For two whole years, Tracy Dopko searched for a specific Welsh Pony named Alvesta Picasso. Little did she know, he was living in a pasture with grass up to his knees with a small band of mares not too far from her stable.Alvesta_Picasso_Photo_Credit_Rick_Kroll_Photography

It all started in 1997, when she started purchasing pony hunter prospects for her hunter/jumper stable Daventry Equestrian in Darwell, which is west of Edmonton. In 2000, she purchased her first purebred Welsh Ponies.  Glannant Jackpot and Jumpin’ Jack Flash are both Section B Welsh Pony geldings, and are also full brothers.

Tracy started the geldings under saddle and eventually sold them to the U.S. East Coast pony hunter circuit. Tracy comments, “I was so impressed with the super cute ponies, their talent over fences, trainability and kind nature that I decided to try and find their sire, Alvesta Picasso, and see if I could purchase him.”

 

She knew Picasso was born on May 3, 1990 in Jarvie, Alberta, and that he was bred by Brenda Podolski of Alvesta Farm. Finding where he went after that would take time and detective skills. 

The hunt was on. Tracy tried to track down Picasso, not even knowing if he was still in Alberta. Every lead seemed to turn up a dead end.

Finally, in 2004, Tracy and her boyfriend Tim, now her husband, were contacted by someone who knew the whereabouts of Picasso. And the current owners lived only 15 miles from their stable.

Tracy remembers, “We talked with the owners, and they just happened to be in the middle of retiring their breeding operation and toying with the idea of selling Picasso, but said she might likely change her mind, as she knew her grandkids would be extremely upset if she sold him.  We asked if we could come and take a look at him and said we’d be prepared to take him that same day.”

Tracy and Tim hooked up the trailer, stopped at the bank, and drove down the road. Tracy says, “He’d been living out on 20 acres with grass up to his knees and was as fat as a hog.  But as we watched him come running from the other end of the pasture at a full extended trot, we had already seen enough.  We paid the asking price and gladly took Picasso home to begin his new career!” 

But they were presented with another problem; Picasso was 14 years old, extremely overweight, and hadn’t been groomed in many years.

Alvesta_Picasso_1_“After receiving a full body clip, mane and forelock pulled and a new diet and exercise program,” Tracy comments, “Picasso looked like a million bucks.  Just three months after purchasing him, we took him to the 2004 Parkland Welsh Pony show at the Westerner Park in Red Deer.  Picasso was a complete gentleman to show, despite living in a pasture his entire life. He won his Section B 3 & Over Stallion class, was named Champion Section B Senior Stallion, Grand Champion Section B Stallion and then went on to win Supreme Champion.”

In 2007, at the age of 17, Picasso was started under saddle. Tracy had intended on starting him in 2005 but due to a serious car accident, she was delayed two years. However, Picasso was so easy to start that after only two weeks, he was off to a show. His under saddle show career ended that same year. Since then, he has been busy standing at stud.

Picasso is sired by Llandefalle Bonheddwr and his dam is Alvesta Mystique. His pedigree also contains many great Sport Ponies. The talent and temperament that Tracy first saw in Picasso’s two offspring Glannant Jackpot and Jumpin’ Jack Flash came straight from Picasso. Those two geldings earned enough points on the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Hunter circuit to put Picasso on the USEF Leading Pony Hunter Sire List, a feat, which Tracy says, has been done by only a few Canadian pony stallions over the years.

Picasso’s other foals are also making their mark in the show ring. Due to the success of his offspring, such as Daventry’s Power Play, Daventry’s Overtime and Daventry’s da Vinci, Picasso was named the 2009 Welsh Pony and Cob Society of Canada (WPCSC) Section B Welsh Pony Sire of the Year for Canada and earned 2nd place for the award in 2010.

The owner of 4 year old Daventry’s Overtime, a 9 year old girl, can be seen in the walk/trot class proving Picasso passes his dedication and loyalty down to his offspring.


 

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