Featured 2011

Each month we feature an Alberta horse who has made an impact. This may be a champion of competition or a champion in some less public way. If you have or know of a horse that is a fine example of an “Alberta Horse”, tell us why, send us a photo and each month we’ll feature one horse that stands out from the herd.

Freedoms Traveller, a beautiful grey gelding, collected speed as he galloped around the track at Northlands Park on Saturday August 20, 2011. With a mile and a half to go, the patient jockey, Rafael Zenteno, made his move.

With the finish line in sight, the gelding overtook all the other horses to finish first by 5 ¼ lengths. And that’s how the 82nd Canadian Derby was won.aTravis1-sm

Known as the richest Thoroughbred race west of Toronto, the Canadian Derby is run each year at the end of August in Edmonton. The derby features 3 year old Thoroughbred horses running a distance of 1 3/8 miles.

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It was in Red Deer where Elena (Sokolovskaia) Golubitsky, first saw Adesco C in October of 2005. She knew she wanted to ride him and after only one pre-purchase ride, knew she had to buy him. There was only one problem: Adesco was bred to jump and Elena is an International FEI Dressage Competitor.00231b-Golubitsky-A

Adesco is the result of the carefully researched breeding program at Carleton & Co Warmbloods in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Leah Dyck, breeding manager and neice of Carleton & Co owners Susan and Ron Svarich, spent hours and hours researching pedigrees looking for a suitable match for their imported State Premium Holsteiner mare Zenit (Caribo/Tumbled xx/Faenrich).

Their breeding program is carefully researched to achieve their slogan: “Producing Jumping Horses that Move.” Leah’s research led her to a young stallion Ariadus (Accord II/Latus II/Laertes), who was eventually chosen to breed with Zenit after carefully examining his pedigree, conformation, temperament and production record. “As Zenit was quite proven we followed the breeding rule of putting an older, proven mare to a younger, less proven sire based on knowing what the mare produces as well as that of her family,” explains Leah.

When Adesco C arrived in 2002 and the family helped pull him out of his mother, they knew there was something special about him. “He was what we were hoping to improve with the breeding but with that little extra something,” says Leah.

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The summer of 2009 snuck up on breeder Rhonda Lemmon, who owns Noisy Hollow Acres Tennessee Walkers in Lacombe, AB. She found herself without a show horse. Rhonda looked out into her pasture and a liver chestnut roan sabino mare, Fancy's Midnight Promise, caught her eye.aPromise__horses_all-sm

Promise was grazing next to her pasture mates getting increasingly fatter. Rhonda thought to herself, “Yes, Promise had about 200 lbs to lose and yeah she hadn't been ridden in 7 years since she was started as a 3 year old. Oh heck, why not?” And just like that, Promise became her “new” show horse.

Promise excelled in the show ring in 2009 and 2010. She ended up winning Model Champion, English 3 Gait Championship, Reserve 3 Gait Champion of Champions and Reserve High Point 3 Gait Champion in a just a couple of months.

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Linda Henry comes from a long line of horse lovers. Just like her horse, JM Mystairs Fire+//, comes from a long line of people lovers. When her father, Jim, married her mother, Marilen, he said that also married her two horses. Linda’s mother introduced her to the world of horses, and she has never looked back. Although they have since passed on, her parents live on in the names of her horses; the JM stands for Jim and Marilen.afireribbons-sm

JM Mystairs Fire+//, fondly known as Fire, was born in 1993 in Cochrane, Alberta. Linda owned his sire, dam, and grand dam, all of whom passed down a gentle character and a love for people. Sired by Century Mystair+ and out of Caseys Cachet, the beautiful bay Arabian stallion is an ambassador of his breed not only in the show ring but outside of it as well. His affectionate personality and versatility has won him many ribbons and many fans.

It all began when he was a foal at the 1993 Calgary Stampede in the Horse Haven section of the Agriculture Barns, where he represented his breed for all the people to pet coming through the barn. All day long he stood with his head through the rails of the stall greeting everyone. When the barn emptied, he would lie down for a quick cat nap, only to stand up when he heard voices of more people coming. Linda says that he never slept so well as he did that night when he was brought back to their ranch.

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When Heather McLevin first saw SW Red Velvet as a two year old at a sale in 1986, she did not plan to keep her: “I bid on her for a friend but turns out she bought another horse, so I kept her.” As chance would have it, Heather had bought a mare that would turn into the matriarch of the breeding program at Thunderstruck Ranch near Delbourne, Alberta. SW Red Velvet, more fondly known as “Velve”, is now retired after a full career. A great example of an Alberta-bred horse that has made an impact, she taught a beginner how to ride, had a successful show career, and produced many outstanding offspring.

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