Isn\’t this a photo which invokes a few memories of days gone by? Les Timmons on Pepinics Master, this shot taken by photographer Barb Glazer. I remember how pleased we were at the magazine when Barb began taking outdoor shots of cutting. It was a welcome relief from the typical indoor shots and really brought the element of \”ranch\” into the photography of the sport. I\’m sure many of her outdoor competition shots are framed on the walls of cutters across the country, this one being a particular favorite at the magazine.
Pepinics Master is owned by Ed and Connie Masson, of Myterra Ranch, which is located in the scenic sand hills of East Central Alberta west of Provost and just east of the hamlet of Metiskow. You might be aware the ranch is holding an online auction this week. I had a chance to touch base with Ed yesterday about the sale. Here\’s our conversation:
Ed, Myterra Ranch has been a large player in the Canadian western performance breeding world with your stallion, Pepinics Master, who still stands as the #1 all-discipline sire of the Canadian Supreme Stallion program, as well as siring many champions outside of reining, cutting and cow horse. What has been this horse\’s greatest asset as a sire?
I think his greatest asset has been the consistency of his offspring. For the most part, he stamps his offspring with a certain look and physical characteristics. It doesn\’t matter what the breeding is of the mare that look and build comes thru in the offspring. I believe that consistency is a result of Pepinics Master being line bred, his granddams are full sisters.
Pepinics Master was inducted into the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame in 2003. How important has the Canadian Supreme\’s Stallion program been to the success of Pepinics Master\’s breeding career?
I believe the Canadian Supreme\’s stallion program has been a major contribution to his success as a breeding sire. The initial promotion of his ranking as the #1 all-discipline sire boosted the number of mares that were bred to him that year compared to previous years. The program gives me recognized statistics to back up our promotional statements and it gives owners of Pepinics Master sired horses a competition venue to strive to participant in.
Much has changed in the Canadian breeding world. The world, I suppose, has become smaller in the sense that American stallions are now so much more accessible to Canadian mare owners. While this has made it much more competitive for the Canadian stallion owner, a vibrant Canadian stallion breeding market still exists. What do you attribute this to?
I attribute this to the faith and belief Canadian breeders have in their breeding programs and the quality of their offspring. Alberta is home to horse breeders with horses of quality that rival those produced in the U.S. Many of those Alberta horse breeders have risen to the challenge and taken steps to meet the challenge head on by investing in bloodlines that are more popular, investing in better quality breeding stock, and by working harder to get the word out about their breeding programs.
Any comments on what you see coming in the future for the Canadian western breeding market?
I have never been very good at looking in a crystal ball, but I am seeing a consolidation in the breeding market. There are horse breeders who have decided to shut down their breeding operations, thus reducing the number of horses available for sale. At some point demand should be greater than supply and prices will start to rebound. The cloudy part is how much consolidation is needed and how long will it take for this to happen. In the meantime, horse breeders are going to need to identify a market niche (cutting, barrel racing, broke ranch horse, etc) that their type of horse will fit and work very hard at selling into that niche.
An online sale is a fairly new concept to the Canadian western riding world. What made you decide to go this route?
Their were a number of factors that helped us decide. A major one was labour. Connie and I recognized that we would not be able to train and fit for sale approximately 25 horses. Secondly, we felt the sale costs per horse would be quite a bit less with the online auction compared to entering the horses in a live auction. A third major reason was the popularity of buying and selling horses using the online classified ad provided by many web sites. We felt an online production sale is the next step and a natural progression in selling horses using the internet. People are getting comfortable using the internet and online auctions (ex. eBay) to buy products so we thought why not try the same process for our horses.
Are the bidders able to view the horses online?
Yes, bidders can view photos of the horses online. They would go to the auction site at www.equineauctions.ca and click on the October 1, 2011 Sale and a list of the horses appears. Each horse has 4 or 5 photos to show a prospective buyer what they look like. I think one of the keys of getting buyer acceptance of this method of selling horses is to use lots of good quality photos and video so that you are replicating the onsite buying experience.
What would you like to point out about the prospects on offer?
The prospects are all from our breeding program. Their future success has already been documented by the Pepinics Master\’s that have proven themselves in the showpen. We are very excited about the weanlings we have on offer. The majority are sired by our new sire Circle Bar Gray Gun (Playgun x Lenas Black Remedy) and out of Pepinics Master daughters. They are all excellent individuals that exhibit the characteristics needed to succeed in the various western performance disciplines.
What\’s in the immediate future for Myterra Ranch?
We are going to consolidate our breeding program by reducing the number of mares we breed and our promotional efforts are going to shift from Pepinics Master to Circle Bar Gray Gun. I also think we are going to have to add value (ground and riding training) to our young horses to make them more saleable. I plan to start riding our Myterra Ranch horses in cutting and ranch horse versatility competitions and cutting back our breeding program will allow me to do that.
Ed, what has been the most gratifying aspect of being involved in the western performance world in Canada?
The most gratifying aspects have been the people I have met and become friends with and seeing horses bred by Myterra Ranch competing successfully in a variety of disciplines.
The Myterra Ranch Horse Sale is live until 6:00 p.m. on Oct. 9. Check it out at the links above!