Duke and Dave on top of the world

The international heavy horse community now knows where Prince George is.

It's thanks to a team of eight Clydesdales, owned by Zane Pickering of Falcon Contracting, who proved they belong on the world stage last week at the World Clydesdale Show in London, Ont.

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Duke and Dave, a pair of four-year-old geldings, were crowned world champions in the team class in the youth division.

Driving them on the wagon was 16-year-old Rein Roy, who also took home senior youth champion in senior showmanship.

Paige Laycock, 18, earned reserve champion in showmanship.

"They just did awesome," said Pickering. "They were going up against fully-matured geldings who were seven years old."

Pickering's horses also took home top prize in decorating.

In the senior division, Pickering's horses - shown by Pickering himself along with trainers Gord and Fay Campbell - were fourth and fifth in the hitch and unicorn classes out of 23, and 11th in the four-hitch class.

Creek Princeton, Majestic Phillipe, Patrick Evergreen and Gregglea Majestic Steve showed well in the halter classes, with top-five and top-10 finishes out of 42 contestants.

The World Clydesdale show is held every four years and provides an opportunity for the best of the majestic breed to congregate and compete in 22 different line and hitch classes.

Having showed well at regional competitions, it's the first time Pickering brought his horses to a high-calibre international event as they competed against top horses from Germany, Scotland, the U.S. and Canada.

"It was definitely worthwhile taking a team of horses," he said. "There was a lot of interest in them from people from the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. They showed well and it was an incredible eye-opener for us. Our extensive homework paid off."

Meanwhile, Pickering's teams of prized pulling horses - the Clydesdale tandems of Jack and Fred and Mike and Tom - are competing at Farmfair during the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton from Nov. 11-15, the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina from Nov. 23-28, and the National Western Stock Show in Denver from Jan. 9-24.

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