Carol Harris Talks Cloning

Many-time cloned stallion, Smart Little Lena.

The Tuesday, May 4th edition of The Washington Post featured an article about the cloning of horses. Writer Stephen Hudak interviewed long-time Quarter Horse breeder, Carol Harris, who is now 86, and owner of Bo-Bett Farm in Florida.

By now everyone is familiar with the first cloned animal, a sheep named Dolly, born in 1996, and deceased in 2003, when she was euthanized, at the age of six, with severe arthritis and lung cancer.

According to the article in The Post, there are about 65 equine clones now in existence, with 50 of them produced by the Texas company ViaGen, a cloning center which is expecting another 50 equine births in 2010.

While most major breed associations do not allow the registration of cloning, it’s troubling nonetheless, to many in the horse industry. Particularly, when in some sports, such as barrel racing, whether an animal is registered or not, may be somewhat secondary, as in the case of Charmayne Jame’s clone of her extraordinary barrel gelding, Scamper.

Since Scamper was a virtual unknown, and a further, a gelding, there was no hope of breeding another like him. So James decided to clone the horse in the hopes of continuing his bloodline for the sport of barrel racing. The successful clone, Clayton now stands to the public for a fee of $4,000 U.S.

Clayton, the clone of Scamper, now stands as a breeding stallion.

Harris isn’t a big proponent of cloning and unabashedly states her view in the article, concluding horse people get into cloning because they “smell money” and are “looking for a shortcut to a great horse.”

Cloning will likely continue to be an interesting debate in the horse industry. Harris’ viewpoint is black and white: “Breeding is an art. Cloning is a replication.”

Others, like James, have an each-to-his-own viewpoint, and do not see a disservice to the industry or equine world in the matter of cloning.

So, internet world, where do you stand?

Winners to the Fly Mask Contest

Jeremiah Watt's Canadian Saddle

The Jeremiah Watt saddle pictured in Western Horse Review May issue's Hooked on Horses is referred to as The Canadian as it was made by Watt for a long time family friend who lives in Manitoba.  This is a Wade saddle built on a Jeremiah Watt signature hand-made saddle tree, crafted on his ranch in Central California.The request was for a Wade saddle to fit heavy framed Quarter Horses, and crafted so a lady could get her hand onto a Wade type horn.

The saddle has a mix of 4X flowers up between basket stamping, a fine weave border, and a medium oil finish.

High karat gold monograms were added to the cantle concho because of the great basin style the lady liked so much. The Tame Rose carving done on The Canadian required Watt to make a few specialty carving tools to get the sharp ridges and edges onto each rose petal.

Writer Elise Dale from Saskatchewan interviewed renowned saddlemaker, bit maker, photographer and artisian Jeremiah Watt and found him gracious and highly knowledgeable.

“I valued the opportunity I had to speak to this pragmatic man. I received some fantastic information; and with his gracious nature he thanked me for the time we spent on a number of subjects,” said Dale.

She also called up her favorite quote of Watt's: “Books can paint the picture with words and poems set a stage with prose, but when reality, personal experience and appreciation become one, there are no words that can aptly describe the sunset that you have ridden home in, no prose can better describe the size of the Montana sky than the one you have ridden under.”

See more of Watt's work on his website at www.ranch2arena.com and pick up the May issue on stands now, and enjoy Elise's interview with Watt.

Best Babies Batch #2

ENTRIES FROM WHR’S BEST BABIES PHOTO CONTEST

We’ve loved receiving your submissions to the foal contest! Keep them coming, this is a long-standing contest running until June 30. Here is a selection of the second set of entries we’ve received for our Best Babies Photo Contest. (You can see the first batch in the March Screen Doors and Saddles Archives). I’ll post another June 1 and the final June 30, after which the judges will make their decision and one lucky winner will go home with the Greenhawk foal package.

Floppy ears by Nu Doc Boy out of Arabian mare. Photo by Gloria Dodd, Cache Creek, BC.

Charlie by Simply Cinnamon out of Majors Sugar Bear. Photo by Leanne Thomas, Widney Paints, Okotoks, AB.

Mojo by Simply Cinnamon out of Willow With Champagne. Photo by Leanne Thomas, Widney Ranch Paints, Okotoks, AB.

Whatcha looking at? Foal by Got Pep, out of Peppahickaroo. Photo by Christine Fleming, Fleming Land and Livestock, Sherwood Park, AB.

Murphy the mini. Photo by Emma Feltz.

Barrel racing beauty by PC Double Frost out of La Suena, Bar 77 Ranch, Brandon, MB. Photo by Jean Marc Perron.

Poco Docs Supreme by Poco Docs Jessie, out of Holmdale Peponita. Photo by Jane Feltz.

Hey baby it’s spring! 2010 filly by Meradas Money Talks out of Smart Rosey Chic (Smart Chic Olena) owned by J. Drummond Farms. Photo taken by Danielle LaForge of Regina, SK.

Powder, meet Chardonnay. Black Powder is out of a Foxtrotter mare and by a Spotted Saddle Horse stud named Soldier. Photo by Lori O’Neal, Dover, Arkansas.

Good listener, Betchahezablessing, a solid Paint. Photo by Denise Pederson, Bentley, AB.

Now it’s your turn, you still have plenty of time to submit your foal photos and enter our Best Babies Photo Contest. You might win our fantastic foaling package, sponsored by Greenhawk (value: $130). Please send your photo, a brief description of foal’s pedigree if applicable, photographer’s name and hometown to dknews@telus.net.

May 1.

Thursday morning.

Saturday morning.

Apparently, the change in climate has been met with approval all-around.

Thanks to everyone who commented and e-mailed on my April 29, 2010 post, it was great to read your mid-storm musings, and how you spent your day!

Celebrating Spring

A weekend is a great reason to celebrate for horsepeople as it usually involves an equine-related activity of some flavor. I figure particularly this weekend, it being the first of May, is cause to break out the contest. To win one of two of these lovely Farnam Supermasks just enter in the Comment section below and tell us what your horse plans for the weekend include. It may be something as simple as spending some quality barn-time with your horse or attending a show or event. With any luck, it won’t be in the same genre as mine, which is set to feature spring cleaning and repair of a certain feed room.

We’ll randomly choose two winners and the lucky recipients will be donning their equine friends in one of these fashionable fly masks just in time for bug season.

Contest closes on Monday, May 3, so don’t delay.

April 29, 2010. Anywhere on the Prairies

I love snow days in the country. There’s just something about them. The solitude. The weather in all of it’s fury. In all of it’s indifference.

I may have been a little optimistic in putting the lawn furniture out a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, I remembered the umbrella.

Even the shelterbelt is a photo-op waiting to be shot.

Dogs. They just live for the moment don’t they?

It’s a little bit of glory out there today.

Others beg to differ.

Somewhat oblivious to the knowledge we’ve been through worse.

Remember this. Circa May long weekend, 2007. That was a storm.

It took us the better part of summer to clean up the deadfall.

Some trees never did recover. The combination of fresh, heavy spring snow on trees already laden with leaves was too great a weight for the branches to bear. I admit, I cried a little over this one. It was our swing tree.

Or this storm, early May last year.

Brutal. Just before a show weekend.

And then there was this. It all began innocently enough on Dec. 4, 2009, and by Dec. 5 morphed into the mother of all winter storms.

I haven’t seen drifts like this since 1923.

That day this little mare wouldn’t come in, and hunkered down at the far end of the pasture. I ventured out in the freezing winds to retrieve her, but she refused my assistance. I tried for an hour in -65°C temperatures. Or something like that. It was a long time. It was bitter. My fingers and toes were frozen. I was staring out at the world through frost-laden eyelashes. Even the dogs went home. Finally, I gave it up and fought my way back through the snowdrifts. At the paddock gate I wheeled around and there she was. Right behind me. Like, right behind me. She’s a funny one, this mare. I’m hoping she’ll grow up next year.

Her actions have already indicated it’s unlikely.

“Und vhat are you lookeen at?”

Sorry, I had to do that. I needed the humor. The power is out, the wind is howling, my laptop is running dangerously low on batteries. There’s an open can of beans on the counter with a fork stuck in it. I could be coming down with cabin fever.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the look at my day today.

P.S. Send your April 29-30 great spring snowstorm, or those shots of you by the pool, or gardening, or loping in your outside arena – depending on what end of the country you reside in – to dknews@telus.net. Later, we’ll take a poll on where we’d all rather live. Somedays.

A Lover of the Heavy Horse

Merle Gallant is featured in our May issue’s How We Ride Here. Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, where he and his dad maintained a farm and chored with a pair of heavy horses, Gallant missed the the gentle giants when he moved to Alberta in 2001.

He remembers, “I did not recognize or appreciate the skills and tradition I was so blessed to be a part of or how much I enjoyed them until I left my home.”

Soon after he purchased a pair from a farm in Saskatchewan and now shows and competes with several teams.

I hope you enjoy writer Jenn Council’s interview with Gallant. I really appreciate people who still have heavy horses, they hold a beauty so unlike the light horse. Unfortunately, as Gallant relates, the use of draft horses is a dying tradition and while I’ve never met a horseperson who isn’t awed by these animals, the logistics of keeping one is insurmountable for most of us.

For those of you who are interested, Gallant invites you to visit his Facebook page and relates: “I hope that people interested in horse pulls and draft breeds will take the time to contact me, I can be found on Facebook and can be e-mailed at merle.gallant@hotmail.com. In the meantime we will do all we can to preserve our horse’s history and traditions, as long as we continue with lots of work and lots of love we know our horses will give back. With a little luck we will be able to spread the word to the next generation.”

Well said.

Brand It Contest Winners

Alrighty, it’s time to announce the winners of our Brand-It Contest. First of all, we’ll let you in on the top five brand names embedded in the hearts of our readers. Incidentally, here at command center of www.westernhorsereview.com, we have developed a highly technical system for deriving these results. . .

The top five named brands in the contest answers were:

Cruel Girl

Wrangler

Ariat

Weaver

Justin

Thanks everyone for participating in our inaugural online contest. I’ll be back later with week with another. Here’s our top three winners:

Katrina T. entered on April 6
Alysha entered on April 6
Kat M. entered on April 6

(P.S. – no you didn’t miss the fine print stating April 6 entries received priority; it was a complete fluke that all three winners drawn entered on April 6)

You lucky gals please contact Beth at dakotade@telusplanet.net with your particulars, you have 30 days to claim your prize.