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Meet the Canadian Horse Journal’s 2021 Quarter Horse division Photo Contest Winner

CQHA was pleased to sponsor a Quarter Horse division of the Canadian Horse Journal’s 2021 annual photo contest. Out of over One Hundred entries, the contest judges chose “Two More Heels” submitted by Mandy Panas of Elk Point, Alberta as the inaugural award winner.

The CQHA Media Team contacted Mandy and asked her to tell the Canadian Quarter Horse community about the photo, and her relationship with the horse featured in the photo. The following editorial was submitted:

Lenas Blue Bur aka "Rusty" a Horse With Many Friends and a Million Stories

The first time I saw Rusty I didn’t think much of him. He was unloaded off the trailer at a ranch I worked for as a un-halter broke coming two year old stud colt. I was 17 years old at the time, and preferred coloured flashy looking horses; a plain old chestnut with a star and a bad attitude did not catch my eye!

He did catch my friend Wayne’s eye a couple weeks later at the sale held by the ranch. The sale was held after, hours were spent trying to rope Rusty and get a halter on him. The hardest part of halter breaking Rusty occurred once they finally roped him, he was so big the pony horse they snubbed him too had trouble teaching him manners. My good friends Wayne and Karen took him home and turned him into a horse, a horse that I spent many many hours riding over the next decade.

The first time I rode Rusty was on a camping trip in Saskatchewan at Manitou Outfitters. I took my coloured flashy buckskin, but two days into the trip he needed a rest after prancing his way through the 35°C sun on our long rides. Wayne loaned me Rusty who had only been started under saddle the previous year and I actually enjoyed riding the big chestnut on our evening ride. I was glad I was not riding him when he laid down in the lake, which was the start of his nickname “The Duck Horse” –  Most horses will stop, put their head down, paw a little bit and start to lay down when they get in the water. Rusty walked right in, got knee deep and dropped to the ground with no warning. It was like his legs collapsed and disappeared, he went straight to his belly in that water. To get around the cattle guard we had to go through the water, which was not that deep and that bugger was not going through there without a swim. I took his lead rope and pulled him through the water on my buckskin much to his disgust. The next trip through a much longer stretch of deeper water produced the same effect out of Rusty so once again my buckskin encouraged him through the water. For years to come Rusty would lay down, or try to, whenever his hooves touched water. From a puddle on a gravel road to a creek or a lake. Sometimes he was sweated up and you hit a patch of deep sand on the trail he would drop there too. He would rarely ever warn you, you would feel him slow down and then the ground would be rushing up towards you. Rivers seemed to be the exception, I don’t remember him ever trying to lay down in the current of a river.

I rode Rusty as often as I needed, when my horse was injured, or when I couldn’t haul or just anytime I wanted to ride him. I cattle penned and sorted on him, I rode at poker rallies and trail rides, chased cows at our friends pasture, caught calves to tag them, took him up to the mountains or anywhere else we went camping. After a couple of years under saddle Karen started riding him more than Wayne but she still shared him with me.

Titled "Two More Heels" Mandy Panas of Elk Point, Alberta was the winner of the inaugural "Registered Quarter Horse Division" of the of Canadian Horse Journal Magazine's 30th annual For the Love of Horses Photo Contest. Pictured is, Lenas Blue Bur aka "Rusty" and Jeremy Heraid bring another calf to the branding fire. Rusty is an Alberta bred 2004 chestnut gelding sired by Lenas Azure San, out of Shabbys Blue Bur by Leo Blue Bug.


People we knew asked occasionally if he was for sale and Karen always used to say you have to ask Mandy. One year I was in Ponoka when my cousins called me to ask if I could ride in a ranch rodeo with them on their Ag society team. I told them if I could find a horse I could rope off to borrow I would. Of course Rusty was my first choice, so off we went on a two hour road trip to ride with my two teenage cousins and their mom on the team they had entered. Most of the events were your typical ranch rodeo events but the one event that concerned us was where we had to catch a yearling and tie it down. When our team rode in we had a game plan, throw loops in the dirt until we reached our rope limit. I wasn’t a very good roper to begin with so it shouldn’t have been a problem. Rusty was fast enough I could usually run the young calves down and fishing a loop over their heads when we would tag them. My cousin went first and missed the calf our team was called. I rode into the herd and moved two calves down the fence, threw my loop and by some miracle caught the right calf. I don’t know who was more surprised, me, my teammates or Rusty that I had caught the yearling. Thankfully the other members of the AG society jumped the fence and came to help my team lay the yearling down and tie her up.

Over the years Karen and Wayne would pack Rusty to pennings, and the mountains and trail rides for me. As their grandsons got older I shared Rusty with him as well when I was between horses or just wanted a nice easy ride. But riding Rusty was not always nice and easy. When they decided to sell him Rusty was offered to me first. At the time I couldn’t afford him, it was pretty sad to think that someone else might buy him and I wouldn’t get to ride him anymore. A couple
months later my husband Jeremy and I  sold one of our ranch horses and needed another broke horse that could be saddled up and go to work, I convinced Jeremy to try him out. We drove two hours and picked up Rusty to add to the herd of geldings at Rafter HJ Ranch.

Eleven years after I watched that half wild Chestnut run around the pen and duck his head every time a loop flew his way he was mine- even if I was supposed to share him with my other half he is mostly my horse. Rusty always was a family mount and still is. When we head out with a trailer load it would be rare for Rusty not to be on it. As much as he is “my” horse I will share him when I need to.

Rusty’s biggest quirk besides being the “Duck Horse” is his spring time bucking! Every year when the green grass comes out he turns into a bit of a handful, sometimes he gets pretty serious about it – to this day he has never managed to buck me off; but he has tried a good number of times! It usually happens chasing a cow or calf across the pasture, but a couple of times its been at pennings; the most memorable was after we bought him, while I was helping to chase bucking horses out of the arena, while the rodeo club we help with was dummy bucking. I hadn’t ridden Rusty much that spring, and I knew there was a good chance he would try it that day. I warmed him up good but it did not surprise me when I asked him to step up after a bronc that he ducked his head and tried to unload me. I pulled him up, let him stand a few seconds and went back to the task at hand. The next horse out, Rusty tried it again; s soon as I asked him to run! I pulled him up and then off we went again across the arena. The third time Rusty ducked his head and started bucking I pulled him up, made him spin a couple circles and yelled at him to knock it off before going back to catch up with the others . . . he was good until the next spring!

When we first bought Rusty, I had acquired another gelding a couple months before, that had, had a rough hand dealt to him in his past. We were unsure of the gelding’s whole story as every previous owner I talked to told me something different about where he had come from that contradicted the last. His fear of people was his biggest problem, however Rusty was instrumental in helping him get over that! Rusty can be hard to catch on a good day, always has been but he isn’t scared of people in the least and a pocket of cookies is tough to turn down. I took the two geldings everywhere together, if the grey went Rusty went too. I spent countless hours ponying the gelding with Rusty to rehab him; circles, over trot poles, down the trails when we got into summer and then in the mountains and out to the pasture where Jeremy was working. I had planned on taking Rusty to the mountains and decided the week before I was taking the grey too. I was called crazy considering I had never rode him yet, but I made up my mind, the farrier put shoes on him (which was no easy task) and I packed them down to Ya Ha Tinda to meet with Rusty’s previous owners for a week of camping. Rusty ponied that grey horse up and down the mountains, through the rivers, around the camps for two days before an evening ride to Eagle Lake made me decide to ride the gelding back. I gave Wayne Rusty’s lead rope and stepped onto the grey horse for the first time in the nine months I had owned him. After that whenever I would take the grey horse it became a habit to saddle up both of them and ride out on Rusty first then switch part way and pony Rusty back. I never worried about ponying Rusty off a green horse because I knew he wouldn’t do anything if I ever had to let go of him and he wouldn’t do anything to get me into trouble either. I could turn him loose to cross rivers and catch him again on the other side. I could let go of him to get gates and he would follow me through and wait eating on the other side. I took the two of them into the mountains together the next year as well and the year after that I left the grey at home and took the two year old pups instead. Leading pups through a campground out to the trail is a
little more challenging than ponying another horse but he got that job done like any others I asked him to do.

This summer before we started out on a family trail ride one of the other horses our ten year old was supposed to ride started acting up. I shortened the stirrups on my saddle and he could just reach them when he climbed up on Rusty. He rode him around a little bit and then I climbed into the kids saddle, with stirrups that wouldn’t have gone long enough if I tried, to ride the other horse. Rusty was as solid as I knew he would be and after being ponied for the first bit we turned him loose to ride on his own.

I have done a little bit of everything on Rusty over the years, a Pony Express Relay Race at a local stampede where our team won, carrying a flag during O ‘Canada at another local rodeo, numerous mountain trips, penning, sorting, I even tried jumping him a couple times. This year we got to try something completely new to us. While we had done some obstacles like bridges, the horse ball and pool noodles at home we had never done many man made obstacles or cowboy challenges before. Some friends of ours not too far from home started the “Moose Hills Cowboy Challenges” and we had a lot of fun attending them.  Rusty learned that stepping in a box of water was very different from crossing natural water! We jumped on and off big tires as well as walked across them, rang a bell, went through the noodle curtain and attempted the very narrow teeter bridge. In September, the second time we had attended the challenge, they added a Toonie jackpot class with new obstacles and I entered it. I think there were only six of us entered in the jackpot. The new obstacles had us hanging clothes on a clothesline, popping balloons with a nail on a stick, putting a football in a tipped over muck tub with a broom, roping a dummy being pulled by a quad, going up and down stairs and through a trench. Rusty was great and never blinked at a thing through the whole course. We ended up winning the Toonie jackpot but most of all we had fun with our friends and family!

Rusty has made me a lot of memories over the years, not just with him but with the family that owned him. I will be forever thankful to the plain chestnut gelding with a star, for making Wayne and Karen a bigger part of my life; and to them for allowing Rusty to be such a big part of my life!

Mandy & Rusty, August 2021 competing at the Moose Hills Cowboy Challenges
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Canadian Results from the 2021 NRHA Futurity

Congratulations to all the Canadians that made their mark on the 2021 NRHA Futurity.

Canada was well represented, in the ring and behind the scenes, CQHA Director Brad Bowie was an official announcer, and AQHA/ NRHA Judge & CQHA Director Lyle Jackson was there as an official.

Canadian owners, breeders, trainers, and non pro riders showed off their talents, taking home some nice size cheques, and all will have memories to talk about on into the future.

Here are the Canadian results from the 2021 National Reining Horse Association’s Futurity:

(L to R) CQHA Directors Brad Bowie & Lyle Jackson

Patrice St-Onge

Congratulations to Patrice St-Onge, Valleyfield, Quebec native, and owner of St-Onge Reining Horses located in Gainesville, Texas; St-Onge and Hostetler Performance Horses, the cosigners of the 2021 NRHA Futurity Prospect Sale High Seller "MMB Voodoo Gun"

The 2019 colt had been in training with St-Onge. He is sired by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr, out of Silk Guns.

Breana Carsey and her family, purchase the colt with plans to develop him with trainer, Shawn Flarida.

Jesse Beckley for
Canadian Owner Norma Siebert

Congratulations to Jesse Beckley of Cranbrook, British Columbia and TrashyInYurDreams on winning the Level 2 & 3 Open Championship with a score of 222.5 which placed them fifth in the Level 4 Open.

TrashyInYurDreams is a 2018 sorrel stallion sired by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of This Chicsdundreamin, the team went home with earning of $120,652USD for owner Norma Siebert of Langley British Columbia.

Click the Image to watch the Run!

Jade Whitmarsh Canadian Bred, Family Owned

2021 National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship's inaugural Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown Championship title went to Cochrane, Alberta's Jade Whitmarsh.

Whitmarsh, rode Canadian bred 2013 Stallion. Sired by NRHA’s $13 Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz, out of Solitary Gunner (Colonels Smoking Gun x full sister to Hollywoodtinseltown). He is owned and was bred by Marie Whitmarsh.

The pair finished in a three-way tie for the top score with a 210.5 triggering a run-off. As the final horse to go in the run-off Jade and "Cruz" bested their original run by five points, and claimed the Bob’s Custom Saddles Showdown Championship and took home $5,000USD!

Click the Image to watch the Run!

Reyzed On Crush

Congratulations to Canadian Breeder Sandy Corriveau, of Eckville, Alberta. Rayzed On Crush was the the Level 1 Reserve Championship with a score of 214, winning $4,326 for rider Raphael Bourdeau and owner Brian Kelly of Adh-Mor Ranch of Ponoka, Alberta.

Reyzed On Crush is by sired by Canadian stallion PS Mega Shine Chic out of Dual Rey Olena Play.

The pair was also sixth in Level 2 taking home $5,458.24USD for that run.

Open Futurity Finals - Prime Time Open
5 Trashy Guns 424 Duane W Latimer CAN XCS Ranch LLC Gunnatrashya
CR Guns Fancy
72 71½ 71½ 71 71 0 214 848.26
6 Ziggy Rocks 360 Duane W Latimer CAN Roxanne Koepsell Whizkey N Diamonds
Shes Got Good Guns
71½ 70½ 72½ 71 70½ 0 213 698.57
7 Mabnum Shining Gun 272

Patrice St-Onge

Watch the run

CAN St-Onge Reining Horses Inc Colonel Shining Gun
Miss Magnum Pine
64½ 65½ 65 65½ 65 3 198½ 598.77
Open Futurity Finals - Level 1
2 Reyzed On Crush 402 Raphael Bourdeau USA Adh-Mor Ranch PS Mega Shine Chic
Dual Rey Olena Play
72 71 71 72 71 214 4,326.14
14 PT Seventy Eight 299 Shelby Mitchell  Geri Greenall Platinum Vintage
Payin On Time
68½ 69½ 69½ 69 69 207½ 1,274.90
25 Plum Got Spangled 200 Haley R Franc CAN Story Book Stables Star Spangled Whiz
Plum Reyning
68½ 68 67 67 68 203 766.91
Open Futurity Finals - Limited Open Level 2
1Trashinyurdreams256Jesse Beckley
Watch the run
CANNorma A SiebertGunnatrashya
This Chicsdundreamin
6 Reyzed On Crush 402 Raphael Bourdeau USA Adh-Mor Ranch PS Mega Shine Chic
Dual Rey Olena Play
72 71 71 72 71 214 5,458.24
20Mizzen Whiz Ya426Jesse BeckleyCANNicole L Driscoll Cathy DriscollGunnatrashya
Mizzen Whizzen
21Wannaflashya278Barbara BouchardCANMartin AudetGunnatrashya
Unquestionably Crome
30Plum Got Spangled200Haley R FrancCANStory Book StablesStar Spangled Whiz
Plum Reyning
32Mabnum Shining Gun272Patrice St-OngeCANSt-Onge Reining Horses IncColonel Shining Gun
Miss Magnum Pine
Open Futurity Finals - Level 3 Intermediate Open
1 Trashinyurdreams 256 Jesse Beckley CAN Norma A Siebert Gunnatrashya
This Chicsdundreamin
74 74 74½ 73½ 75½ 222½ 32,236.02


Open Futurity Finals - Level 4 Open
4 Trashinyurdreams 256 Jesse Beckley CAN Norma A Siebert Gunnatrashya
This Chicsdundreamin
74 74 74½ 73½ 75½ 222½ 73,409.13
22 Trashy Guns 424 Duane W Latimer CAN XCS Ranch LLC Gunnatrashya
CR Guns Fancy
72 71½ 71½ 71 71 214 10,810.74
25 Ziggy Rocks 360 Duane W Latimer CAN Roxanne Koepsell Whizkey N Diamonds
Shes Got Good Guns
71½ 70½ 72½ 71 70½ 213 10,208.87
26 All Guns On Crush 159 Dany Tremblay CAN Adh-Mor Ranch PS Mega Shine Chic
All Guns On Deck
72 71½ 70 69½ 70½ 212 9,906.29
Bob Custom Saddles NAAC Intermediate Non Pro Showdown
1 North Sail Solitaire 1065

Jade Marie Whitmarsh

watch the run

CAN Marie H Whitmarsh Topsail Whiz
Solitary Gunner
68½ (72½) 70½ (72) 70½ (72) 71 (71) 69½ (71½) 210½ (215½) 5,000.00
7 Lil Gunin Whiz 1064 Brooke Leneatha Whitmarsh CAN Marie H Whitmarsh Lil Gun
68 68 68½ 69 69 205½
Open Futurity Finals - Non Pro Level 4
22 Its All Gun 733

Andre De Bellefeuille


CAN Equine Plus Its All About Smart
Snow Gun
70 70½ 71 70 69 210½ 4,167.69
Open Futurity Finals - Non Pro Level 3
13 Its All Gun 733 Andre De Bellefeuille CAN Equine Plus Its All About Smart
Snow Gun
70 70½ 71 70 69 210½ 3,244.63
Open Futurity Finals - Non Pro Level 2
9 Its All Gun 733

Andre De Bellefeuille

watch the run

CAN Equine Plus Its All About Smart
Snow Gun
70 70½ 71 70 69 210½ 2,987.40
27 Ms Jackie Cash 798 Martin Corbeil CAN Julie Latendresse Lil Joe Cash
Miss Walla Fairytale
69 67½ 66½ 69 68½ 205 851.14
Open Futurity Finals - Non Pro Prime Time
9 Its All Gun 733

Andre De Bellefeuille

Watch the Run

CAN Equine Plus Its All About Smart
Snow Gun
70 70½ 71 70 69 3 213½ 449.99
16 Ms Jackie Cash 798 Martin Corbeil CAN Julie Latendresse Lil Joe Cash
Miss Walla Fairytale
69 67½ 66½ 69 68½ 3 208 225.27
Non Pro Futurity Consolation Round - Level 1
14 Sudberryz Custom Sno 757 Kash Lang CAN Kash Lang Electric Snow
Cactus Berry
Non Pro Futurity Consolation Round - Level 3
6 Ms Jackie Cash 798 Martin Corbeil CAN Julie Latendresse Lil Joe Cash
Miss Walla Fairytale
Non Pro Futurity Consolation Round - Level 4
18 Ms Jackie Cash 798 Martin Corbeil CAN Julie Latendresse Lil Joe Cash
Miss Walla Fairytale
AQHA News News General News

2022 AQHA Show Rule Changes

Decembr 3, 2021 - Amarillo, TX

Each year, the American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee reviews and approves rule changes from the AQHA Show Committee, which are approved by the AQHA membership and AQHA Board of Directors at the annual AQHA Convention.

Committee recommendations are reviewed for feasibility based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to available resources, budget constraints and necessary computer programming. Careful consideration, discussion and debate are devoted to each item at the time of approval. AQHA is excited to implement these member-driven rule changes, which were voted on at past AQHA conventions and had been on hold for computer programming. The Association has made great strides this year to complete the necessary programming to implement these rule changes that enhance programs and events for our members around the world. All rules are effective January 1, 2022.
  1. Ranch riding has moved from achievement Category 2 to achievement Category 5. Read more about achievement categories.
  2. Horses entered in performance halter without a Performance ROM or Racing ROM must also show in a performance class at the same show. Read more information.
  3. Horses entered in Versatility Ranch Horse conformation must also show in two VRH performance classes at the same show in the same division.
  4. Exhibitors competing at 2022 AQHA events may not cross-enter their horse in the following classes:
    • AQHA reining and Versatility Ranch Horse reining
    • AQHA trail and either AQHA ranch trail or Versatility Ranch Horse trail
    • AQHA western pleasure and Versatility Ranch Horse ranch riding
    • Versatility Ranch Horse amateur and youth classes and the corresponding Limited or Rookie Versatility Ranch Horse amateur and youth classes
    • Walk/trot or walk/jog classes and the corresponding lope/canter classes by exhibitor
Learn more about the Association’s rules and regulations in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. The 2022 AQHA Rulebook will be available soon on!