Marg Martin was a self-professed “horse crazy girl.” She grew up on the back of a horse, always riding different breeds. Flipping through Western Horseman reading2008keep_the_faith articles about Sheila Varian riding her Arabian mare at the Cow Palace, a young Marg began dreaming about Arabian horses and wished one day to own one.

Dreams turned into reality, and Marg has since owned many Arabians. Marg began breeding at her farm Hassan Arabians, located in Bentley, Alberta.

Her first foal was a half-Arabian palomino filly, born in June 1961 and sired by Abu-Alla, who was bred by Chic Miller of Olds, Alberta. “Chic was one of the first major Alberta Arabian breeders who started many in the Arabian business,” comments Marg.


Following in 1963, she purchased a grey weanling filly Fahs Fantasy from Dean and Russ Mayberry of Hanna, Alberta.ahassan_hitch

Throughout the years, Marg and her partner Gary Riley bred 89 Pure or Part Arabian Foals (40 fillies and 49 colts).  The early years saw them producing 3-5 foals a year then later they slowed down to only one a year.  Marg has supported the Canadian Arabian Horse Futurity held by the Parkland Arabian Horse Association since 1968 and has only missed a handful of years.

“In the beginning I did all the halter showing mainly in Open shows that was a great way for getting others interested in Arabians,” Marg comments. “Fahs Fantasy and her foals were a winning combination with non-Arabian judges.  Also [I showed] a good number of Arabian shows. These shows were a great get together of families. I am so glad to have started way back when to enjoy those times and also watch the change of the showing world to now.”

Marg credits Albertan trainers for putting Hassan Arabians on the map. “Bruce Riley, whose training of Fara Cinda started the notice of Hassan” she states.  “Carla Jackson received our First Canadian National's Top Ten in 1986.” She also credits Albertans Joann Jackson, Darlene Brouwer and has been working with Todd Ehret since 1993.

“I know there are other breeders that have raised many more National and Regional Champions but our wins come from one mare line and her daughters with the 4th generation [currently] in the show ring,” Marg states modestly.

ahassan_img119Their love of Arabian horses led Gary and Marg to a love of travel. “With my involvement with the Arabian breed I have made lifelong friends” says Marg. “I enjoyed my trips to World Arabian Horse Organization conferences in Oman in 2009 and Qatar in 2011.  In Oman, I was one of two Canadian breeders and in Qatar I was the only Canadian breeder.”

Due to health reasons, Hassan Arabians is in the process of cutting back to only owning four horses. Marg comments, “For 36 years my partner Gary Riley was a big part of Hassan Arabians but his sudden passing December 2011 has changed many things here. My grandson Cahill has stepped into his boots. Cahill just turned 11 and his sister, Hayley at age 16 is also a help.”

Marg won’t sell Faith Shines On, a mare named after her friend Faith Pilgrim who fought, and won, a battle with cancer. Faith Shines On has been a star broodmare, afaithpicproducing the black males Azkaban and Shiver N Shake by Allionce+/ as well as the black filly by Ames Charisma, who is a Regional Champion and Canadian National's Top Ten in Halter. Faith Shines On is now retired but won’t be leaving Hassan Arabians for any price.

“One regret is that I could be 20 years or more younger so I could have my mares bred to some of the very best bred Arabian stallions out in the world now.”


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