Featured 2008

Although each of this month’s trio of horses is worthy of a story in his own right, the fact that they come from the same dam makes their story just that much more unique. Cool Synsation, Cool Ventura and Cool Diablo were all raised at Cool Spring Farm at Bowden, Alberta, by the Brewster family, and are all out of the mare Devil’s Favour.  Devil’s Favour was raised in BC but brought to Alberta to train as a two year old. The trainer thought she was the best horse he’d ever trained but she sustained a career ending injury before she was even entered in a race. Normally the Brewsters wouldn’t breed a mare unproven on the track, but the trainer was adamant. Devil’s Favour was first bred as a 3 year old and, in 2008 at the Alberta Fall Classic at Northlands, three of her offspring ran off with three of the stakes races.

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Show jumper, Spruce Meadows class winner in spring 2008, show jumping member of Battle of the Breeds team, and never leaves home without her passport. Warmblood you might think, maybe a Thoroughbred, perhaps a sport pony, or…a 13-year old molly mule named Mastco Jane. Bred and owned by Lionel Gartner and ridden by Katherine Cook, Jane was a member of the recently crowned champion Team Mule at the 2008 Telus Battle of the Breeds held during the Spruce Meadows Masters tournament. At just 14.3 hands high, Jane placed 4th in the show jumping portion of the battle, bettering her 5th place finish in 2007. Word in the barn is that she’s set her sights on 3rd next year, which will be her sixth year of participation.

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Bred and raised by the McLellans of DeWinton, Alberta, from the very beginning, Gladdy had all of the presence, spirit and kindness desired in the Welsh Pony breed. At the age of two, she traveled to the Western American National Welsh show in Sacramento, California, where she won the two year old filly class. Following the show, an arrangement was made to sell Gladdy, but when the intended purchasers were unable to pick her up by the next morning, she traveled back to Alberta to start her driving career. As a three year old, Gladdy won both the Section A Mare class and the Pleasure Driving class at the Calgary International Horse Show. That same fall, Gladdy returned to the Western American National Welsh Show in Sacramento and took home Grand Champion Mare, with her sire Whirlwind winning Grand Champion Stallion. Needless to say, Kiltie’s Glad-ness was no longer for sale and, in fact, she stayed with the McLellans for the entire 32 years of her life.

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When John Webber, then a resident of Vulcan, bred his 22 year old mare, his first horse, he had no grand vision of where this would lead. Eleven months later, along came J.W. Vel’s Chantilly Lace, who would pave the way for John to enter the world of showing. Encouraged to take his striking young Appaloosa filly into competition because of her excellent conformation and loud colouring, when she was just four months old, John hauled Lace to Claresholm and took home Junior Grand Champion Mare, compliments of the four US judges at the event.

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Bred in SW Alberta by Brian and Colleen Coleman of Eaglesfield Percherons, High Hope Heather has certainly lived up to the high hopes of her breeders. Her sire, Queen’s Commander was purchased by the Colemans when they were in their 20’s and living in a “shack”, as Colleen describes it. The seller was asking $20,000 for the stud, a huge sum of money for a young couple in their circumstance, and so it was off to the bank for a loan. A loan for any purpose was a bit of a stretch, but for a horse? Things were looking up when they saw the banker had a photograph of a Percheron on his office wall. He gave them the money. They knew which mare they wanted to breed to their new stallion, but they had to take six other mares as part of the lease, and feed seven mares for three years to get Heather.

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Foaled at a farm near Millet in 2001 by Liz Hennessy, Dude was a bit of a “mommy’s boy” according to Liz. His dam had become quite arthritic and Dude learned to stay very close to his slow moving mother. She had to be euthanized as soon as Dude was weaned. After weaning, he was placed in the 4H Standardbred program with one of its youth members, Lacey Minchau. Participants in the program are assigned a weanling colt or filly and learn the responsibilities of care, feeding, management and health requirements, and the economics of raising a horse. Lacey worked with Dude with the same enthusiasm and gentle, but skilled, approach that he continues to thrive on, instilling in him a respect for women and well disciplined behavior.

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Uniquely named by the breeder’s young son and then nicknamed along with a pasture-mate after Magnum PI’s two famous Dobermans Apollo and Zeus, at 27, Zekeydemax has lived up to his somewhat auspicious beginning. The offspring of Karen Rose’s first horse, an Appaloosa mare purchased with her own money when she was 13, Zeus grew up to become a teacher, coach, babysitter, and all-round champion youth horse. He’s had four youth owners in his career –Shane Rose, Kerry Gillespie, Stacey Reidelbach and his current owner, Shania Watson -- all of whom he’s taken from beginner to stardom. Shania says he builds her confidence up in anything she does with him and she’s lost count of all of the hi-point awards and ribbons they’ve taken home.

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altAlthough born a daughter of one of Alberta’s most successful race horses, Ky Alta, and trained to follow in his footsteps, racing was just not Alta’s chosen vocation. Retired from the track at three and purchased by a breeder because of her good bone and good looks, she was bred to an Oldenburg stallion and produced a gorgeous warmblood filly that went on to be a successful amateur horse. With the breeder reducing her herd, Alta was not bred again, but sold to a rider who trained her in first level dressage and over jumps. Her trainability and lovely movement could have taken her in either of these directions, but again, Alta was to change careers.

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Her name may tell you otherwise, but She's Italian is pure Alberta-bred. Bred and raised by Max Gibb on his Millarville farm, trainer Doug MacDonald initially thought her too small to be a contender on the track, but the little filly proved otherwise.

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