DFI Snaffle Bit Futurity, Derby & AB Championship Show

Another edition of the ARCHA’s DFI Snaffle Bit Futurity, Derby & Alberta Championship Show is in the books. Held this past weekend at the Claresholm Agri-Plex, cow horse enthusiasts of the purest kind came to cheer on their fellow mates and watch true, unfettered vaquero action. There were futurity horses, 2-rein horses, spotted horses… and a whole lot of wild cows!

All kidding aside, the best of the best in the country came out to test their cow horses and vie for almost $60,000 in prize money. The DFI Snaffle Bit Futurity / Derby & Championship Show is unique in that it offers a showcase for three-year-old cow horses, derby horses and a chance for bragging rights in the provincial championship segment.

Currently, the annual event it is listed as one of the top 20 paying cow horse shows, as according to Equistat.

And besides that – it has got to be the only prestigious western performance horse event that offers a bouncy castle…

Seriously, how fabulous is that??

The bouncy castle was the brain-child of Bart Holowath who, apparently is “… a big kid at heart” himself. Says his wife and event organizer Terri, “Bart loves to make the kids happy. His theory behind it is ‘Happy wife, happy life.’ If you keep the trainer’s spouses happy they will make sure their husband is at our show, supporting the event.”

Well done Mr. Holowath. Well done.


Winning the coveted Futurity was John Swales and Crazy Cat Lady.

(No, that is not an error –that is the horse’s real name… Haha!)

Crazy Cat Lady is owned by Ron Stuckert & Diana Runge and won $4,800 for the championship.

John Swales and Crazy Cat Lady.

And winning the Non-Pro Futurity was Mark Parsons and Chics Ruffled Up. With a total aggregate of 413.50, this duo earned $2,240 for the win.

Mark Parsons and Chics Ruffled Up.

Earning the lion’s share of the Open Derby was Dale Clearwater and Ima Deluxe Playgirl. They took home a cheque totaling $2,730 for owners Rod and Dianne Blackmore. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture a picture of this victorious pair but I promise to return in the December Championship issue of WHR with the big winner interviews and show highlights.

Until then, here are a few more shots from the weekend. Enjoy!

SK's APHA Approved Trail Ride


Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club

Youth Champion Taylor Gardner crosses the river on Mr Sylvester.

The Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club hosted their first APHA approved Trail Ride and Outdoor Trail Challenge Competition on June 30 and July 1, 2012. The event was held at Trails End Guest Ranch in the beautiful Arm River Valley and just as their name indicates the guest ranch is tucked into the beautiful valley – at the end of the trail. Owner and operators of the Guest Ranch, Lyle and Chris Benz were most excellent hosts for this family friendly event. The weekend event was open to all breeds of horses and ages of riders and folks could come for the guided trail ride on Saturday, or the Trail Challenge on Sunday. Most folks came for the weekend and made a family holiday out of it. The facilities easily accommodated campers and RV’s and boasts a motel, showers and cabin rental options.

Lyle led a relaxed group of 28 riders on a three hour ride on Saturday, June 30. With rolling hills to ride in, river crossings and natural history to enjoy, this was an unforgettable trail ride for many.

APHA Saskatchewan Trail Ride

APHC Champion Bruce Martin has his hands full as he heads for a swim.

Lyle led the group through the coulees; silver sage and buck brush past a huge buffalo rub stone and a buffalo jump site. Tee pee rings are still evident on the hill side and buffalo bones found in a dig site have been dated back 2000 years. A ride to the peaks of the valley rewarded you with fields of waving grass and pastureland. You could easily imagine herds of buffalo grazing on them in another time.

Horses over came their fear of water as they attempted and succeeded with numerous river crossings and later the swim hole. They encountered cattle and dealt with difficult and varied terrain. For the show horses on the trail ride, it was a welcome change and you could see the pleasure in their expressions.

APHA Saskatchewan Trail Ride

Ladies Champion Stephanie McMillan, along with her mother Colleen, cools off in the river.

After the last river crossing the group came upon a small herd of red Angus steers belonging to Trails End Ranchs. This provided an opportunity to expose horses to a nice quiet herd of cattle and to test their cow sense.

One of the highlights of the weekend came after the trail ride and during the heavy heat of the afternoon. Faced with the question of do we go and ride on the hills again or do we go for a swim? The swim won out for many hot horses and riders. Lyle advised everyone to ride with a simple halter and lead rope and to take it slow with their horses. One rider declared she could cross one more thing off her bucket list, an exchange student from Finland said she had never done anything this much fun before in her life! Wondering down the riverbed towards the swim hole gave horses a chance to become acquainted with the feel of water all around them. The swim hole could accommodate quite a few horses at a time. It was pure entertainment for those who were not riding and sheer joy for those who were on the horse’s backs. Some horses loved it so much they played hippopotamus and would plunge their whole heads under water as they swam with just their eyes peeking out.

The ranch staff set up a beautiful steak supper with all the fixings. Following supper folks saddled up and rode over to the large outdoor arena where a mounted shooting demonstration took place. This was a good opportunity for people to expose their horse to the gun fire and see how they would react. Following the mounted shooting many folks choose to hit the hills and the river for a little more riding or to work on certain skills in the arena in preparation for the Trail Challenge the next day. Later that evening after horses were fed, watered and put to bed everyone gathered round the huge bon fire to listen to a trio of talented local musicians play guitars and banjo and sing songs. Some folks simply enjoyed the starry sky from the hot tub.

The Open Trail Challenge took place on Sunday, July 1, with Judge Chris Larsen of Crooked River, Steward and Laura Martin, and Edam directing competitors. A total of 40 riders signed up to compete in four separate divisions. The challenging course was situated along the river banks of the Arm River, across a meadow, up a hill and was approximately ¾ of a mile in length. The first obstacle was a jump, followed by a ramp, then a fallen log drag, a river crossing, lope along the river bank, a second river crossing, a lope up a hill to ride under several large hoops, lope back down the hill to a ground tie area for a dismount and walk around then dependent upon the division you were competing in you would either load and unload your horse in a trailer or pick up a slicker and carry it to another post.

The top riders in each of the four divisions were: Youth, Taylor Gardner of Saskatoon, Ladies, Stephanie McMillan of Cudworth; Men’s, Robert Barbour of Warman; APHA – Bruce Martin of Edam. Each was awarded a beautiful custom Gist Buckle.

Saskatchewan APHA Trail Ride

Men’s Champion, Robert Barbour, Warman, SK.

A huge thank you goes out to the Trails End Guest Ranch for their hospitality, to judge Chris Larsen and to generous buckle sponsors; APHA – Painted River Ranch Posse; Men’s – Cindy Borhen & Trevor Mikolajczyk ; Ladies- Taze Consulting (Al & Trish Fisher); Youth – Tech Ops Pipeline Consulting (Rick & Sue Layh). Many congrats also to the SPHC Board for the taking on this new initiative and to Laura Martin who coordinated the event.

The Second Annual Trail Ride and Outdoor Trail Challenge with take place on July 20 and 21, 2013 once again at the beautiful Trails End Guest Ranch. Check the Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club website www.saskpainthorse.com for future updates on the next big challenge.

September/October Sneak Peek

Coming soon to your mailbox and newsstand, I’m excited to preview the September/October issue for y’all here.

When I watched seasoned chuckwagon driver Chad Harden’s lead horse collapse and the subsequent pile-up of horses, humans and wheels during a heat of the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby on July 12, my heart leapt to my throat. Reviewing it on film, it was unimaginable the humans escaped injury, but fortunately they did. Three horses however, were lost; the Harden family and his barn subsequently devastated and heartbroken. Those immersed in the chuck racing circuit culture know and understand the level of care and love that goes into these animals, where horses are truly a part of the family.

Chad Harden racing at the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby. Photo by Deanna Buschert.

 Just three nights later on July 15, after the last heat of the races, 40-year veteran driver Grant Profit, sold his entire outfit including horses, during a retirement auction at the same barns Harden’s team had pulled out of three days before. A highlight of the sale was the right and left lead of Profit’s team – Forever Grand and Anglian Prince, a pair of former race horses. The 13-year-old Thoroughbreds sold for a combined $179,000 to another experienced driver, Kelly Sutherland. He later stated he felt the two horses who had been “barned together” for many years should stay together, illustrating the value these horses represent to their owners – not only in monetary means, but emotionally as well.

I spoke with Shelly Profit after the sale and she reiterated their devotion to their animals:

“All of our horses that we sold meant the world to us and we spent hours every day with them. Caring for them, feeding, brushing and training, each one of them have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. Even in the winter we would just go out in the pasture with them and they would all come up to us for a pet on the nose, and most of them loved peppermints and that was their treats. They were truly a part of our family, and we miss them dearly.”

A study on chuckwagon horses during races is currently in progress by a University of Calgary researcher who was on the scene at this year’s Rangeland Derby conducting a series of medical trials on the horses. Deanna Buschert’s piece, Scientific Experiment, reveals how that research may help not only chuckwagon horses, but other equine athletes as well.

Max Gibb is confident of the Balzac racetrack’s future. “It will make us the Woodbine of Western Canada,” he says. “And, it will be a big, big boost for horse racing.” Photo by Jessica Patterson

The remains of a track of another sort stands abandoned in a field northeast of Calgary. The Balzac racetrack was destined to restore and nurture the growth of horse racing in Alberta. Instead it dissolved into a field of unrealized dreams. Writer Jessica Patterson spent a good month researching the timeline of how this dream went down for her story, Field of Dreams. There is a faint hope the track will move forward, though on a much reduced scale and with mini-steps. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

When we came across this photo of Chantal Sutherland in a recent issue of Vanity Fair, we knew we had to include the Ontario born jockey in Jenn Webster’s feature piece, Generation Y Cowgirl. 

With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (those born 1981-1994) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. This group of achievement-oriented individuals are both tech-savvy and conversely, uninterested in the fast track. They’ll gladly trade in the security of a job for a flexible work schedule and doing what they love. They are attention-cravers and motivated by praise and reassurance, whether by mentors or a much larger audience. Outside of the baby boomers, they are the most influential demographic group in our population. I love Jenn Webster’s interviews with four such incredibly driven females, including Chantal, in her story.

 This feature quickly came forward as the subject for this issue’s cover. Thanks to photographer Neville Palmer for his conceptualization of this cover shoot.

Also in this issue, Managing Editor, Dainya Sapergia, also takes a up close and personal look at the relatively underground sport of polocrosse.

Photo by Krista Kay.

Western Lifestyle Editor, Deanna Beckley, together with photographer, Krista Kay, put together an eight page Fall Fashion feature, which simply wowed us all.

Photo by Deanna Buschert.

Deanna Buschert and I enjoyed a positively lovely afternoon hanging out with this gal and her Corgi’s in her incredible western home, and I was able to write about it in my feature, Western Retreat. 

With show season in full swing we covered some of the very many events already completed, took a look at the Calgary Stampede’s Cowboy Challenge champion Jim Anderson’s favorite bit and kicked off a new regular feature, Show Ready, this issue showcasing must-have items every reiner has on their list.

In the realm of horse health, don’t miss our Equine Practitioners Guide, showcasing a selection of the top professionals in the business. As well, we take a look at five favorite equine supplements, get yourself versed on how to recognize and understand lameness, and develop an understanding for why some two-year-olds are shod.

Photo by Larry Wong.

Writer Melissa Sword penned a fascinating piece on barrel racer Gaylene Buff, in her piece, Driven to Succeed. As you will read, this is a competitor with a hard working attitude and intense determination to succeed.

Finally, it’s sale time! Check out the best sales of this fall in our annual Fall Sale Guide. (Be sure you are subscribed to our e-newsletter feed to catch updates on these sales and heads up of late additions.)

We hope we’ve hit the right mix of horsemanship, western culture and style for y’all with this issue. I hope you love reading it, as much as we enjoyed building it.

The AEF Says Vote 'NO'

Alberta Equestrian Federation

The and vote on the purposed Equine Canada Constitution and Bylaw changes.

The AEF states that by voting “NO” on all purposed bylaw changes, it will benefit the AEF and their members. If a majority “NO” vote is the result, Equine Canada will be required to redesign their Constitution and Bylaw Article.

The purpose of these bylaws relate to the general conduct of the affairs of Equine Canada. The proposed changes are outlined in the above link to the article. Check it out if you are interested in participating in the voting for or against these changes.

If you are having difficulties with EC’s voting system please contact Crystal Labelle CLabelle@equinecanada.ca directly.

In This Issue: May/June

As promised we did the draw for the second set of Mane Event tickets to give away at noon. Congratulations Denise Pezderic, you’ve got yourself two passes to this weekend’s Mane Event in Red Deer, Alberta. Pick up your tickets at the front ticket booth at the show.
Denise’s response to the question of what she’s looking forward to at this year’s event:
“Hands down my favorite part of Mane Event is Jonathon Field. So much fun to watch him work with his horses. Just amazing. I love the problem solving and skill shown in the Trainers Challenge too, fun to watch the progress over the weekend. Jackie Johnson is fun and talented Saskatchewan gal that puts on a fun clinic as well. Mane Event rocks!”
Our May/June issue just rolled off the press, and I want to share some of the contents with you.
We interviewed three Canadian barn builders and profiled a barn from each, timely and great ideas for anyone considering a build or reno this spring.

photo credit: Crimson Chickadee Photography

Our regular feature Out West, celebrating life in the West, pays homage to mothers and daughters and their horses, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Hayfork Steer by Vel Miller, Atascadero, California – wall mounted bronze.

This magnificent bronze is hanging on the wall of the horse person we’ve featured in our new Western Art feature – What’s Hanging on Your Wall, which asks just that question of horse people. We also profile B.C. artist Liz Mitten Ryan and tell you how the Glenbow Museum Senior Curator gathered up almost all of an original 17 Charlie Russell originals featured in the Calgary Stampede #1.
Western Style Editor, Deanna Beckley shows you how to build four outfits for the show ring and profiles the best in equine shampoo and conditioners of the season.
Also kicking off this issue is a series we’ve discussing at editorial meetings for some time. Our Alternative Therapies begins with a look at the infrared light therapy and it’s benefits.

photo credit: Krista Kay Photography

Also in the health department, two potentially crippling lamenesses: navicular disease and laminitis are explored. As well we take a look at the benefits of packing a hoof boot along in your trailer.

While she generally tackles health related articles for the magazine, in this issue, Equine Health Editor Susan Kauffmann details the step-by-step plan she and her husband employed to build these sturdy and beautiful horse shelters. Don’t expect these to blow away in the next wind storm.

Futurity Road prospect, McCabe.

In the third instalment of the series Futurity Road, we continue to follow the paths of five futurity bound barrel racing prospects. In this segment, five becomes four as one of the prospects is sold, trainer Raylee Walters reveals her barn must-haves, catches us up with an analysis of the latest events the hopefuls competed in and also discusses the bit she has been using for each of the four remaining horses.
Speaking of bits, cutting and cow horse trainer Dustin Gonnet reveals his handy go-to bit in our Bit of the Month.
Trick rider and Cavalia star Sally Bishop talks about the ups and downs of stunt riding and life on the road. She’s an incredibly brave woman with such a positive outlook on life, it’s not hard to find inspiration through the eyes of this accomplished horse woman.
Our ranch profile spotlights an ambitious and incredibly functional facility near Bozeman, Montana – Copper Spring Ranch.
Lisa Scheistel continues her series on training the two-year-old, and, drum roll. .  we’re really pleased to present an exclusive article with Shawn Flarida, in our Secrets of a Four-Million Dollar Man. It seems he doesn’t appear to be stalled at four million dollars either, as he just won the Open at the NRBC Classic.
Finally don’t miss 15 charming bed and bales stops across Canada, and a recap on the high sellers so far in spring sales (prices appear up!).

A billboard campaign posted by Angel Acres (a US based anti-slaughter group), displayed along an Ottawa, Ontario highway.

Last, but certainly not least – it’s an emotionally charged subject and one close to Canadian horse people, whether we like it or not, as our country allows horse processing. Feature writer Deanna Buschert examined her own thoughts and feelings on the subject as she visited a horse meat processing plant in Alberta to document the tender subject of horse slaughter. We hope you appreciate her candidness and professionalism on the subject.
Hope you enjoy the issue. If you’d like to subscribe do so here. As well, we’ll have some single copies of this issue for sale at the Mane Event. Please stop by the Western Horse Review booth, not only to pick up a copy, but check out our giveaways and contests. We look forward to chatting with you.
Thanks so much for tuning in, and have a great weekend!

Paint Horse History

Wahoo King

Wahoo King was the first gelding registered with APHA.

American Paint Horse Association (APHA) founders and staff gathered on February 16, 2012, to honor and celebrate the official founding day of the 50-year-old association. The luncheon was held at the site of the former Curtwood Hotel, now a modern Chilis’ restaurant, where organizational meetings were held over coffee in the early sixties.

Stories and recollections filled the room, told by some of the founders themselves, including Rebecca Tyler Lockhart, the passionate horsewoman who organized and spearheaded the first meeting. Paint Horse showman and founder Junior Robertson also was in attendance along with Rosie Russell, who was only five years old at the time of the original meeting in 1962.

A framed memorabilia shadow box was presented to the manager of the restaurant and will be displayed to honor the original site where the breed organization formed its roots. APHA founders and staff celebrated over lunch and exchanged stories about the formation of the now second-largest equine breed association in the world. A historical marker is also planned for the site.

One of the association≠s first executive directors, Sam Ed Spence, talked about the humble beginnings of the APHA headquarters. “The phone would ring about six times a day, and three of those were from my wife,” said Spence. “When someone would call about Paint Horses, we would get so excited.”

Spence recalled how he was always on the lookout for Paint Horses to register with the newly formed association, telling how many times he spotted horses for possible registration while driving down the highway. Spence would often approach the owners of those horses for inspection and inclusion into the forming association. One such horse that he spotted was a beautiful overo stallion seen on top of a hill while driving with Ralph Russell on their way to a show.

“Ralph hit the first exit we could find and wheeled the rig around,” said Spence. “We were always on the lookout. There were a lot of Paint Horses around the country that hadn’t been registered yet, and you could tell from the highway that this was one good sucker. We drove up and crawled up on the fence, and there was Wahoo King.”

Although Spence found many unregistered horses in his travels, this particular time he had stumbled across an already-accomplished horse, having won grand champion in the first APHA show held and going on to become a world-class roping horse. Wahoo King was the first gelding registered with APHA. Good-looking and athletic, the gelding attracted many horsemen to the association after watching him perform.

The stories told during the Founders Luncheon focused on not just the horses, but also the people who had a vision for the association and a love of colorful horses. Former APHA Executive Director Ed Roberts held that title for over 25 years and witnessed massive growth of the organization.

“The association has always been about people to me,” said Roberts. “People own horses and make friendships that last a lifetime. What a privilege it has been just to be a part of this association.”

APHA is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, and has now registered over one million horses. Other celebrations planned for 2012 include an auction for the one-millionth registration number, first inductions into the newly formed APHA Hall of Fame and more.

Prairie Paint Horse News


Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club

SjPHC Vice-President Audra Cooper (left) Paint Horse Pete and SjPHC president Taylor Gardner (right) in SPHC booth at Equine Expo.

The SPHC has been very busy, our AGM was held in Saskatoon on Jan. 21st. The 2012 SPHC board will be Nicole Gauthier president, Tammie Cooper Vice President, Secretary: Wendy Davis, Directors Laura Martin, Bruce Martin, Henry Gauthier, Lorraine Beaudette, Stephanie McMillan, Melissa Miner, Zone 10 member representative Ronni Nordal, Agribition member representative Karen Kotylak. Lots of discussion on the upcoming year with lots of new ideas where introduced.

The Saskatchewan Junior Paint Horse Club then had their AGM, followed by supper and one award presentation. Please note that all youth members who purchase a membership with SPHC are automatically members of the SjPHC, there will not be an extra membership fee for the youth club.

With our spring show cancelled last year due to EHV-1 all our year-end awards were presented at the Harvest of Colours except the PAC award. This award is presented to the Paint Horse enrolled in the PAC program that collects the most points on the open show circuit during the year. CongratulationS goes out to Audra Cooper and Clayboys Sassy Girl. If you show a paint horse on the open circuit this is a program we suggest you enroll in.

Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club Awards

SPHC President Nicole Gauthier presenting PAC award to recipient Audra Cooper at AGM meeting.

With time comes change, and we have some big changes in 2012. Our May Long weekend show will still be held in Lloydminster May 19-20. Watch the website for forms and added information, but what is new is on June 23, 24th we will be hosting a one day one Judge APHA show! This exciting new adventure will have us offering Novice Amateur and Youth classes in conjunction with a one-day open Heritage show. We are still working on the details but mark us on your calendar and watch the website for more information, or you can contact Stephanie McMillan at macky12_2007@hotmail.com

If you have heard rumors of us not hosting the Fall Harvest of Colours show, unfortunately they are correct for this year, but as the club moves forward we are also very excited to announce our first annual Trail ride and Trail challenge! This family trail ride weekend starts Sat. June 30 at the Eagle Creek Regional Campground. Sunday July 1 will be an outdoor trail challenge competition. The trail ride & challenge is open to all breeds and all ages of rider…s. We are planning a potluck sat. evening in the park and hopefully some more “horsey” events, silent auction, tack/clothing sale & entertainment that evening. For details on the ride & challenge we will have information on our website www.saskpainthorseclub.com. For details on camping you can visit the Sask. Regional parks website http://www.saskregionalparks.ca/parksDisplay.php. We are also looking for silent auction items and sponsors for the event. This promises to be a fun filled, family weekend with lots of “non-horsey” activities in the park for those who don’t ride. Feel free to contact Laura Martin, Edam, Sk, (306) 397-2775 for more information.

Speaking of positive fun equine events, we just got home and unpacked from the Equine Expo, this weekend event pulled in over 9000 horse enthusiasts from all over to shop, learn and visit at Prairieland Park, in Saskatoon. Our Paint Horse Club had a booth promoting our breed and was run by our newly formed Saskatchewan Junior Paint Horse Club members. We had a celebrity guest helping out for the weekend. Paint Horse Pete the mascot for the APHC come all the way from Texas for the event and loved every minute of it. He was a popular guy and enjoyed meeting everyone and posing for pictures. He also made an appearance at the parade of breeds held Saturday evening along with our Paint horse riders Laura Martin, Sam Boxall, Taylor Gardner and Rosalyn Kenny. Our riders displayed Western Pleasure, Hunter, driving and Ranch riding to a packed crowd. Hard to show the beauty and versatility of our lovely Paint horses in just 5 minutes but these riders did an awesome job. Paint Horse Pete also helped sell tickets on the youth clubs raffle saddle package, with the winner being able to choose either an English or Western package as well as seat size and color. We would like to thank everyone who supported the youth and purchased tickets, we will be selling tickets until our Lloydminster Spring show May 20th and will announce the winner in the June Newsletter. Thank you to Joe Bloski from Early’s Farm and Garden for the help with this saddle package. If you would like to sponsor or would like more information on sponsoring our SPHC or SjPHC feel free to contact any of our directors. We currently have sponsorship openings for both our upcoming shows and our Trail ride and Trail Challenge.

Well that is about all for now, an easy newsletter to write with all the upcoming events and the renewed enthusiasm in the horse world after the Equine Expo. We look forward to hearing news from you on this springs babies, or any exciting news you have to share. Till then happy spring and shedding season! I am looking forward to see you all out on the trail.

Top Canuck Quarter Horses

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association is pleased to recognize the following 2010 High Point Canadian Quarter Horse owners and the High Point Canadian-bred Quarter Horse, based on results provided by AQHA. CQHA Certificates of Achievement will be awarded in the followng five categories and recognized on the CQHA website.

These High Point Winners include:

There Goes My Zipper

The High Point Canadian-bred Quarter Horse: There Goes My Zipper

The 2001 sorrel gelding There Goes My Zipper, owned by Lexi Nicole Demel, Hoisington, Kansas, earned a total of 215.5 AQHA points (in Open, Amateur, and Youth Divisions) during the 2010 show year. There Goes My Zipper was bred by Kelly and Ruby Stuart of Eriksdale, Manitoba, sired by Mr. Hollywood Zipper and out of Seven J Otoes Okie (by Winchester). Highlights of the gelding’s show career in 2010 include:

  • • 9th place – 2010 AQHA High Point Amateur Trail and 2010 AQHA High Point Amateur Western Horsemanship;
  • • 12th place – Amateur Showmanship & 13th place – Amateur Trail; and qualified in Amateur Western Horsemanship at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show;
  • • Earned AQHA Superior Awards in Trail, Showmanship, and Western Horsemanship;
  • • Earned an AQHA Performance Championship;
  • • Champion Amateur Horsemanship – All Ages at the 2010 Rebud Spectacular;
  • • Earned $590.73 at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show ;
  • • Lifetime AQHA Incentive Fund earnings: $10,668.14, and lifetime NSBA earnings: $408.25
My Bowtie Affair

The High Point Canadian-owned Open Division Horse: My Bowtie Affair

The 2003 bay mare My Bowtie Affair, owned by Debbie Salmon of Lacombe, Alberta, earned a total of 52 AQHA points during the 2010 show year. My Bowtie Affair is sired by Lopin Slow and out of Shes Got Drive (by Zee Zee Zip), and was bred by Gary M. Melnick, Sultan, WA. Highlights of the mare’s show career in 2010 include:

  • • 8th place – 2010 High Point Open Senior Green Trail;
  • • Earned an AQHA Superior Award in Green Trail;
  • • Lifetime AQHA Incentive Fund earnings: $2,371.37 and lifetime NSBA earnings: $1,915.72
Hot Roddin Minute

The High Point Canadian-owned Amateur Division Horse: Hot Roddin Minute

The 2005 bay gelding Hot Roddin Minute, owned by Anita Newbigging of Ingersoll, Ontario, earned a total of 86.5 AQHA points during the 2010 show year. Hot Roddin Minute is sired by Do You Have A Minute, and out of Hot Rod Lincoln QH (by Hotrodders Jet Set), and was bred by KDR Quarter Horses of Bradenton, FL. Highlights of the gelding’s show career in 2010 include:

  • • Qualified for 2010 AQHA World Championship Show in Amateur Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation;
  • • Lifetime AQHA Incentive Fund earnings: $5,261.66 and lifetime NSBA earnings: $276.65
Mr Made Good

The High Point Canadian-owned Select Amateur Division Horse: Mr Made Good

The 2007 bay gelding Mr Made Good, owned by Sherry Newbigging of Cambridge, Ontario, earned a total of 87.5 AQHA points during the 2010 show year. Mr Made Good is sired by Good Commodity, and out of He Made A Good One (by Mr. Recommendation), and was bred by Kevin Bridgeman of Binscarth, Manitoba. Highlights of the gelding’s 2010 show career include:

  • • 4th place – 2010 High Point Select Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation;
  • • Qualified for the 2010 AQHA World Show in Amateur Showmanship, Amateur Performance Halter Gelding, Select Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation, Select Amateur Showmanship, and Select Amateur Performance Halter Gelding;
  • • Earned an AQHA Halter Register of Merit;
  • • Lifetime AQHA Incentive Fund earnings: $2,484.93
Lopin In The Sky

The High Point Canadian-owned Youth Division Horse: Lopin In The Sky

The 1999 brown gelding Lopin In The Sky, owned by Rianna Storey of Cambridge, Ontario, earned a total of 132.5 AQHA points during the 2010 show year. Lopin In The Sky is sired by Skys Blue Boy and out of Kelsanna (by Kelssy’s Lad TB), and was bred by James & Debbie Glover of Bixby, OK. Highlights of the gelding’s 2010 show career include:

  • • Earned AQHA Youth Superior Awards in Hunt Seat Equitation and Hunter Under Saddle;
  • • Qualified for the 2010 AQHA World Show in Youth Hunter Under Saddle and Youth Hunt Seat Equitation;
  • • Earned Region 4 Championships in Open Senior Hunter Under Saddle, Youth Showmanship 14-18, Youth Western Horsemanship 14-18, Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14-18, and Youth Hunt Seat Equitation 14-18;
  • • Lifetime AQHA Incentive Fund earnings: $13,435.28; lifetime AQHA World Championship show earnings: $5,290.41 and lifetime NSBA earnings: $778.39

The CQHA will be similarly recognizing the 2011 High Point High Point Canadian Quarter Horse owners and the High Point Canadian-bred Quarter Horse, based on results provided by AQHA.

Birdtail Ranch in Hall of Fame

Doug and Nancy Dear's Birdtail Ranch Quarter Horses

Doug and Nancy Dear's Birdtail Ranch Quarter Horses breeding program flourished in Montana. Quarter Horse Journal photo.

Doug and Nancy Dear of the Birdtail Ranch Quarter Horses in Simms, Montana, have earned themselves a place in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Their horses made a significant impact to the bloodlines that exist today, in the Northwest. The Western Horse Review would like to congratulate the ranch in being awarded the highest honour to any quarter horse breeder.

The American Quarter Horse Daily posted in their ‘Hall of Fame Part 1’, the Dear’s biography, which celebrated their commitment to breeding top quarter horse bloodlines. Their list of stallions included Classy Bar (Sugar Bars-Mokey by Leo), open AQHA Champion Two Eyed Fox (Two Eyed Jack-Foxy Buck by Pretty Buck), and open AQHA Champion Jay Page (Page Lee-Zella Hep by Tucson A).

… “It was said that if you bought a horse from the ranch near Simms, Montana, “you knew you got a good one.”

Married in 1947, Doug and Nancy were Montana natives, raised riding and ranching. It was Nancy’s father, Curtis Diehl, who first took an interest in the “Steel Dust” horses that had arrived in eastern Montana in the early 1940s. Curtis bought a dun coming-2-year-old named Charlie Russell (by Texas Blue Bonnet) – the first registered American Quarter Horse to come into their part of the country. Curtis bred him to U.S. Army Cavalry Remount mares, along with a couple of palominos.

His vision was to breed a horse that “would make better cow horses for us on the ranch,” Nancy says, a sound horse with a good mind and athletic ability in surefootedness and speed. After Curtis died in 1948, Doug and Nancy carried on, determined to buy the best Quarter Horses they could.

Nancy says she and Doug “pretty much agreed” on horses and cattle. In 1950, they purchased Shirley Hunt by Tommy Clegg and out of Lady Coolidge by Beetch’s Yellow Jacket – a full sister to American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Bert, bred by Bert Benear of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Liking the Bert/Starway blood, in 1953, with Doug busy calving, Nancy returned to Oklahoma for the Nicholson sale. She came home with the stallion Bear Cat (Little Brother-Flying Mary, unknown sire); the mare N R Chipper (Tamo- Jane Hunt by Button) along with her weanling and yearling colts by Bert; and Little Dixie Beach (Tommy Clegg-Dixie Beach by Beetch’s Yellow Jacket), the dam of AQHA Champion Paul A. Those horses became the foundation for the Dears’ 60-year breeding program.

Eventually, with mare herds as large as 35, they were raising more horses than they could use. In the early 1950s, they began an annual sale on the ranch to sell foals; they would end up holding “close to 50” sales.

“At one time, we figured we had horses in about every state west of the Mississippi and five of the provinces in Canada,” Nancy says.

They kept a constant eye out for horses to buy – helped by Doug’s travels as an AQHA judge – and they kept good homebred fillies. Their mares through the years included Miss Gillette, Burt’s Lady, Boulder Bell and Silky Lena Bars.

“Bill Sellers, an inspector for AQHA, he always came to this part of the country,” Nancy recalls, “and he’d say, ‘I’ve got to go have a look at N R Chipper and Little Dixie Beach.’ … For the size of our operation … he just couldn’t believe how many good mares there was among them.”

Bred by AQHA Past President Bob Norris, Two Eyed Fox had also caught the eye of Hall of Famer Howard Pitzer when the Dears acquired the horse in 1972. The stallion crossed well on the family’s Bear Cat and Classy Bar mares, helping to put the Dears 12th on the leading breeders of AQHA Champions list. From fewer than 400 total foals, he sired the earners of more than 5,000 points and two Supreme Champions, 15 AQHA Champions and four Superior halter horses.

Birdtail horses excelled at ranch work and in the show ring: “We used to halter our horses as well as show them in two or three events, and I think that should still be true today,” Nancy says.

With a reputation for versatility and good temperament, they were in high demand for amateurs, youth and 4-H colt-to-maturity projects.

“(The horses) had to have a good disposition, because our market always went that way (toward amateurs and youth),” Nancy says.

The Dears’ daughters, Barbara and Dee Dee, made names for themselves in rodeo, 4-H and the American Junior Quarter Horse Association (now AQHYA), riding home-raised horses. Barbara married Russ Pepper, and Dee Dee married the late AQHA judge Lennard Rains and remained involved with the ranch.

In 1954, the Dears helped form the Montana Quarter Horse Association. Doug was an MQHA director and Nancy the secretary. Involved nationally, Doug was an AQHA director from Montana, and Nancy and her good friend, Mildred Janowitz, lobbied hard for an amateur division within AQHA: “We didn’t quit until we got it in there.”

Doug died in 1999. A scholarship in his name assists Montana students with their college education. Now 91, Nancy is still involved with raising horses and rides occasionally when health and help permit.

“A person would be most proud of the fact that so many people liked the horses,” she says. “I really can’t remember anybody coming to me and telling me that (he or she) did not like (one of our horses). … It’s nice to have it that way.”

The 2012 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas, will showcase the this year’s inductees including Gordon Hannagan, Walter Fletcher, Bob Loomis, Indigo Illusion, Streakin La Jolla and Hollywood Dun It.