By Renee Larr
Eleven-year-old Westfield resident Ezra Tolan knows a thing or two about horses. His mother, Westfield Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan, and her parents have been showing horses for 30 years. Ezra recently competed at the North American Belgian Championship 8 held in Springfield, Mass. He placed second in junior showmanship and third in judging.
“He was born into it and loved it. Thank goodness. He was the second-youngest one in his class, junior showmanship,” Danielle said. “The judge is looking at them, not the horse. They’re looking at how well they’re showing themselves and how well they know the techniques. In judging they bring out six different horses, and these kids had to look at the horses, watch them perform like a judge would and place them as a judge would. They would rank them first through sixth and give a reason why they ranked them that way. He went through the judging process like an official judge would, and he got graded on how well he knew his horses.”
The show rotates between the U.S. and Canada every four years. Depending on where in Canada the next competition will be held will determine if Ezra can show again in 2020. The trip can be very difficult for the horses. Ezra may not be able to compete again for eight years, so the win is especially exciting.
“He was on cloud nine, and the excited look on his face was priceless. He was so ecstatic,” Danielle said. “For an 11-year-old to make that accomplishment is a big deal. He worked very hard. He goes to the stalls daily. It’s not us doing all the work for him.”
Ezra is no one trick pony, though. He recently started his own business, Moe Corn.
“He’s a sixth generation farm family from here in Westfield. My dad gave him this old planter and tractor, so he’s been planting his own sweet corn for the last two years, but this year once he got done planting the corn he decided he wanted to sell it,” Danielle said.