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Battle of the Breeds still going strong after 25 years

Ten horse breeds pitted against one another in trail riding, barrel racing

From fully feathered Gypsy Vanners to pipsqueak ponies, the Battle of the Breeds horse competition is a spectacle that tests the versatility, bravery and speed of each horse.

The event, now 25 years old, pits 10 breeds against one another in trail riding and barrel racing. The trail course at the Spruce Meadows equestrian complex features a huge inflated ball, ditch jumping, bridge and water crossing, flag bearing, bucket carrying, and even fetching a phone book from a telephone booth.

Pigtails flew in the wind and rain, and feathered fetlocks dashed through the unseasonable snow as horses and riders, donned in their best of tack and outfits, vied for the championship crown. The interbreed battle included mules, quarter-horses, Arabians, Appaloosas, pintos, Shetland ponies, Morgans, Canadians, paints and Gypsy Vanners. Each team consists of three members and riders could compete in either Western or English style.

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