“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 first few years were a lot of hard work, but Linda kept at the dream. Linda and Lynn’s son Joe and daughter Kristin were involved in 4-H and Linda pursued becoming a Certified Horsemanship Instructor.

Linda and Lynn also host European students during the summer months through Internex RanchStay program who help out with chores and training. In addition, they also have two Green Certificate Equine Technician students helping on the farm.

BannerThe breeding program is focussed on increasing the Appaloosa genetics in the stock. Linda says, “We are striving to reach purebred status, which requires eight generations of registered Appaloosa to registered Appaloosa breeding. We are now producing five generation foals. This process takes a long time to achieve!”

Starmyri Appaloosas has two stallions: “Stars Fim Koppur” and “Starwalker.” They also keep a number of broodmares. “Most of our breeding stock are 3 and 4 generation App X App,” Linda says, “We do not outcross at all to any of the acceptable breeds (Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred) in our program but do accept them from outside clients.”

Linda says, “All of my herd but one, are either already registered with Colorado Ranger Horse Association or in the process of being registered. All are also registered with the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada.” The Colorado Ranger Horse Association is a registry which requires the horse be traced back to two founding stallions. There are no colour requirements although Appaloosa patterns are common in the registry.

The breeding program also strives to produce horses with a smooth gait called the Indian Shuffle. Linda says, “It is an extremely smooth and comfortable gait to ride.”

 “When you are involved with producing a colour breed it is always a challenge to be able to produce those coloured babies,” says Linda, “and thoseaTiger_Lilysm babies must also have all the other required characteristics: good dispositions, good conformation, athletic etc. They must be complete packages.”

Linda is most proud of consistently being able to produce quality coloured foals. Another high point for her is the selling of a colt to Greece, “Stars Red Hawk was the first horse to be exported to Greece from Canada,” she says.

Growing up with horses her whole life since her father was an outfitter, Linda’s dream horse has always been Appaloosas. She says, “As far back as I can remember, having Appaloosas was a dream I had, especially black leopards.” She is currently living her dream in an abundance of spots.