Sonoma, California - Where It All Began...
Back in 1922, Henry Castagnasso had a drayage business hauling mostly light delivery items. Henry's son Harry helped with the business, driving and caring for the horses. At one point they had twenty-two teams of horses making deliveries. This got them into breeding Clydesdales.
Through the years, Don Castagnasso, Harry's youngest son, enjoyed keeping the tradition alive. In an interview with Miles R. McCarry with the The Draft Horse Journal in the Summer of 2004, Don remembers:
-Belgians and Percherons are probably what you want for real heavy hauling. But my dad and grandfather noticed that in their kind of work, Clyde teams got back to the barn faster.
In 1969, Don relocated to Carlotte, Michigan, and started selling horses to Anheuser-Busch and later worked for them for 15 years.
The Fifth Generation...
Tony Knecht is now the fifth generation carrying on the tradition - stationed out of the original homestead and using the same barn his great grandfather Henry did. Tony participates in several shows each year - from California to Denver - showing in the halter and driving classes.
Some of the shows Tony particiates in include:
- Western Regional Draft Horse Show - Monroe, WA
- Draft Horse Classic - Grass Valley, CA
- National Western Stock and Rodeo Show - Denver, CO
Currently, Tony has 25 horses spread throughout Sonoma in various pastures.