Anderson Family Bay Shires
Our 8up of bay Shire geldings. Plowing with 3-bottom gang plow. Good friend and horseman, Ross Frank, Leavenworth, Washington, driving while Bill tends to little Mary. Plowing bee in Waitsburg, Washington, late 1990s.
IN THE BEGINNING: The vision of the Anderson Family Shire horses started back when my father, Mel Anderson, was a young boy growing up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. He told us this story. A road was being built not far from his home. Being sometime in the 1920s, horses were used to clear the trees from the roadbed. He said he watched a pair of Shire horses. Men would hook the horses to a stump and they would pull with all their heart. Then the team was unhooked and the men would work to break the roots free. Again, the Shire team was hooked to the stump and they would pull with no thought of giving up. This routine was repeated until the stump pulled free. My father said he admired the way the horses came back time and again with spirit, determination and heart. He never forgot it. As a grown man, running a farm of his own, he used grade Shire horses for farm work. In 1959, Lou Shattuck of Toppenish, Washington, was selling off his Shire horses and Shattuck gave dad his last horse, Lady Ester (21600-M), a purebred Shire mare somewhere in her 20's. Dad took her to White Swan, Washington, to Ed Hanson's Shire stud, Count of Lornadene (21781-S), who was in his 20's. From that pairing, Hardscrabble Ed (22011-S) was born in 1960. Ed was a bright bay stud with four white feet and a stripe in his face! Dad thought, "well, that was easy!" (It would be seven years before another colt came marked that way!)
IN THE INTERIM: As I ("I" being Donna "Sas" Anderson Waldron) and my brother Bill Anderson were growing up we learned to drive horses. We drove them in the fields mowing hay or plowing, we drove them pulling, and we drove them in the show ring. Our horses did it all. Many times we would rush from the 6-up driving competition, pull the show harness off, take the plumes out of their manes, throw the pulling harness on and back to the arena for the pulling contest. And win . . . with tails tied and manes braided! Likewise, I believe we were one of a very few six-up hitches with pulling shoes!
TODAY: My father passed away in 1994. There was never a question of the future of the Anderson Family Shires. My mother, Dorothy, my brother, Bill and his wife, Becky, my sister, Carolyn, and myself, have a passion for our Shire horses and the legacy passed easily to us. However, in 2006, we lost Bill. Although the passion for our Shires is stronger than ever, we are struggling to continue our line of Shires. But, we are up for the fight. Becky and I, with support from the rest of the family, have made a commitment to get some colts on the ground that carry on our unique style of horse. That style being a "work" horse. Not to be ridden--with no desire to enter that market. But a Shire horse that is thick and deep and square on his feet that willingly works in the field and can enter the showring with drive, purpose, determination and pride!
Here are some pictures of our unique family of Shire horses. We hope you enjoy viewing them.
Dave and Sas with Fred and Ben on a header box pulling away from the derrick table. Colfax, Washington, wheat harvest--every Labor Day.
Sas with Ben and Jack getting a bride and groom to their reception in style! This beautiful brass harness belonged to great friend and horseman, the late Jack Penner, of Dayton, Washington. This harness was offered to Sas by Jack's daughter, Karleen, after Jack's passing. It is a treasured possession.
Our future! Mary Anderson, Tayler Hayes, Jack and Willie Anderson, and Maylee Hayes. Mary, Jack and Willie are Bill and Becky's kids; Tayler and Maylee are Carolyn's grandkids. We had a lot more cooperation from Ben, the horse, than the kids!
Our 6up with Sas driving and her husband, Dave Waldron. Taken at the Benton-Franklin County Fair, Kennewick, Washington, 2004.
Barney and Jerry. Exhibiting what Mel truly admired about his Shires--their proud presence! Bill on the lines. Taken at the Sandpoint Draft Horse Show, probably skidding logs.
Fred and Ben doing their best to wait patiently. Bill bringing in some logs for our campfire. Memorial Day, 2004.
Sas raking hay with Fred and Duke at home in Pomeroy, Washington. Pulling a rake reconditioned by her father-in-law, Herman Waldron, behind a Pioneer fore cart. (2005 or 2006)
Sas with 4up on tandem sack wagons. Getting ready for hometown parade, Pomeroy, Washington, 2004.
Bill mowing hay at his farm in Ellensburg. Jack and Mac are the horses. Taken in June, 2004
Our hitch. After 10 days stalled at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima, Washington, the last thing we do before we load up and go home is turn the boys loose in the arena so people can watch them run and buck and ROLL and be horses! Taken September, 2006.
Bill and Sas feeding cows on a cold winter day. Winter is when the colts were hooked with Fred, our breaking horse. Every day they had to back to the stack, pull through mud, stand by a flapping hay tarp and negotiate haybunks and corral gates. Great repetitious work.
Dave and Sas with a four abreast on a grain drill. Good steady work for our horses who would rather work than stand. Annual farm days in Pomeroy, Washington, 2005.
Mel pulling with Bill doing the hooking. Rainier, Washington, sometime in the 1970s.
Becky driving a 4up at the Yakima fair. It had been a long time since she'd had the lines in her hands, but I guess some things just come naturally! (2006)
Duke. One of our leaders. He is very athletic and the type of horse we are striving for.
Our family would like your comments regarding our style of Shire horse. We aren't trying to sell you a horse, but we would like to determine if there are others out there who appreciate what we are trying to raise. Click here to send your comments. Thank you.
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