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Alberta Horse Industry MissionTo provide a unified voice for the Alberta horse industry and strengthen it through advocacy, education and research.

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Alberta Horse IndustryA growing, profitable, united Alberta horse industry, recognized nationally and internationally.

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The Domestication of the Horse


By Carolyn Willekes, PhD

The domestication of the horse sometime in the 4th millennium BCE altered the future not only of equines, but of humans as well.  The horse turned out to be a pretty useful animal.  Given the impact of the horse on cultural, technological and military evolution, you might think that the horse was one of the first animals to be domesticated, but that was not the case.lascaux

The horse-human relationship is a very old one, dating back to at least 30,000 years ago.  This early relationship is recorded with great detail in Paleolithic cave art from Southern France, Northern Spain and Northern Portugal carved and painted between 30,000 and 8,000 BCE.  These dramatic, often larger than life murals are found deep inside labyrinthine caves at places like Altamira, Lascaux and Chauvet. The equines carved and painted on the cave walls of southern Europe were very much wild animals, and remained so for over 20,000 years.  Given the long human fascination with equines, it is perhaps surprising to discover that the horse was one of the last major animals to be domesticated – an event that took place thousands of years later than the initial period of Neolithic domestication that brought cattle, sheep, goats and pigs under human control.  When it did happen, however, the domestication of the horse had an unprecedented and unimaginable impact on human history.


Burch vs. Intact Insurance


Horse breeders and stable owners should be mindful of the insurance policy and liability insurance that they have. A recent decision on the case Terry Burch et al., vs. Intact Insurance et al., highlights the need to inform brokers of all equine activities that they engage in when they purchase a policy. Additionally, if horse breeders or stable owners change their equine activities, the brokers should be informed to ensure that the activities are covered under their current policy.

Christopher Miller was a full-time farmer and horse breeder near Tomahawk, Alberta. In July 2000, he received an insurance policy from Intact Insurance. The court heard that when Miller met his broker to discuss purchasing insurance for his farm, he did not notify her of any non-farming business activities. He stated he was a full-time farmer, as a horse breeder and did not engage in any non-farming business.


Alberta Bred Thoroughbreds to Watch in the Upcoming Race Season


By Lindsay Ward

It is interesting to have a look at some Alberta Bred highlights and horses to watch as a new season of live racing opened on May 2, 2014 at Northlands Park. For Cash Alberta Breeders Fall Classic sm

The four year old gelding For Cash had a win in the Beaufort Stakes at Northlands followed by a victory in the Zia Park Derby last November. He has been running down south at Sunland Park and Turf Paradise over the rest of the winter. The multiple stakes winning runner by Stephen Got Even comes in to this season with over $200,000 in earnings. For Cash was bred and owned by Lyle & Phylis Farkash and trained by Dale Greenwood. 

Highfield Stock Farm has an exciting season to watch unfold with the return of the three stakes winners bred by their farm - Bet on Soup, Tell Me Lies and Kingoftherockies. Bet on Soup earned over $50,000 as a two year old with a win in the Sturgeon River Stakes. This Alphabet Soup filly is owned by Jim and Susan Hill and trained by Tim Rycroft. Tell Me Lies was sired by the Highfield stallion Captain Bodgit and comes into this season with over $200,000 in earnings and victories that include the Alberta Oaks, the Sonoman Handicap and Chariot Chaser Handicap. This now four year old filly is owned by Curtis and Darrell Landry. Kingoftherockies will be running as a five year old this season with over $114,000 in career earnings to date. The Cape Canaveral gelding won the Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes last season for owners Rod Cundy, Robert & B MacDonald, K Miller and R & M Stable.  He is trained by Robert MacDonald. Canaveral Leader is a multiple stakes winner who comes into the new season off a win in her last start in the Duchess of York Handicap. The four year old filly by Highfield Stock Farm stallion Cape Canaveral has over $175,000 in career earnings to date. Her other victories include the Northlands Oaks and the Three and Four Year Old Fillies Sales Stakes. Canaveral Leader was bred by Jim and Norma McDonald and is owned by Central City Stable and Bar None Ranches Ltd.


Alberta Stables Initiative announces call for nominations for first board of directors


The Alberta Stables Initiative (ASI) announces the conversion from an initiative to an official association for stables. The association of stables will address the many economic and demographic challenges that stable operators face in Alberta. This transformation has been in the long-term plans for the initiative since its inception. The newly formed association will continue to deliver programs and build on successes the ASI achieved over the past five years.  


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