miniature schnauzer with her to Brandon. At the same booth was her barn’s trainer’s dog, Stella the cavalier King Charles spaniel.
"They’re part of the family and it’s part of the equestrian (world)," Mohr said. "Most people who have horses own dogs."
Mohr said that any dog you see at a horse show is well trained to behave around horses.
Andrea Pringle of Salt Spring Island had two dogs with her: a blue heeler named Sage and Spike, an Australian shepard/sheltie cross.
"(Sage) loves coming to nationals because she gets to sleep in hotels," Pringle said. "They’ve been raised around horses and like being around people and horses and being involved."
Pringle had the same opinion about horse owners and dogs that Mohr did.
"Lotta’ people that like horses are all dog people as well," she said. "They’re just a part of the family. They travel with us everywhere."
"Doesn’t seem like a horse show if people don’t bring their dogs," Pringle said, adding that she had to leave her dogs behind for another show this year and it didn’t feel the same.
"Sometimes we feel like there are as many dogs as horses," said Pam Rose of Wisconsin. "They’re great travelling buddies. They’re great partners, they’re great friends. They’re somebody to have by your side all the time."
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