About the Canadian Sport Horse Association
The roots of the Canadian Sport Horse Association go back to 1926 when the Canadian Hunter and Light Horse Improvement Society was created which later evolved into the Canadian Hunter Improvement Society. In the mid 1980’s the Society became the Canadian Sport Horse Association (or CSHA) which incorporated the term “sport horse”, defined as a horse capable of successfully competing in the disciplines of Dressage, Jumper, Eventing or Hunter. The terms “sport horse” and “warmblood” are synonymous, both indicating the original combination of hot blood from such breeds as Thoroughbred and Arabian and colder blood from the heavier draft types that were in use early in the 1900’s.
Since 1926, the CSHA has been registering and identifying sport horses and as market demands have changed, so too have the practices of the Association. In 1926, horses were still a mode of transportation and the idea was to inspect and select the farm mare that was usually of a mixed breed and often had a substantial cold-blood influence. These mares were then crossed on imported Thoroughbred stallions to create a sound and useable saddle horse. This same technique was well tried and used in many countries, notably Ireland where it was used to produce the Irish Sport Horse by crossing the Irish Draught with the Thoroughbred.
European warmblood horses have gained an undeniable supremacy of the sport horse world in competition circles. With the influx of warmblood horses into Canada in the mid to late 1900s, the Canadian Sport Horse Association recognized the potential for increasing the quality of performance horses in its studbook by including such horses. The CSHA was the first open studbook in North America to include European warmbloods in its pedigrees – a practice emulated by many others.
The CSHA is incorporated under Agriculture Canada’s Animal Pedigree Act as an Evolving Breed. This designation provides the Canadian Sport Horse breeders the freedom and flexibility to plan individual breeding programs based on market trends and genetic science. At the same time, breeders benefit from the credibility of registering their stock with a longstanding studbook that is respected worldwide. The CSHA is also a member of the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses and breed member affiliate of Equine Canada.
The CSHA and its membership are part of the equine and agriculture communities in Canada with a goal to ensure a viable future for members by providing assistance and developing programs to ensure that future domestically and internationally. Our mandate is to promote the awareness of Canadian Sport Horses, to keep records, organize inspections and to provide information and assist breeders with trustworthy registration in keeping with respected International standards.
Mare & Stallion Inspections
All horses intended for breeding purposes must be inspected and to be approved, must meet the required criteria for sport horse type. Sight unseen approvals may be given for mares and stallions based on their approval with their stud book of origin or on their high performance accomplishments as well as pedigree. Internationally performing stallions and mares help CSHA to incorporate high performance athletes into the breeding population.
CSHA Shows and Events
To help our members promote and prepare their Canadian Sport Horses for competition, the Association puts on breed shows, graciously hosted and manned by many volunteers and supported by our sponsors, jumping and handling clinics, and inspections for mares and stallions. The CSHA hosts the qualifiers for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s prestigious Cup Classes and is the name sponsor of the Lieutenant Governor’s Cup. In addition we offer a full breeding division at the Royal.