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When Dr. Deb Harrison-Steele and her husband Ron Harrison decided to start breeding cutting horses, they decided to commit themselves to five yearsaEquistar_front_sign_sm to do the best that they could do. It’s been five years, “and we are just breaking the surface,” says Deb.

Of course, Deb has been breeding client’s horses for longer than five years. She owned a small animal and a mixed practice in Stony Plain since graduating from Veterinary College in 1997, but sold it in 2005 when she decided to focus on equine reproduction. Deb and Ron transformed their 80 acre farm in Spruce Grove, Alberta, into an equine breeding facility and vet clinic.


A big black horse following people around might be thought of as an omen to some people. Not to Sandy and Ivan Chrapko of SSS Morgans. It was 1996 and they were at a dispersal sale at a guest ranch looking for a few horses to ride to help release stress from their jobs in Government and their aTatanka-highestEngineering business.

The big black horse was a gelding named “Morgan’s Ace” and since he kept on following them, Sandy suggested to her husband that he try him. It ended up being Sandy who tried him out, and she was in love. “I still have him and he is my main riding horse though he is 21 years old,” says Sandy. He was the first horse that started them on the path breeding quality Morgan horses in Alberta.

Both Sandy and Ivan were raised on farms and were looking to purchase a stallion and a few broodmares. They met Dorothea Hildreth of Bessia Morgans in Montana.  “We told her when her stallion Sharthunder and her mare Jubarose had a stud colt to let me know,” says Sandy. “In 1997 we got the call that we had our boy!”


Marilyn Vander Wekken and her husband Bernard breed Morgans from their picturesque location in Picture Butte, Alberta. Bernard focusses on their dairy operation Woolywind, but supports Marilyn in her equine pursuits at Marana Farms.

She has been working with Morgans since her father, John Leskosky Sr., purchased one and began breeding in 1984. Marilyn comments, “Apples don'taMarana_Macy_and_Dam fall far from the tree!”

In 1994, Marilyn made the decision to breed purebred Morgans. The stallion Petanio Arr Pride was purchased in 1997. According to Marilyn, that was the horse that really put them on the international map: “Petanio has produced progeny that have gone on to do dressage, eventing and jumping in North America. His greatest contribution to the breed is the progeny that head other breeding programs in North America and Europe.”  


“Go for your dream, do not die wishing you had done things.” These were the words of advice given to Linda Hokanson by her father, Art Allen. He passed away in April 1994, the same year that Linda and her husband Lynn founded Starmyri Appaloosas.aStars_Wild_Firesm

Linda says, “We looked at many, many farms before finding ‘our’ place!” Starmyri Appaloosas is located on a quarter section of land located northeast of Edson, AB. When they first purchased the land, there was only a house and one shed on it. “Our first project was to fence a ten acre area for the horses we already owned (that were boarded out in Hinton), then a barnyard area.”

Starting out with “Mighty Red” a 1984 registered Appaloosa mare, they began building their breeding herd almost as fast as they were building fences.


The name Jack Longmuir is familiar to many people in the quarter horse industry, not only just in Alberta, but also throughout Canada and the UnitedaJack_Longmuir States. Afterall, he was the second Canadian to ever receive the AQHA Legacy award in 2009 for 50 years of Quarter Horse breeding.

Longmuir Quarter Horses Ranch started after Jack’s parents Gordon and Clara Longmuir, who were originally from Campbellford, Ontario, settled in near Empress, Alberta. Jack was interested in horses from the very beginning.

“His goal was to raise a good ranch horse and he found the American Quarter Horse was the answer to his dream!” says Sheila Howe, Jack’s daughter.



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