Image: The Breeder’s Gazette, 1892

Thistle Ha’ first entered livestock in the Ontario late-summer agricultural fair in 1838. In 1879 this show was permanently located in Toronto and renamed the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). Thistle Ha’ did not enter the show every year – family members were busy buying livestock overseas, or exhibitions were cancelled in wartime. However, Thistle Ha’ livestock appeared at these provincial shows for a span of over 110 years until the CNE turned away from its agricultural roots to focus on attracting the urban crowd in the 1950s.