Happy Father's Day!

My father was a welder, a pilot and a horse show dad.

Show dads come in all shapes and sizes. Some are laid-back railbirds while others are resetting fences, carrying tack and braiding – manes as well as their daughter's hair.

The one thing they have in common is the desire to be a part of their children’s world.

In this case, their kids are besotted with four-legged equines - big, mouthy, smelly, and often quite a little intimidating to the parent.

Dads recognize the equestrian sport is teaching life skills in an environment that encourages discipline, empathy, determination, teamwork, responsibility, failure, and perseverance.

After his retirement, my dad came to the barn almost every day - mucked out stalls while I rode. I can’t remember a show when he and mum were not

ringside – snow and cold or steamy Southwestern Ontario August days. He held horses at the in-gate for me, hauled buckets of water, left home at 4 am to drive to away shows in order to be at my 7 am class.

His support taught me how to be independent, confident and when the time came – a better parent for my sons.

So this Father’s Day, we recognize all our show dads. We appreciate your cheering at our success, your pep talks when we don’t win, your hugs when we’re bruised and feeling low -- but most of all – we appreciate seeing you at the show with your reassuring smile.

For all the amazing memories you create – thanks Dad.

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