1903 - 1991
Wreford Hewson was born in Malton, Ontario in 1903 into a farming family raising Shorthorn cattle and using Clydesdales and Shires in the fields. Back then, the Hewson family showed horses that they had raised. Wreford’s grandfather won the Shire Progeny and Get of Sire at the 1922 Royal Winter Fair.
As a teenager, Wreford had a fascination for raising rabbits. His dad told him he would give him a Clyde filly if he got rid of his rabbits. That was the beginning of a concentrated approach to Clydesdales.
Wreford married his wife, Alice, in 1927. They raised two children – Mary and Albert. Wreford and Alice raised Clydesdales in Malton until 1971 when they purchased a farm in Beeton, Ontario. After the 1971 Royal, the horses were moved to the Beeton farm. Breeding, showing and importing was the main game at Beeton. Every year, Wreford would take a “vacation trip” to Scotland. In total, he imported around 130 Clydesdales.
Wreford was worried about the future of the Clydesdale breed back in the 70’s and 80’s. He felt that people were only worried about how clean and close the Clydes’ hocks were and how close they moved. He was concerned that they weren’t looking at the whole horse. Most of Wreford’s champion mares were used in the hitches. They weren’t only halter horses, but had to carry harness as well. Wreford was a master at getting horses to move right. He would work away at shoeing, and making shoes to get things just right. He was also a good teacher. Not only did he tell you, but he would show you, then make you pick out the good and bad points of a horse just to prove you knew what you were talking about.
Devastation struck in 1990. The barn in Beeton burned with a loss of thirty-nine horses, including 18 pregnant mares. The barn was reconstructed, but sadly Wreford never saw the barn finished, or the first foal born in that new barn. He passed away in April 1991.
Wreford was a respected judge of the Clydesdale horse. He judged the Royal Highland in Scotland, the Clyde Show in Melbourne, Australia as well as numerous shows in North America.
Wreford may be gone, but his “touch” is in almost every Clydesdale if you go back far enough.
Thank you Wreford for being a forward thinker.