Builder & Equestrian Athlete
A 44-year passion for horses turned into a full-time national and international equestrian career for Calvin Hanson.
For 24 years, he was an exhibitor and trainer who showed horses competitively in a variety of disciplines winning over 500 awards in North America including 120 championships and 161 first prizes internationally, nationally, provincially, regionally, and locally – all achieved as a self-coached equestrian.
For 37 years, he was a builder in the equestrian sport. As a recognized official, Calvin was a highly respected international judge holding 26 judges licenses in Canada and the U.S. He held the most licenses of any judge in Equine Canada and USA Equestrian Federation at the time, and he was the only judge in both countries licensed in all three equestrian seats. Twenty-five of his judges licenses were the highest level attainable in the sport. He judged from coast to coast in Canada, the U.S. and South Africa including world, grand national, international, national, regional, state, and provincial championships. He was a mentor to many apprentice judges, and to attendees at his judges seminars when he served as clinician/educator. Among his many accomplishments, he has bred champion Morgan and Arabian horses. Offspring produced by his ‘Big Oak Farm’ either won and/or produced champions at the world, grand national, international, regional, state and provincial level. Horses carrying the Hanson-bred Morgan horse bloodline have claimed to date 83 World Championships and Reserves, 89 Grand National Championships and Reserves, and at least 130 Regional Championships and Reserves. Calvin also bred several Champion Arabian horses.
He authored 28 copyrighted works and five books – three Morgan history books, plus "Score Cards for Equestrian Judges" and "Equitation Workouts – Practice Makes Perfect for Equestrian Judges, Coaches, Trainers and Riders." He served as guest editor of "The Morgan Horse" magazine in the U.S. Regularly, he authored articles for various magazines in Canada and internationally, and was also a horse show reporter, photographer and videographer. As an historian, he produced a CD on the genealogy and history of the Morgan horse breed. In 1973, he founded the Canadian Morgan Horse Association’s National Zonal High Score Awards program, and he also created the equitation Medal class rules for all seats in that association. As an executive, he served many national and international horse associations as chairman, committee member, and board of directors member creating and developing the official rules of the sport governing the showing of horses, horse shows, and judges in Canada and the U.S.
Locally, he originated several horse shows at Avonmore, Newington, and Williamstown. He served as a horse show volunteer, gave clinics to youth and adult groups, developed new classes at many competitions, and spearheaded equestrian clubs in the Cornwall and Ottawa areas.
In 1996, he received the highest honour awarded by the State of Kentucky, ‘The Honourable Order Of Kentucky Colonels’ from the Governor of Kentucky Paul E. Patton. In 1996, he received the key to the city of Louisville, Kentucky from Mayor Jerry Abramson. He received honour certificates from the Governor of Ohio George V. Voinovich in 1996, and the Premier of South Africa’s Western Cape Hernus Kriel in 1998. The American Morgan Horse Association presented Calvin with three honours: the "Man of the Year Award" in 1999, "The Calvin Hanson Project – First CD-ROM Produced May 2001 Award" and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. He received the "Benson Friends of the Round Table Award" at the 2007 Cornwall Lions Club Sports Awards banquet. In 2008, Calvin was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame.
Dalton Adams presenting to John Stewart on behalf of Calvin Hanson.