Mike and Sheena Steenhart from Morning Sun Arabians were expecting five foals from this year’s foal crop.

They got six.

First-time dam, MSU Seraphim, was only bred last year on their vet’s advice that time off and pregnancy would help heal theRuthsm strained ligament in her back. After all, the seven year old mare and 2010 Canadian National Champion Hunter Pleasure Jr Horse was purchased as a show horse, not a broodmare.

“We were there when they were born,” says Mike. “So, the filly was born first and then the mare got up and we were looking at each other like ‘holy cow this thing is little.’ And then she got up and laid down the other way.”

Sheena laughs and says, “and we thought ‘that can’t mean there’s another one!’”

“So we went and we looked and there was the boy coming. So I helped him or else he wouldn’t have made it if we weren’t there,” says Mike.

They were small but healthy, one filly and one colt. In 50 years of breeding, Mike has never encountered twins. However, their current breeding operation, Morning Sun Arabians in Crossfield, Alberta, began in 1991.

Their now deceased stallion, Bey Eclypse, produced multiple Canadian National top tens. One gelding by Bey Eclypse that Mike and Sheena are especially proud of is MS Sincerely Bey. They bred, raised, trained and conditioned him themselves. Mike showed him in the Canadian Nationals to a top ten finish in the amateur before selling him to California, where he continued his show ring successes first in performance classes at the Regionals and Canadian Nationals, and then in the US Youth Nationals.

“They need to be pretty,” says Sheena, “they need to look like Arabians. They need to be structurally correct and athletic. Asspitfyresm much as we both enjoy the halter horses, I ride as well, and we have always wanted to breed horses that were not only beautiful and could compete in the Halter ring, but that could go on to have a performance career afterwards. The other major thing that we have focussed on from a breeding perspective is their trainability and their ability to be trainable by amateurs; that they be easy. Good dispositions, good temperament.”

Their current stallion, Spitfyre VF, is continuing the tradition. His oldest foals are just 2 years old now, but they are already placing in the show ring. In 2012, Spitfyre, shown by Mike, achieved Canadian National Champion Stallion AAOTH and Reserve Champion at US Nationals in the same class.

Spitfire left for Wisconsin last month to be shown by Andy Sellman, who is one of the top Halter handlers in North America.

“Our old stallion was very consistent,” says Sheena. “He was a great horse and he produced some amazing amateur performance horses. This horse [Spitfyre] is leagues above that horse. I don’t think that I ever believed I would own a horse of this caliber who was capable of producing foals of this caliber. And so in some ways now, as breeders, we owe it to him, and we owe it to the rest of the world to share with them. It will be a new adventure.”

As for the twins, they’ll be for sale when they’re weaned. “At this point, all Spitfyre babies are for sale,” says Mike. “They’re not allSpitfyre US Nationals sm the same price, but they’re all for sale. Because we keep making more!”

“I want her twins to grow up so I can have my show horse back!” says Sheena.


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