To the ‘Victor’ Goes the Spoils

Victor’s Vacation. Photo by Mike Greathouse

Good things come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case for American Paint Horse Foundation’s benefit horse, Hidden Hollow Victor.

Standing at nearly 34 inches, the 5-year-old American Miniature Horse Registry tobiano gelding will be the smallest equine sold at the Farnam Breeders’ Trust Select Sale, taking place Nov. 10, during the American Paint Horse Association World Championship Show in Fort Worth, Texas. But despite his small stature, “Victor” will have a big impact on the APHF. Proceeds from his sale will benefit the foundation’s Therapeutic Riding Instruction scholarship fund.

Forming a partnership in January 2013, APHF and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, joined together with the goal to financially assist potential therapeutic riding instructors on their road to PATH certification. The average cost of registration for the three-day PATH certification workshop and test is $800. APHF will award two $800 scholarships annually to first-time applicants who are both APHA members and in good standing as PATH International members.

We want to be the first in the industry to encourage the expansion of the instructor pool by helping more therapists to become certified instructors,” APHF Coordinator Jan Anderson said. “The need to get more instructors to assist challenged riders is vital.”

Generously donated by Donna Lee Armstrong and Linda Davidson of Hidden Hollow Farm in Shreveport, Louisiana, the grey-and-white miniature horse has been started in both hunter-jumper and driving training. Victor is valued at $2,000.

A soon-to-be movie star, Victor and other miniature horses from Hidden Hollow Farm recently joined the cast of Dakota’s Summer, a film written and directed by Timothy Armstrong. Scheduled for a mid-2014 release, the film stars Emily Bett Rickards (Flicka: Country Pride), Haley Ramm (Into the Wild) and Keith Carradine (Cowboys & Aliens).

Mike Greathouse of Mike’s Minis and Joe Frank Brown of Joe Frank Brown Show Horses have volunteered to care for and feed Victor, continue his training and prepare him for the sale. Members of Texas Paint Horse Club have donated the gelding’s feed. Prior to the sale, Mike will provide demonstrations of Victor’s driving abilities during the APHA World Show, which takes place November 6-16.

Hottie The Hottest Miniature

Her full name is ‘Hot Child in the City’, but the people who love her call her ‘Hottie’ – and not without reason.  The diminutive four-year old from Calgary not only won the title of Canadian National Senor Mare Champion, but was also judged Canadian National Supreme Halter Horse as the Canadian National Miniature Horse Show wrapped up on Thursday afternoon.
“We bred her, so we have raised her up from this young foal,” says Stephani Pappas of First Knight Miniatures.  “We have both of her parents and her grandparents.”  In business for 27 years, Stephani says the business began when her mom K.C., a keen horsewoman, was pregnant and saw some miniature horses at an auction.  “She thought it would be an interesting thing to do, and it kind of took off from there.”
One nice thing about miniature horses is that they’re, well, little.  “We’re only on about five acres and we have about 20 miniature horses,” Stephani points out.  “They’re a little bit less expensive because they don’t eat quite so much.  They can do everything.  They can jump.  They can drive.  They can do obstacles.  They can do halter.  They’re a wonderful all–around breed.
Miniature horses are indeed a separate breed, not midget versions of other breeds.  The little beauties are descended from the pit ponies that were used in mines, deliberately bred to be small to fit into the narrow confines of the mines of a couple of centuries ago.  Today’s miniatures are somewhat different from their ancestors, Stephani says.  “Pit ponies were a much stockier horse.  They almost looked like a miniature heavy horse.”
The Canadian National Miniature Horse Show wasn’t all about Hottie, of course.  Other winners were: HCM Warpaint’s Feeling Groovy shown by Calgarians Louise and Kim Locke in Country Pleasure Driving and Roadster, Imprint Totally Royal Sultan shown by K.C. Pappas in Junior Gelding, First Knight’s Return of the King shown by Randy McGowan of Okotoks in Senior Stallion, Samis Whiz Kid shown by Sarah Hunter of Strathmore in Single Pleasure Driving, First Knight’s Heir to the Throne shown by K.C. Pappas in Junior Stallion, the Lockes’ Circle J Princess in Pleasure Driving, First Knight’s American Idol shown by Taylor Gibbons of Calgary in Senior Gelding and Imprint Striders Special Reflection shown by K.C. Pappas in Junior Mare.
Reserve Champions were: Sarah Hunter’s Hidden Timbers Comanche Spook in Country Pleasure Driving, WCR My Roxy Roller shown by Waskatenau, AB’s Marj Brown in Senior Mare, WCR Regalaire shown by Dawn Labine of Millet, AB in Roadster and Single Pleasure Driving, First Knight’s Extra Special shown by K.C. Pappas in Junior Gelding, Sarah Hunter’s Erica’s X Marks the Spot in Senior Stallion, KSB Thunder Strikes Indiana shown by Christine Tilleman of Airdrie, AB in Junior Stallion, Scott Creek Mystic Talk About shown by Laura Lee of High River, AB in Pleasure Driving, Dawn Labine’s SKR Whodini in Senior Gelding and First Knight’s Southern Belle shown by K.C. Pappas in Junior Mare.
Stampede is a great big deal,” Stephani says.  “It’s the Canadian Nationals.  This is our top of the top show in Canada.”  She thinks Hottie and the other First Knight entries can feel the enthusiasm of their hometown crowd.  “They hear the cheering and they know it’s for them.  They’re the star.”

Reese Minis Honours Miniature Horse Farm

SUBMISSION BY CHARLENE MAGNAYE

Mini Reeses Tiny Horses Barb Lowe

Barb Lowe of Sackville, Nova Scotia and her sweet prize winning miniature horses.

What do the candy treats, Reese-Minis have to do with horses? The company figured out a sweet way to celebrate Canada’s Tiniest treasures with the Reese Minis Perfectly Tiny Awards. The Awards celebrate Canada’s Perfectly Tiny things and among the awardees is Bowlin Farms, a family run miniature horse farm in Sackville, Nova Scotia.

Barb Lowe, of the Bowlin family accepted a cool trophy, a year’s supply of Reese Minis and of course, bragging rights.

Check out photos of the other tiny awardees and vote for your favourite perfectly tiny thing at www.perfectlytiny.ca

Miniature Horse Action at Calgary Stampede

First Knight’s Flyin Hearts Champagne & Roses, owned by K.C. Pappas and Calgary’s First Knight Miniatures horse stables, was named Supreme Halter Horse, or overall champion, at the Canadian National Miniature Horse Show on Thursday, July 14 at the Victoria Pavilion. Photo credit: Calgary Stampede

K.C. Pappas has discovered the fountain of youth . . . and it turns out it’s been somewhere within her First Knight Miniatures horse stables all along.

The veteran miniature horse breeder and trainer from Calgary may crack wise about the Lifetime Achievement Award she received from the American Miniature Horse Association in February — “it’s rare to win this award when you’re only 20,” she quips – but Pappas says it’s pretty easy to pinpoint what’s kept her involved in this mini equine game for a quarter-century.

“It’s the babies. The babies are great,” says Pappas, whose relatively small First Knight herd typically numbers less than two dozen, with five or six newborns every year, but sells minis to the top show farms in the United States and consistently produces champions at the AMHA World Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I just keep getting better and better babies every year. So somebody’s watching out for me.”

Speaking of youth being served, Pappas entered this week’s 31st annual Canadian National Miniature Horse Show at the Calgary Stampede with Exhibit ‘A’ — First Knight’s Hot Child in the City, which in 2010 was named Supreme Halter Horse at the Canadian National . . . as a mere yearling. The little gal went on to win World Champion Yearling Filly (28” to 30”) and World Champion Futurity Filly (28” to 30”) at the 2010 AMHA World Futurity last September.

“In any breeding program, we as breeders want to see the offspring outbreeding their parents. To me, a young horse beating the older horses is how it should be,” says Pappas. “Old-school thinking from 10 years ago said your senior stallion would be (overall) champion. Now, your junior horses all across the board, I would say, are stronger than the seniors.

“When you keep seeing younger horses come up and beat the older horses, I like that. It means you’re doing the right thing.”

The three-day Canadian National show, sanctioned by the AMHA and staged in the Agriculture Barns, wrapped up Thursday. About 80 miniature horses – which max out at 34 inches tall – from across Alberta and British Columbia were entered in an assortment of classes, including hunter/jumper, obstacle, halter, in-hand jumping, roadster, pleasure driving, log drag, and more.

Miniature horses were originally bred to haul trucks out of coal mines in England, and as a result are startlingly strong, some of them able to pull nearly three times their weight. “Some of them are pets, definitely, but a lot of the horses being shown here do actually work on the farm,” says Bud Klasky, who chairs the Stampede’s Miniature Horse committee. “They have an excellent demeanor; they’re very tame, and they’re just there to do their job. And, quite frankly, a lot of them train younger kids to become horse people.”

Thursday afternoon at the Victoria Pavilion, during the pinnacle of the 2011 Canadian National show, one of Pappas’ herd, First Knight’s Flyin Hearts Champagne & Roses, was named Canadian National Supreme Halter Horse as the overall champion.

Among First Knight Miniatures’ seven other horses entered, First Knight’s Divine Baroness – which has been sold to a buyer in Germany, and will head to Europe after the 2011 show season – was named grand champion in junior halter mare while Flyin Hearts Sundance Wishes was reserve champ in the same category. Elsewhere, First Knight’s Legendary Icon was proclaimed grand champion in junior halter stallion, while First Knight’s Striders Shadow Fax was reserve champ in that class. And in junior halter gelding, First Knight’s Striders Solid Gold took grand champion honours.

As for that AMHA Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011 marked the first time in the trophy’s brief nine-year history that it had travelled north of the 49th parallel. “I am the youngest person to win it,” laughs Pappas. “My daughter (Stephani) said it doesn’t mean I can stop working . . . but my reaction was definitely one of surprise. I’ve been really fortunate in my breeding program.”

Other 2011 Canadian National class grand champions were named as follows: WCR Regalaire, owned by Dawn Labine of Millet, Alta., in roadster driving horse; HCM War Paints Feelin Groovy, owned by Louise and Kim Locke of Calgary, in country pleasure driving horse; Imprint Dustys KixItUpaNotch, owned by Cindy Hunter of Strathmore, Alta., in senior halter gelding; and Smokey Mountain Indian Magic, owned by Dale and Tammy Crocker of Calgary, in classic pleasure driving horse.

Other 2011 Canadian National class reserve champions were: Smokey Mountain Indian Magic, owned by the Crockers, in roadster driving horse; Circle J Princess, owned by the Lockes, in country pleasure driving horse; Lundes Komanche Warrior, owned by Kaycee Lunde of Airdrie, Alta., in junior halter gelding; Circle J Champs Lil Chief, owned by the Lockes, in senior halter gelding; and SKR Exclusive Edition, owned by Labine, in classic pleasure driving horse.

 

Mini Horse World Championships

The American Miniature Horse Association World Championship Show is the premiere miniature event in the world. Nearly a thousand entries qualify and are in Ft. Worth, Texas right now competing for World Championships in many disciplines including halter, hunter, jumper, driving, obstacles and more.

This event provides owners, breeders, and trainers from around the world an opportunity to showcase the uniqueness and versatility of the miniature horse.

The equine live stream production company, iequine.com, hosting the feed of this show is, in my opinion, one of the best I’ve seen in the business with a very clean and high quality feed. The viewing platform or screen is graphically pleasing, professionally laid-out, featuring relevant advertising and high quality video advertising between classes. Another really neat aspect of the platform is the social networking forum which allows viewers to not only read who is online watching the feed (you must register with your name and e-mail address to view the feed), but allows discussions which are posted in real-time on the screen. Nifty!

Check it out through the iequine.com link above and enjoy some great miniature horse action at the World Championship Show.

Western Elite Rider Awarded

Sir Winston Churchill once opined that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person. Well, that’s rarely more evident than during the 10 midsummer days that make up the Calgary Stampede.

Equine events constitute an integral part of the fabric of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The Stampede’s Heavy Horse events and trio of Western Performance Horse events – the Team Cattle Penning Competition, the Cutting Horse Competition, and the Working Cow Horse Classic – attract big crowds and draw elite competitors from across the continent, and 2010 was no exception.

“Through all of our events, we presented the best of the best to a Stampede audience,” said Christine Sowiak, chair of the Stampede’s Western Performance Horse committee. “We were fortunate enough to field a very deep pool of competitors, and that included our own regional competitors. We showed that the quality of Canadian trainers and riders, Canadian horses, and Canadian-bred horses is every bit as good as Texas and California, Oklahoma and Montana.”

Brad Pedersen of Lacombe, Alta., won the Calgary Stampede’s second annual Elite Western Rider Award, which honours excellence and versatility in the Western Performance Horse arena. Pedersen was seventh in the Open division of the Cutting Horse Competition, and fifth in the Open Hackamore division of the Working Cow Horse Classic. Photo: Calgary Stampede

Brad Pedersen of Lacombe, Alta., emerged as the second winner of the Stampede’s Elite Western Rider Award, introduced in 2009 to honour rider excellence and versatility in the Western Performance Horse arena. All riders who compete in at least two of the three disciplines are eligible for the Elite Western Rider Award, and all competitors earn points toward the title with Top-10 finishes in at least two of the events.

Pedersen posted a seventh-place finish aboard Hicks First Player, owned by Dr. Geoff Thomas of Red Deer, in the Open division of the Cutting Horse Competition on Thursday, July 15. He followed it up with a fifth-overall placement on Have a Drink On Me, owned by Jim Dobler of Delburne, Alta., in the Open Hackamore division of the Working Cow Horse Classic on Sunday, July 18.

“It’s very much an honour to be recognized for competing in both of these events, and doing relatively well in both of them, I’m lucky enough to have some good horses, and that makes a world of difference,” said Pedersen, who’s won the Open Snaffle Bit title 10 times at the Canadian Supreme in Red Deer.

Pedersen’s closest rival in the chase for the Elite Western Rider Award was Les Timmons of Kamloops, B.C., who was Open reserve champion in the cutting, but didn’t place high enough in Open Hackamore during Sunday’s Working Cow Horse Classic to keep pace with Pedersen.

Lindsey Thorlakson of Carstairs, Alta., was part of the winning team in the Calgary Stampede’s 14 Class Team Cattle Penning competition on Friday, July 9. It was Thorlakson’s third team penning title in two Stampedes. Photo: Calgary Stampede

Lindsey Thorlakson of Carstairs, Alta., earned her third Stampede Team Cattle Penning championship in just over a year on Friday, July 9, winning the 14 Class along with Russell Armstrong of Armstrong, B.C., and Pete Molnar of Langley, B.C. The Open Class was won by Lonnie and Skylar Hanson of Calgary, along with Jody Elliott of Lacombe, on Sunday, July 11. Husband-and-wife tandem Steve Sigouin and Deja Iannone of Abbotsford, B.C., along with Katy Kosinski of Williams Lake, B.C., claimed the 10 Class crown on Saturday, July 10, while Ron Vogel of Strathmore, Alta., Denise Guzowski of Millarville, Alta., and Debbie Myslicki of Calgary teamed up to win the 7 Class title on Monday, July 12. In all, 481 teams from across the Western half of North America vied for more than $225,000 in prize money.

The Stampede’s 38th annual cutting competition was, for the second straight year, a participating event in the Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting. Tom Lyons of Grandview, Texas, scored a dramatic win in the Open division, scoring 231 points aboard Thomas E Hughes to edge Timmons and Smart Frele Cat, who’d posted a 230. Dan Hansen of Nampa, Ida., nudged his career earnings above $1 million by winning his second Stampede Non-Pro crown in three years aboard Woody Be Lucky. Calgary’s Andrea Rudkin, riding Anita Steady Date, won her second consecutive Youth crown.

In the Working Cow Horse Classic, John Swales of Millarville, Alta., scored a breathtaking, two-round aggregate score of 301 on Maximum Echo under the Big Top to win his sixth career Stampede Open Bridle title on Sunday, July 18. John’s brother Clint, of HighRiver, Alta., won Open Hackamore on The Mask with a 291 aggregate, while Bart Holowath of Cayley, Alta., took Non-Pro Bridle with a 292.

The Stampede’s Heavy Horse Pull attracted 22 teams from as far away as Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, but it was a local puller who really found his niche under the Big Top. Dennis Weinberger’s Springbank Belgians outfit of Cochrane, Alta., won the lightweight division on Friday, July 16, and followed it up with victory in the middleweight division on Saturday, July 17. Sunday night, Weinberger’s mammoth duo of Dan and Jesse set a new weight record of 13,200 pounds while winning the heavyweight division – allowing Weinberger to sweep all three classes for the first time in Stampede Heavy Horse Pull history.

During the World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition, the highlight of the Heavy Horse Show, Brian Coleman of Didsbury, Alta., earned his third Stampede driving crown on Sunday, July 11 in the Pengrowth Saddledome, leading the Jackson Fork Ranch outfit ofBondurant, Wyo., to victory. For the first time in recent memory, five wagons were called back for a drive-off, with the Jackson Fork Ranch hitch emerging victorious.

In 2010, heavy horses celebrated their 125th anniversary as part of Calgary’s annual agricultural fair, dating back to the Stampede’s predecessor, the Calgary Industrial Exhibition. As a species, they’re the longest-running agricultural component of the Stampede and its predecessors, and the only livestock class consistently presented throughout that period.

During the 30th annual Canadian National Miniature Horse Show in the Agriculture Barns, FirstKnight’sHotChildintheCity, owned and bred by Calgary’s K.C. Pappas of First Knight Miniatures, was named Supreme Halter Horse, or overall champion, on Tuesday, July 13. Horse Haven, also in the Agriculture Barns, featured 18 breeds of light horses, with 10 days’ worth of exhibitions and presentations.

Miniature Horse Action

Yes, it’s possible to change horses in midstream. Just ask Louise Locke.

More than two decades ago, Locke was wandering through the Calgary Stampede’s Agriculture Barns with her eldest daughter Kim, when they stumbled upon a stable’s worth of pint-sized equine packages.

“My daughter fell in love with miniature horses right then and there. At that, I’d never even heard of them, or seen them, and my reaction was: ‘How absurd is this?’ ” recalled Locke, who lives just outside Calgary, at this week’s 30th annual Canadian National Miniature Horse Show, hosted by the Stampede. “But once we bought one from our neighbours in Bearspaw (Merv Giles and his Circle J Ranches outfit), I was surprised to find out to what extent they are a ‘real horse.’ ”

“I come from a big-horse background. I still love to ride; my favourite avocation is cutting,” added Locke. “But I’ve been so impressed by what an all-around, genuine performance horse the miniature is. They’re incredibly versatile and useful. And I’m also surprised by how many serious horsemen feel the same.”

Versatile and useful, 67 miniature horses from Alberta and B.C. congregated at this year’s Calgary Stampede for the 30th annual Canadian National Miniature Horse Show, which wrapped up Tuesday in the Agriculture Barns. Photo: Calgary Stampede

The four-day Canadian National show, sanctioned by the American Miniature Horse Association and held in the Agriculture Barns, wrapped up Tuesday and featured 67 horses entered in a wide array of classes, including hunter/jumper, obstacle, halter, in-hand jumping, roadster, pleasure driving, log drag and more.

Of course, if the Lockes hadn’t entered the world of miniature horses – which max out at 34 inches tall –they wouldn’t be able to tell the tale of the Amazing Bunny Brothers. All three minis are the offspring of the late Martin’s Bunny, formerly owned by Circle J Ranches, and have gone on to great success in the show ring under the Lockes’ Hurricane Hill Miniatures banner.

Their first purchase, Circle J Buster Bo, earned a pair of reserve championships in obstacles at the American Miniature Horse Association’s world championship, among other achievements. Its brother, Circle J Champ’s Li’l Chief, was a Canadian National grand champion in senior gelding at the 2009 Canadian National. And on Sunday, another chapter was added to the tale when the third brother, Circle J Bunanza – a hunter/jumper specialist who’s earned plenty of accolades at the AMHA worlds – was named this year’s Canadian National grand champion in senior gelding. Circle J Champ’s Li’l Chief, a “phenomenally well built horse,” says Locke, was also used by Giles as a sire before he was gelded, and one of his offspring, Circle J Duchess, won Hurricane Hill Miniatures another Canadian National title in 2009, as grand champion in the senior mare class.

“The Giles drove around North America for quite a while, looking for horses that they’d like to get (a breeding program) started with,” said Locke. “They found a few horses that were way ahead of their time in terms of quality . . . and it shows.”

After collecting four Canadian National class titles and two reserve championships in 2009, Locke’s minis scooped up a few more awards at this year’s show.

FirstKnight’sHotChildintheCity, owned by K.C. Pappas’s First Knight Miniatures of Calgary, was named Supreme Halter Horse, or overall champion, of the 30th annual Canadian National Miniature Horse Show at the Calgary Stampede on Tuesday. Photo: Calgary Stampede

On top of Circle J Bunanza’s win, Imprint Gold Denali won a Canadian National grand champion class title in senior stallion, and HCM War Paints Feelin Groovy was a Canadian National reserve champ in both country pleasure driving horse and roadster driving horse.

Tuesday afternoon at the Northern Lights Arena, during the pinnacle of the 2010 Canadian National, FirstKnight’sHotChildintheCity, owned and bred by Calgary’s K.C. Pappas of First Knight Miniatures, was named Supreme Halter Horse, the overall champion of this year’s show.

First Knight Miniatures also saw FirstKnightsQuantumOfSolace win a Canadian National class championship in junior stallion, while FirstKnight’sStridersSolidGold was reserve champion in the same category. First Knights American Idol, the Supreme Halter Horse at the 2009 Canadian National, was named this year’s grand champion in the junior gelding class.

The 30th anniversary Canadian National show attracted breeders and enthusiasts from across Alberta and British Columbia.

“Miniature horses were originally bred to pull trucks out of coal mines in England. They are phenomenally strong, and can pull almost three times their weight,” said Bud Klasky, chair of the Stampede’s Miniature Horse committee. “They’re not just pets; some people use them as working animals on farms. They’re also very docile, very tame, and they’ll respond to training of any kind.”

Other Canadian National grand champions were named as follows: WCR Regalaire, owned by Dawn Labine’s Little L Acres of Millet, Alta., in both roadster driving horse and single pleasure driving horse; WCR Catmandu, also of Little L Acres, in country pleasure driving horse; First Knights Angel of Music, owned by Strathmore’s Cindy Hunter, in senior mare; and Smokey Mountain Indian Magic, owned by Calgary’s Dale Crocker, in classic pleasure driving horse.

Other Canadian National reserve champions were: Imprint Dustys Denim Blues, owned by Patricia Bricker of Blackie, Alta., in single pleasure driving horse; Ramblin Ranch Fast Forward, owned by Christine Tilleman of Airdrie, Alta., in junior gelding; RFM Best Bets Lady Sierra, owned by Colin and Marj Brown of Wetaskenau, Alta., in senior mare; Labine’s WCR Catmandu in senior stallion; Circle J Dezigner Genes of Circle J Ranch in senior gelding; and Circle J Charizma, owned by Peggy Tilleman of Airdrie, in classic pleasure driving horse.