The Canadian Horse has been celebrated as our national horse since the National Horse of Canada Act received Royal Accent in 2002.  Known for its versatility, strength, and ability to endure our country’s tough climate all year round, the sturdy horse is a Canadian treasure. Now, the Canadian Horse is getting a much-deserved permanent salute via a life-size bronze stature to be unveiled in Eastern Ontario’s Upper Canada Village in September.

Sculpture of a horse pulling up a tree stump.

What the finished work will look like.

Sculpted by artist Dave Sheridan, this special project almost didn’t happen. The artist was commissioned to create the artwork in 2014 but funding fell short and the project was sidelined. But fortunately, the bronze equine found new champions in Don Cook, who tells The Recorder  that he has over 10,000 hours working with these horses at Upper Canada Village, and another local horse lover, Darlene Burns. The duo created and co-chair Honouring the Canada’s National Horse ‒ The Canadian Horse Project, alongside other committee members Susan Le Clair and Ron de Vries.

“A small group of us initiated the project years ago and it’s wonderful to now see it come to life,” Cook told The Recorder. Then last year a large private donation all but assured the bronze horse would be completed.

According to the Canadian Horse Heritage & Preservation Society, the breed traces its origins to 1665 when horses were shipped to Canada from France, with a unique breed developing from these original animals.

To track the statue’s progress, visit Honouring Canada’s National Horse ‘The Canadian’ on Facebook.