Archives for July 2012

Kylie Whiteside

A Broodmare Takes on Two

Doug and Sherry Webster

Misty, Gracie and Dolly ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Doug and Sherry Webster of Quesnel, BC run a cow/calf operation on Sunnyside Ranch, a 1400 acre family owned operation established in 1891.  As far back as Doug can remember the Webster’s have raised horses that carry the original heart brand.  A good hand, Doug trains horses for use on the ranch and outside sales, as well as a few that daughter Racheal barrel races.  The Webster stock bloodlines include Two Eyed Jack, Wright a Chex and Peppy San Badger.

Doug was born and raised on the ranch and after living in town for the first eight years of their marriage, the Webster’s returned to the ranch in 1989 when Doug’s father was diagnosed with cancer.

“This is where Doug’s heart is” Sherry says.

Doug and Sherry Webster ~ Gordon Perry photo

Doug and Sherry Webster ~ Gordon Perry photo

This unusual story began on May 25th when Sherry walked up to the top field to check on their band of broodmares and saw what she at first thought was a set of twins nursing on their mother.

Sherry posted a picture on her facebook page showing a grey mare with a sorrel foal nursing on one side and a dark colored foal nursing on the other side. Curious after seeing the pictures of Misty and the two foals, I asked Sherry to tell me their story.

“It’s a hard story to tell, because we are not too sure what happened. Misty has always been the mother hen of the broodmares. Whenever a mare foals, she is usually hanging around, checking things out and acting protective. I walked up on the evening of May 25th to check on the mares and I saw two new babies suckling on Misty. At first I did think they were twins, but something didn’t seem right. On further examination, I realized a younger mare Katy (first time mama) had foaled, but she was showing no interest in either of the two foals.

Doug and I brought them down and separated them, hoping Katy would take hers. We tried for three days and she fought the whole three days! Katy had lost an eye as a yearling, and every time that filly came up on her blind side, she would kick it. We spent three days twitching her and trying other methods to get Katy to accept her filly, but with no success. Katy wanted nothing to with her foal. Doug decided to see if Misty would take the foal back and she was warmly accepted. The two fillies also seem to share a special bond, as they are inseparable.”

Gracie and Dolly . ~ Photo by Sherry Webster

Following mom’s example, Gracie and Dolly check out the feed trough. ~ Photo by Sherry Webster

“The fillies really love their grain! They have separation anxiety when they are apart from each other. You know when a foal becomes separated from their mama, how they whinny? It’s the same way with these two girls. One day the two of them got separated from each other in the barn, was it ever funny! I think we will have our hands full with these two!”

Sometimes a maiden mare will reject a foal, especially if a more dominant mare attempts to “steal” the newborn. Katy may have been confused by the foaling process and didn’t have time to develop her maternal instincts before Misty took over. No matter what caused the situation, the combined family of three seem healthy and happy, an outcome the Webster’s are grateful for.

Daughter Racheal poses with the extended family ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Daughter Racheal poses with the extended family ~ Robyn Louise Photography

“Smiles” for the camera ~ Robyn Louise Photography

“Smiles” for the camera ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Fundraiser For Kelly Garvin


Fight Like Mom

Wendy Lyons-Braaten and Kaiya Lyons wind through the poles on Sky ~ Photo by Chelsea Brears

A few months ago, Kelly Garvin of Quesnel, BC was like most moms, as fierce as a mother bear when it came to protecting her children. Kelly is in the hospital now, facing a long uphill battle on the road to recovery. As she fought for life, her family gathered around, praying and urging Kelly to “fight like a mom”.

Fight Like A Mom

Nicole, Shelby and Braden ~ Photo by Chelsea Brears

Some of us recognize Kelly as barrel racer Nicole Heppner’s mom. I would often see her sitting on the bleachers watching the barrel racers, anxiously awaiting her oldest daughter’s turn to run, her famous smile lighting up her face when Nicole safely crossed the finish line. Kelly is also mom to daughter Shelby and son Braden. As news of Kelly’s illness and hospitalization spread, the Kersley Horse Club began planning a Barrels and Poles fundraiser to help ease the financial burden for the family.

KHC president Chelsea Brears says “At gymkhana one night, Kathy McKenzie and Lori McKenzie approached me about having a fundraiser for Kelly and her family. Kathy and Lori are amazing fundraisers and a few KHC members started planning a fundraiser that night. Two weeks later (June 8th & 9th), we had the jackpot and it was better than we ever anticipated!”

Fight Like A Mom

Running for Mom, Nicole Heppner and Sweety ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Facing up to a year’s stay in the hospital, Kelly is making gradual progress towards recovery. Her journey has been recorded on facebook (Healing, Strength and Wellness for Kelly Garvin) by her sister Holli Garvin and daughter Shelby.

Fight Like A Mom

Chelsea Brears, Lori McKenzie and Randelle Langevin “make a run” for Kelly. ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Fight Like A Mom

Braden, Nicole and Shelby offer words of appreciation ~ Robyn Louise Photography

Chelsea Brears offers a heartfelt thank you to all who helped get this event together, Kathy McKenzie, Lori McKenzie, Dianne Erdman, Anna Johnson, the Alex Fraser Park Society for donating the arena, Tom and Melissa Sword, Pen-Y-Bryn Farm (the entire Nichols family) Wendy Lyons-Braaten, Judy Kenneway, Randelle Langevin, also to Barry Kopetski at the Sign Stop for donating the banner, Robyn Mumford for her time taking pictures and donating half her proceeds to the fundraiser (photos can be seen & ordered  at ), to the businesses, big and small, who donated the silent auction items and to all the Barrel Racing Family for attending the fundraiser and donating their entry fees. Thank you for being so amazing!

As of this writing, over $13,500.00 has been raised, an amazing testament to community spirit. Donations for Kelly and her family can be made at the Integris Credit Union under the name “The Kelly Garvin Healing Fund”, account # 80313536 ♥