Battle of the Breeds 2012


The Telus Battle of the Breeds is 10 teams of various horse breeds, competing in 5 different events (Compulsory Skills, Jeopardy Jumping, Precision Driving, Barrel Racing and Trail Riding). All this takes place over 3 days during the Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows in September. Its been called a “friendly fight for bragging rights”, but the competitors know it’s a lot more than that.

Being a photographer shooting horse shows for years, I’ve come to know some of the competitors who have been fortunate enough to attend the Battle in the past. The more time I spent with these people, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of the challenge.
Originally, I asked team Appaloosa if I could follow their riders through the summer practice and show season, and on to the Battle itself for 2012. Interest in the project grew and soon I was doing the same for Team Saddlebred and Team Canadian. Along the way, the idea of a blog came up. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a photographer, not a blogger but, I felt that this was a journey worth following so I decided to give it a try.

Over the next few weeks, I hope you’ll follow the blogs as I tag along with these riders through the practices, shows and everyday challenges of being able earn the right to ride at the “Battle”.

Every team needs a coach, but sometimes it can be a little hard hearing what he has to say.

Mel Schwieger and Copper and Adrian Neufeld at Mane Attraction Stables in Olds, Ab.

Trail training- in this case, a floating rubber platform in a huge tray of water (Imminent peril and certain death in your horse’s opinion).

Marcie Webb and Technicolour at Mane attraction Stables in Olds, Ab.

Week One – The Trials and Tribulations of Getting There”

Mel Schwieger and Copper at Mane Attraction Stables in Olds, Ab.

Number 821 on a husband’s list of duties… Ballast while your wife practices her driving. (they call it being a “groom” but really it’s just ballast that does what it’s told. I know, I tried it too).

Lynn Johnson, Kevin Johnson and Cash Sirtificate(Ernie) at Lynn Johnson farm near Rimbey, Ab.

A 4-hour drive to train with the team captain at his place, and it starts to rain as soon as you tack-up.  That coach from 4 pictures ago? He’s got no sympathy…

Marcie Webb and Technicolour at Mane attraction Stables in Olds, Ab.

Competitor, secretary and Mom-not necessarily in that order …

Mel Schwieger and Copper at Schwieger farms near Iola, Ab.

and often all at once.

Lindsay McDermott and her son at Mane Attraction Stables in Olds, Ab.

Yup, It’s all 1 tack room in 1 trailer. She rides Western and English, and drives (and about 400 other things when she’s not busy) Her friend’s tack is jammed in a second, rear tack room.

Lynn Johnson’s rig at Lacombe Light Horse Show, Lacombe, Ab.

Not all the training has to be outside in the rain. And although he’s a “dual citizen” Techy is officially on the Saddlebred team.

Marcie Webb, Technicolor, Amy West and Jessica Schwieger at WW Ranches near Bluffton, Ab.

The fringe benefits of training in your own backyard.

Lynn Johnson and Cash Sirtificate(Ernie) at Lynn Johnson farm near Rimbey, Ab.


  1. Lynn Johnson says

    Great pictures Rob!!! But he did caught me on a organizing day, my trailer doesn’t alway look that unorganized, I sometimes have space to sit on the bench. LOL

    Rob will be at the Battle for the whole event and will be taking pictures. We will have a
    sign-up sheet for any other team if they want him to take photos!!!