The World Percheron Congress is coming to the Keystone Centre next month, with over 250 beautiful Percheron horses to be showcased over the 4-day event.

Organizing committee member, and Fundraising Chair, Ivan Strain was pleased to receive a cheque for $20,000 from Manitoba's Minster of Agriculture, Derek Johnson, at Thursday's special presentation in Brandon.

"It was a very pleasant surprise, but not unexpected, because the Province supports many things, and as people put in requests they get assistance, whether its in baseball, hockey and more," shares Strain.  "In this case its for horses and this world-class event."

The Percheron breed originated in France and was transported to North America to be used as farm work horses.  Strain says the World Percheron Congress truly showcases the beauty and the strength of these beautiful draft horses through their various events over the course of the 4 days.  The Percheron were among the few strong enough to break farmland by the earliest homesteaders.  "It's part of Canada's cultural heritage," he adds.

This small but determined group of Manitoba owners and breeders have been working towards the 2022 show since 2016.  The first step was to secure the Keystone Centre for the event, then to go to the Canadian Percheron Association for confirmation, next to the American Percheron Association for approval, to finally have the 2022 event be announced at the 2018 World Percheron Congress in Des Moines, Iowa.

"It has gone over so very well," explains Strain. "This event has only happened in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and this is now the second time in Manitoba (the first Manitoba event was in 2004).  So, it's very special!"

"To myself its very special because I've got 2 sons and grandchildren who are helping with this event and helping to keeping the Percheron breed alive."

When the event was secured back in 2018 to return to Manitoba's Keystone Centre the committee was expecting well over 500 horses.  However, since the pandemic, border closures and vaccine mandates, the number of participants has decreased to approximately 250.  "It doesn't look like the border will open in time for these people to come to the 18th World Percheron Congress.  It's a sorry situation. But we will continue on with planning this world event."

The World Percheron Congress is coming to the Keystone Centre July 18-21, 2022.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website at

Please listen to more of the interview with Ivan Strain and CJRB's Betty Sawatzky below: