BC Heavy Horse Breeders Assoc. (BCHHBA)

BC Heavy Horse Breeders Assoc. (BCHHBA)

An emotional day at the Museum today, July 20 2023. After 93 years, the BC Heavy Horse Breeders Association has been dissolved. Formed in 1930, the remaining members met at the Museum for one last Hurrah! Each member present, was presented with a certificate and life time membership to the BC Farm Museum, presented by our President Sandy Hope, the others to be mailed out. A few speeches and stories of the past, sandwiches prepared by JD Farms, and of course a few drinks. It was a well planned “party” prepared by Syd and assisted by Jodi.

Although dissolved, they will not be forgotten, as we have a very large area dedicated to the BCHHBA, with many donations from past and, until today, present members.

The BC Heavy Horse Breeders Association, founded in 1930, is a group where interests and concerns of breeders, exhibitors and owners of Clydesdale, Belgian and Percheron horses are expressed – and today all draft breeds are included in the association. One of the first actions of the association in the early 1930s, was a protest to the Vancouver City Council over the restriction of horse-drawn vehicles on the then new Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver!

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Did you know that the term ‘horsepower’, which we now apply to machinery, comes from a time when horses actually powered vehicles? At the BC Farm Museum, we know very well, that there was a time when horses were the engines in front of all farm machinery. As such, we have an entire gallery at the museum devoted to horses and their equipment. And because of the instrumental role that horses played on early BC farms, we have a special place in our hearts for horses today.

To show our appreciation, we have partnered with the BC Heavy Horse Breeders Association (BCHHBA). This active association works with horses regularly, so we get to hear about how horses are used today, and this gives a compelling relevancy to our museum collections. We also benefit when the BCHHBA bring their magnificent creatures to our annual May Day Parade in Fort Langley!

An excellent link into the history of the Work Horse: Youtube

Dave Reid in championship form at Saanich

   Plowing Match on Vancouver Island in 1992. Queen and Mindy are puliing the plow.

For those fans of the Plough Horse / Mules, this is a really good ploughing video to watch, Lynden plowing match 2017:- Youtube

Here is a link to the Lynden plowing match, May 19th 2018. It was a larger event this year…oxen even! It covers the day, and is almost 20 minutes. – Youtube

Today, the BCHHBA meets once a year for their annual general meeting during the month of November, in Langley, BC. On the day of the AGM, members first visit the BC Farm Museum. The BC Farm Museum has a permanent gallery showcasing various breeds of draft horses connected with farming, competitions, breeding and their use in various BCHHBA activities. Visitors can see photos of various breeds in action, and this comprehensive exhibit also highlights various harnesses, horseshoes, and horse related artifacts.

Champion Sadle Makers Power Sewing Machine. Made by Champion Shoe machinery Co.

The BC Heavy Horse Breeders Hall of Memories, located on the main concourse of the Agrodome at Exhibition Park (PNE grounds) in Vancouver, BC, was established in 1968 to showcase historic photographs and trophies. It honours the pioneers who greatly contributed to the improvement of heavy horses in the Pacific Northwest.The Pacific Northwest Washington International Draft Plow Horse Hall of Fame was founded in 2013. It features distinguished horsemen and their draft teams competing at various plowing matches in the Pacific Northwest. This Hall of Fame is located at the Fair Exhibition Grounds in Lynden, WA, USA. Anyone interested in more information is invited to contact George Bowen, tel. 360-366-2255. 

May 27 2016   Congratulations to Francois Freyvogel for being inducted into the International Plowing Match Hall of Fame at Lynden, Washington.
He joins a very select group who have received this honour including Fred Polinder and David B. Reid, to name a few. Francois is a member of the BC Farm Museum Association as well as the BC Heavy Horse Breeders Association.
Well done Francois…….



At the time of dissolvement 2023, the board of directors were:-

President: Ken Bates, tel. 604-946-7233

Vice President: Francois Freyvogel, tel. 604-926-9526

Secretary-TreasurerBernie Boscher, tel. 604-597-7021

DirectorsGeorge Bowen, Fred Polinder Jr., Dalton Rooks, John Bowles, and Ian Ritchie.

Interested in draft horses?

Visit the BC FARM MUSEUM on King Street in Fort Langley, and see the great display for the BCHHBA on the upper mezzanine.

Open 10 am – 4:00 pm every day from April 1st until the end of Sept. For an update on opening hours, see Admission in the above menu

The BCHHBA HALL of MEMORIES was established in 1968 to honour pioneers who greatly contributed to the improvement of heavy horses in the Pacific Northwest and is located at the Agrodome, Exhibition Park, Vancouver, BC.

The Pacific Northwest Washington International Draft Plow horse Hall of Fame was initiated in 2013 and is located at the Fair Exhibition grounds in Lynden, Washington, USA.

The BC FARM MUSEUM in Fort Langley BC is the “home of the BCHHBA” and assigns a large section of its space to draft horses showcasing various breeds connected with farming, competitions and breeding. This comprehensive exhibit shows various harnesses and different kinds of horse shoes.