Blog General Post

Canadian Mare Highest Seller at the 2023 Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma

Congratulations to Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association members Barry and Janice Sather from Beaverlodge, Alberta on selling their mare SINGLES CRUISE SI 101 at Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma on Jan 19.

The 2016 brown mare was the top selling broodmare at the opening day of the Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma on Jan 19th and the fourth high seller overall.

Singles Cruise is in foal to champion KVN Corona and fetched $95,000 USD. The California bred mare by Favorite Cartel and out of the Mr. Eye Opener mare Going Single was raced in Alberta and California by the Sathers. Singles Cruise won 9 out of 20 starts, earned $103,586 USD and is a Graded Stakes winner.

In 2018 she was the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association’s Grand Champion Running Horse and Champion Two Year Old.

Janice and Barry have embryo transfer babies from this great mare coming to the track in 2023 and beyond.



Written with material supplied by the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association

AQHA News News Breeder News

HAD TO BE IVORY is Named AQHA 2022 Canadian Champion Racehorse

Had to Be Ivory Photo credit:

Owned and bred by Carol Robertson and daughter-in-law Jaime of Hillsburgh, Ont. and trained by Carol’s husband and CQHA’s 2022 Trainer of the Year Bryn Robertson , Had to Be Ivory completed his remarkable 2022 campaign undefeated in six races which included wins in some of Canada’s richest Quarter Horse races; the Picov Maturity, and the Ontario Bred Maturity.

The 2009 bay gelding has 22nd career wins from 28 starts in his long career.

A son of Ivory James and out of  Robertson’s top producing mare Had to Be Fandango, his life time earnings currently stand at $363,310.

In his final race of the 2002 season “Ivory” as he is affectionately called solidified his position as the best Quarter Horse in the country with a one-length score in the 440-yard dash in a time of 21.410, besting the former record of 21.520 set by Mitford in 2013. His final time speed index of 112 is one of the highest marks in recent Ajax Downs history.

“The fact that he is a home bred, born on our farm, makes us very proud, ” said Bryn. “We just try to keep him happy, fed well and he just goes out there and does it.”

Had to Be Ivory was the 2019 Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs but caught a virus in 2020 that was serious enough that the Robertson’s thought the horse would not recover.

“He was very sick and was in Guelph at the equine hospital for a couple of weeks. He came back in 2021 and he was good but this year he came out firing and we are tickled pink.”

Ivory was the nearly unanimous pick for the 2022 AQHA Canadian Bred Race horse of the year, as voted by the AQHA Racing committee delegates. This is the third time in his career that her has earned this prestigious award.

Bryn Robertson and his daughter Kim Sabila attended the awards ceremony on January 18, 200 hosted in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to accept the award on behalf of Had to Be Ivory and the family.

The award is announce at 28:18 of this video!

The Robertsons said Had to Be Ivory will be back to race again in 2023!


This editorial was written with help from Jennifer Morrison / Ajax Downs for

News Member News Uncategorized

CQHA Wraps up the Inaugural Canadian National Amateur Team Tournament


To our top five teams of 2022!

1ST place, Team SIRTAINLY SIERRA – 4695pts
2ND place, Team MY SLEEPY VALENTINE -4308pts
3RD place, Team GOOD INTENTIONZ- 4206pts
4TH place, Team TY – 3671pts
5TH place, Team YALL HASHTAG THIS – 3417pts

Thank you to each and every one of the 100 Canadian Amateurs who made this first year such a huge success, and to our 10 team sponsors!

We could not have done it without you!!!


Reserve Champions

Third Place

By Joelle Johnson, CNATT Chairperson

Before I get into the amazing details of how CNATT2022 was such a raging success I want to share the story of how CNATT was created…

I have been a member of the quarter horse industry my entire life, so I have seen how the ebb and flow of the Canadian and American economies can affect the Canadian Quarter Horse industry. I have seen struggles but never have I been so worried for the future of our beloved affiliates as I was post pandemic. Everyone was eager to return to the show ring, but was our excitement enough to combat rising gas prices and inflation?

While attending a year end banquet for the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta, I overheard many longtime amateur members that I personally know and consider my family, reminisce about “the good old days”. When shows were so large, we had days that never ended, they just flowed from the end of one to the beginning of the next with mere hours in between. Group activities were numerous in these days, whether to generate funds or just to kick off our boots at the end of a long day. In these days the friendships were unyielding and lifelong.

I knew something had to be done.

I became obsessed with understanding what it was my fellow exhibitors needed to drive them to love showing their equine counter parts the way they had 15-20 years ago. I reached out to exhibitors from across the province and into neighboring affiliates asking them what they wanted to see change. I posted to my public social media account, asking followers if they could choose the prizes that would light a fire in their competitive souls what would it be? Many of course said cash. We all could use some extra cash. That is a never ceasing ideal that unfortunately for most clubs, isn’t an option. Gathering sponsorship is hard, and asking people to hand over cold hard cash in an economy where it’s worth less and less every day, that is difficult. Beyond money, many responded that items they could physically use were preferred over trophies. Blankets are a never-ending necessity in every barn whether you show halter or reining. Tack, buckets, and other every day items also topped the list.

Of those I spoke to, many remembered fondly of a circuit once held in Drayton Valley, Alberta. This event was organized by Jackie, Kathy and the rest of the Harke family. Every year they held a team tournament including all exhibitors and it was infamous for its great prizes and positive experiences. Unfortunately, despite the success of this show, it is no longer held and the Harke family has long since moved on from the Quarter Horse industry in Alberta.

Once I had my questions answered, I reached out to the one person I knew I could count on to help. A person who is well known for her organizational skills, her drive to volunteer and her ability to plan and event; Laurie Haugton, current CQHA Vice President and our organization’s saving grace. We shared a long, fruitful conversation brainstorming ideas and together we created the Canadian National Team Tournament. A tournament of 100 AQHA members from across Canada competing for a title and along the way meeting new people and having fun! The ten teams would be sponsored by Canadian owned stallions, thus incorporating a need to drive the visualization of available breeding options close to home during hard financial times.

Obviously as it is with any new program, there was some apprehension. Stallion owners weren’t sure if they would benefit from the program, and some amateurs didn’t understand how they could participate, especially those who weren’t sure if they could afford to even attend any AQHA circuits. But, everyone’s desire to see new and expanding change outweighed their apprehension, and 100 members took the leap of faith and 10 stallion owners put their trust in Laurie and I.

Once our team sponsors were secured, our members registered, it was time to select our teams. On May 1st, 2022 a Live Instagram event was held with the incomparable Brad Bowie. Ten names were randomly drawn from across Canada for each of our ten teams, doing our best to make sure each team had a representative from every affiliate in Canada.

Once teams were formed, the connections were only moments behind. Facebook friend request multiplied across the social media platform and groups were formed in private chats. For team Yall Hashtag this specifically, it only took one day for the members to begin introducing themselves and their equine partners. For the rest of the season these private chats would become a breeding ground for positive messages, well wishes and encouraging words. Members shared placings, the good and the ugly, and pushed each other to try new things.

At the circuits, new friendships blossomed and old ones strengthened. Cheering could be heard from aisle to aisle among the barns and playful competitive banter rang through the practice pens. Even the occasional high- fives were seen shared amongst rivals.

For members in Saskatchewan the first show of the season brought their rigs to Moose Jaw. As part of the CNATT program non-horse events were introduced. These events were open to everyone, but were incorporated to allow those who were unable to show, or who only showed minimally a chance to earn a few points for their team. They also were created to open the channels of communication and increase camaraderie.  The first non-horse event held in Moose Jaw, a tricky scavenger hunt followed by a race of slow and steady proportions proved to be exactly the icebreaker those western Canadians needed. On a personal note, this experience warmed my heart to the core. I haven’t seen laughter and teamwork like this among AQHA peers for many years, and it was in this moment that I knew all our hard work had been worth it. The program was successful.

While the non-horse events were plentiful and successful at the individual circuits, Laurie soon discovered that the CNATT members could also benefit from online contests. Bubble gum was chewed, fleece coolers became dresses, and equine partners questioned the sanity of their owners who dressed them as dragons for photos. Multiple incredible prizes were awarded for these contests. A special heartfelt thank you must be said to Gilles Seguin of Tendo Enterprises, Leanne Karoles of Ace Therapy, Robyn Duplisea of Show Horse Today, Jessica Turner of Rose Fire Saddlery, Alfatech Alfalfa Products, AQHA and the CQHA for their generous sponsorship of all CQHA awards and prizes.

As the weeks passed, and show after show was held across the country, points were tallied, and posted regularly. The competition became more and more fierce. It was even noted that boots and breeches that hung in closets for years were dusted off in order to aid in team standings.

It didn’t take long for team sponsors began to see how the program could benefit their businesses and swag was spotted through out the barns. Sirtainly Sierra vests, My Sleepy Valentine hats, and Yall Hashtag This hoodies became advertising beacons. Banners were created and shipped to each individual member with their team logos and they hung proudly on stalls up and down the aisles.

On social media the hashtags were abundant. Pictures of successful days were littered with reminders to investigate the incredibly talented stallions and their get which we are so lucky to have available to us in Canada. Each hashtag aiding the competitor’s in their race to the top.  In addition to member social media presence we were beyond blessed to have the support of Robyn Duplisea and her online magazine Show Horse Today to highlight our program, its members and our sponsors. 

The season has now wrapped up, the tack cleaned and put away for the winter. The final show results tallied and our winner has been crowned. Taking home Gold in the first ever Canadian National Amateur Team Tournament is team Sirtainly Sierra, silver to My Sleepy Valentine, and bronze to team Good Intentionz. Members of the team Sirtainly Sierra will receive a custom-made buckle, and a $200 gift certificate to Rose Fire Saddlery. Team My Sleepy Valentine will receive $100 gift certificates and team Good Intentionz $50 gift certificates to Rose Fire Saddlery. These awards, along with 3 remaining participation draws will be presented to the winners at the Canadian Quarter Horse Associations awards banquet. Further information on a date and location to come from the Canadian Quarter Horse Association in the coming weeks.

I am beyond blown away by the success of CNATT2022, I never could have imagined that it would become such a roaring success. I am so thankful to Laurie Haughton, Holly Kress, and Hannah Searle for all their hard work this year. I am so lucky to have a team who believed in this from day one. Thank you to all of our Canadian show secretaries from coast to coast for being so diligent with their show results, without you this could not have been possible. Finally, to our sponsors, stallion owners and business owners alike, your support for this program has been nothing less than amazing. I am so touched by your support for such a new program, dreamt up by just an amateur with a dream and a desire to see change.

I cannot wait to see what 2023 holds for the Canadian National Amateur Team Tournament!

Program Partners

Blog General Post

2022 CNATT Fashion Show

The 2022 CNATT Fashion Show took place between Christmas and New Years. The videos submitted by all 12 Designers were posted on YouTube and the CQHA community was invited to vote on their favourites to determine the winners.
A total of 150 votes were cast, and in a last minute surprise the event’s sponsor Show Horse Today announced that they were so impressed by the creativity and fun, that all entries would receive a full page ad in a 2023 issue of their publication!!!
Congratulations to all participants and a special shout out to Leslie Riley of team My Sleepy Valentine on winning the fashion designer contest!
Leslie Riley of Ontario, representing team My Sleepy Valentine was crowned the 2022 CNATT "Barn Fashion" Designer of the Year
News Youth News Uncategorized

Team Canada 2023 Announced

La version française suit

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association is pleased to announce the ten youth who will represent Canada at the 2023 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup

Ottawa, January 9, 2023 — The Canadian Quarter Horse Association (CQHA), the Canadian affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and representative of the largest breed population within the Canadian herd, announced today the ten youth members who will represent Canada this summer at the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup being hosted in Bryan/College Station, Texas, June 29th – July 8th, 2023!

This international event is hosted every two years by a different country and involves teams representing sixteen nations!  

Throughout this competition, each country will ride for gold medals in the equestrian events of cutting, reining, horsemanship, ranch riding, trail, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle, and showmanship. The American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup is a unique event because competing team members will only few days to get to know and develop relationships with the horses that they will compete on. The host country provides each of the team’s horses for participation in skill developing clinics and the international competition.

The CQHA appointed AQHA Professional Horsewoman Jodi Mallette as Team Coach and Jessica Mosley-Cairncross BSc. BEd. . as the Team Manager in November 2022. The pair worked over the December holidays to examine the applications of twenty-two accomplished youth riders representing the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

“We were extremely impressed by the competencies of the riders who applied to be part of this national team” stated Team Manager Jodi Mallette, “all youth displayed strong horsemanship and interpersonal skills which are equally important when fielding a successful team to represent Canada on an international stage.”

Team Canada 2023 will be comprised of five riders, two alternate riders, and three horsemanship and leadership development members.

The Riders are named as follows: Brooklyn Shannon age 17, from Ontario; Emily Yates age 16, from Ontario; Ali Chernoff age 18, from Alberta; Taylor Carney age 18, from Ontario; and Hailey Olsen age 16, from Saskatchewan. Alternat Riders are named as follows: Abigail Dunlevy age 16, of Ontario, and Kaidyn Goodwin age 16, from Nova Scotia. Horsemanship and Leadership Development members have been named as: Lauren Irwin age 17, from Ontario; Tylar Randall Gray age 15, from Nova Scotia; and Emily Firth age 15, from British Columbia.

“Team Canada 2023 is representative of the talented youth equestrians that are created here in Canada,” said Team Manager Jessica Mosley-Cairncross “Jodi and I have been in contact with all members and they are excited to start team building activities virtually right away which will include everything from fun ice breakers to help the team get to know each other, to media and marketing training to improve their presentation skills as they begin to seek sponsorships to fund their way to Texas this summer.” The team is planning on meeting in the early spring to train together in person as well.

Canadian business and or individuals interested in contributing to Team Canada through corporate partnership or sponsorship support are welcomed to contact the CQHA at

L’équipe canadienne 2023 est annoncée

La Canadian Quarter Horse Association est heureuse d’annoncer les dix jeunes qui représenteront le Canada à la Coupe du monde des jeunes de l’American Quarter Horse en 2023.


Ottawa, le 9 janvier 2023 – La Canadian Quarter Horse Association (ACQH), l’affilié canadien de l’American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), et représentant la plus grande population de la race au sein du troupeau canadien, a annoncé aujourd’hui les dix jeunes membres qui représenteront le Canada cet été à la Coupe du monde de la jeunesse du American Quarter Horse qui aura lieu à Bryan/College Station, au Texas, du 29 juin au 8 juillet 2023! Cet événement international est organisé tous les deux ans par un pays différent et implique des équipes représentant seize nations! 


Tout au long de cette compétition, chaque pays se disputera des médailles d’or dans les épreuves équestres de cutting, reining, horsemanship, ranch riding, trail, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle, et showmanship. La Coupe du monde de la jeunesse du American Quarter Horse est un événement unique car les membres de l’équipe ne disposent que de quelques jours pour apprendre à connaître et à développer des relations avec les chevaux sur lesquels ils vont concourir. Le pays hôte fournit les chevaux de chaque équipe pour qu’ils participent aux stages de développement des compétences et à la compétition internationale.


L’ACQH a nommé la cavalière professionnelle de l’AQHA Jodi Mallette au poste de l’entraîneur de l’équipe, et Jessica Mosley-Cairncross BSc. BEd.. au poste de gestionnaire de l’équipe en novembre 2022. Le duo a travaillé pendant les vacances de décembre pour examiner les candidatures de vingt-deux jeunes cavaliers accomplis représentant les provinces de la Colombie-Britannique, de l’Alberta, de la Saskatchewan, de l’Ontario, de la Nouvelle-Écosse et du Nouveau-Brunswick.


“Nous avons été extrêmement impressionnés par les compétences des cavaliers qui ont postulé pour faire partie de cette équipe nationale”, a déclaré l’entraîneur de l’équipe, Jodi Mallette. “Tous les jeunes ont fait preuve d’une grande maîtrise de l’équitation et de compétences interpersonnelles, qui sont tout aussi importantes lorsqu’il s’agit de former une équipe qui représente le Canada sur la scène internationale.”


L’Équipe Canada 2023 sera composée de cinq cavaliers, de deux cavaliers suppléants et de trois membres chargés du développement de l’équitation et du leadership. Les cavaliers sont nommés comme suit : Brooklyn Shannon, 17 ans, de l’Ontario ; Emily Yates, 16 ans, de l’Ontario ; Ali Chernoff, 18 ans, de l’Alberta ; Taylor Carney, 18 ans, de l’Ontario ; et Hailey Olsen, 16 ans, de la Saskatchewan. Les cavaliers alternatifs sont nommés comme suit : Abigail Dunlevy, 16 ans, de l’Ontario, et Kaidyn Goodwin, 16 ans, de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Les membres de la section Horsemanship and Leadership Development ont été nommés comme suit : Lauren Irwin, 17 ans, de l’Ontario ; Tylar Randall Gray, 15 ans, de la Nouvelle-Écosse ; et Emily Firth, 15 ans, de la Colombie-Britannique.


“Équipe Canada 2023 est représentative des jeunes cavaliers talentueux qui sont créés ici au Canada “, a déclaré la gestionnaire de l’équipe Jessica Mosley-Cairncross. ” Jodi et moi avons été en contact avec tous les membres et ils sont enthousiastes à l’idée de commencer les activités de renforcement de l’esprit d’équipe pratiquement dès maintenant, ce qui comprendra tout, des activités amusantes pour briser la glace afin d’aider l’équipe à se familiariser avec l’esprit d’équipe.


News Member News Uncategorized

CNATT 2023 Teams Sold Out!

In just a few short days over the holidays our 2023 CNATT Teams were sold out!

Canadian AQHA breeders and stallion owners from every discipline were invited to buy their 2023 Canadian National Amateur Team Tournament team beginning on December 23, 2022.

Ads were placed on CQHA’s social media channels for the $250.00Cnd team sponsorship opportunity, and by New Year’s Eve all fifteen (15) were sold out!

The CNATT provides an excellent opportunity for Canadian breeders to acquire national exposure for their breeding program and reach different markets through the social media networks of the Amateurs who are randomly selected to join their team.

Teams leverage the power of their social media networks to promote their team activities and team sponsor. In exchange, team members earn points for their team for the tournament.

Team sponsors are encouraged to outfit their team with branded items to help their team members successfully market their breeding program.

Built on the idea of community and fueled by the power of social media, this program is made by Canadians for Canadians!

Thanks to our fifteen (15) Team sponsors for signing on to what is going to be an amazing year!
Everyone welcome CNATT’s new Sponsors for 2023 :
  • Team K & R Stuart Quarter Horses – The Stuarts have been breeding all-around AQHA horses for 40 years in Manitoba.
  • Team First Timber– Alberta AQHA racing stallion owned by 2022 CQHA Racing Breeder of the year Wesley Olton, CQHA’s 2022 Race Horse Breeder of the Year.
  • Team Rod Jefferies Quarter Horses – Rod has bred multiple Congress and AQHA and NSBA World Champions, based in Ontario and Texas.
  • Team One Lopin Machine- 2005 AQHA stallion sired by A Good Machine out of Ms Zip Bar by Zippo Pine Bar owned by Lindsay Soderberg-Geiger
  • Team Little Valley Quarter Horse – Established in 1978, Little Valley Quarter Horses is a family owned/operated equine breeding and training facility located in Decker, MB. CQHA’s 2022 Performance Horse Breeder of the Year.
  • Team Whitby Farms – home of AQHA stallions Allthatshines Is Joe and Squeak Gun
  • Team Sandy Land Stables – Owned by 2022 CQHA Performance Horse Breeder of the year Barry Foot of Manitoba.
Thank you to our returning sponsors :
  • Team Fleetwood Farms Quarter Horses – Located in Champion, AB the multi-generational ranch also stands  AQHA stallions: Silver Assured, Silver Lincoln, Champ Silverado, Pegasus, and Dun It Ok.CQHA’s 2021 Ranch Breeder of the Year
  • Team Yall Hashtag This – Yall Hashtag This, is a 2016, 6 panel negative, 15’1 hh chestnut AQHA Stallion, sired by Machine Made out of KM Hot Number by RL Best Of Sudden. A full sibling to Nothing But Nett, Air Ryde, Made Ya Look. Owned by Kate Bamford of Alberta.
  • Team Kirtzinger Quarter Horses – standing AQHA stallions Good Intezionz and Body Shotz. 30 + years as AQHA breeders, located in Hay Lakes, AB
  • Team Sertainly Sierra – A 15.3 H bay, AQHA stallion, 5 panel NN, LWOP NN, AQHA Superior stallion earning 76.5 pts.  AQHA High Pt. Sr. Stallion – 4th, multiple Canadian National Champion and Canadian National Supreme Champion. He is owned by Graham Halter Horses located in Aylesbury, SK. CQHA’s 2022 CNATT Champion Team Sponsor.
  • Team TheWayTheWestWasOne – 15.3 hh Bay AQHA stallion, sired by One Hot Krymsun, out of Rolls Radicalle by Radical Rodder. 6 panel NN. Early booking fee rates if booked before March 15.
  • Team Blu Dualin Boon – 2017 Red Roan AQHA/APHA stallion, sired by 2million dollar sire Once In A Blu Boon and out of Open Futurity Champion Fantastic Plastic. 5 panel NN. Owned by Forever Pine Quarter Horses. CQHA’s 2020 Ranch Breeder of the Year.
  • Team My Sleepy Valentine – 2015 sorrel AQHA Stallion 6 panel NN, Breeders Trust, NSBA SIF & BCF, North Star Futurity & CCF enrolled. CQHA’s 2022 CNATT Reserve Champion Team Sponsor
News Breeder News

Breeder’s Committee Launches New Reproductive Seminar

he CQHA Breeder’s committee is proud to offer a NEW virtual seminar developed in partnership with AQHA through the funding of the Education Marketing Grant.
Breeding Best Practices for Stallion and Mare owners is facilitated by Rafael E. Martinez Ph.D., of Sam Houston State University. The seminar discusses the following:
  • Selection of Breeding Stallions and Mares
    • Reproductive Evaluations
    • Genetic Testing
  • Stallion Breeding Methods
    • Live Cover
    • AI – Shipped
    • Frozen Semen
  • Mares
    • Embryo Transfer
    • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Dr. Martinez received his Ph.D. in equine nutrition and reproductive physiology from Texas A&M. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Equine Sciences at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, where he teaches a variety of equine courses, and also provides equine reproduction consultation services for clients and veterinarians. Dr. Martinez has been an Educational Market Place Clinician for AQHA’s QSP Program, teaching clinics for our international affiliates, including Uruguay, Slovenia, Denmark, Costa Rica, Alberta, and Mexico.

CQHA is pleased to offer Canadian AQHA members these FREE educational opportunities delivered by experts in their respective fields.

Additionally, those who sign up for this seminar can also enroll in any or all of the following seminars: 

  • Equine Genetic Diseases: Dr. Carrie Hammer, DVM, Ph.D., North Dakota State University
  • Farrier Science: Travis Burns, MSc, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF
  • Conformation, Western Horsemanship and Trail: Karen Graham AQHA Judge / Pro Horsewoman
  • Equine Welfare and Behavior: Eugene Spagnola, AQHA Judge/ Pro Horseman
  • The Business of Horses in Canada: Tara Gamble, AQHA Pro Horsewoman

These seminars are FREE to all AQHA members, simply sign up through the Eventbrite event registration application, and wait to receive your confirmation of enrollment from AQHA. 

News Youth News

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund Selects Three Recipients for 2022

September 15, 2022 — Calgary, AB — The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce the following scholarships have been awarded from the Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund in 2022. There are two different categories of scholarships, one going to first or second-year students (two $1,000 awards) and the other going to students advancing past their second year of studies (one $2,000 award). Qualified students from across Canada applied for the three available scholarships this past June.      

$1,000 Awarded to Jalen Thurgood, BC

$1,000 Awarded to Aliera Chernoff, AB

$2,000 Awarded to Ashley Nixon, ON

“Once again we were extremely impressed with the scholarship applicants this year,” said Dr. Wayne Burwash. “This is the eighth year that The Calgary Foundation has awarded the scholarships in memory of Shannon and they have awarded a total of $31,000.  The scholarships are open to students from across Canada and are awarded to deserving students who are focused on getting a post-secondary education, and being involved in the horse industry in their future This year the recipients are from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Besides her family, the two most important things in Shannon’s life were horses and education.  She loved horses and had a very, very strong feeling that all young people should get some sort of post-secondary education.  Therefore, we think these awards are not only a very fitting tribute to her but hopefully would serve as an incentive for young people to get a horsey/agricultural type education which would lay the foundation for them to become leaders in the horse industry.”

ASHLEY NIXON - $2,000 Leadership Award
Ashley Nixon, ON - second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College

ASHLEY NIXON is entering her second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology, and a Master’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Guelph. Leading up to her acceptance into veterinary school, she worked for several years in the equine veterinary industry at the OVC Large Animal Hospital and in private practice.

Outside of academic requirements, Ashley has worked on developing her understanding of veterinary medicine by attending symposiums, forums, and round tables. Ashley has also volunteered at events run by VetPD, Future Vets Club, College Royal, and has been involved in various OVC Clubs. Most notably, Ashley has been on the executive committee for the OVC Equine Club, where she has helped organize and run club events. In her first year of veterinary school, she helped organize the Equine Practitioner’s Forum, which allowed veterinary students to meet various equine practitioners from across Canada and the United States. More recently, Ashley was elected as OVC Equine Club’s Vice President/Junior AAEP Representative for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Aliera Chernoff - $1,000 Encouragement Award
ALIERA CHERNOFF, AB - Attending Old’s College to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness

ALIERA CHERNOFF grew up in Alberta as a 4-H member where she was introduced to the sport of reining. She was recently selected to attend the Youth World Reining Cup in Brazil and tells us that “It was the most amazing experience, I was able to meet amazing people involved in the sport, and made friendships from across the world.”

Chernoff has been volunteering at Reining events for the past 2 years, and was a Western Canada Delegate for the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and has acted as the youth liaison for Reining Alberta’s South Branch. Chernoff says “horses have taught me so much and have made me into the leader I am today and I hope to carry that on and continue to help other youth who are just getting into horses. I am currently attending Old’s College to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness. Which I will use in the future to run my own business in the agricultural field.” Her hope is to always have horses in her life.

Jalen Thurgood - $1,000 Encouragement Award
Jalen Thurgood, BC - Second year of her undergrad at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) where she is obtaining prerequisites for application to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

JALEN THURGOOD is in her second year of her undergrad at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) where she is obtaining prerequisites for application to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Thurgood grew up on a small farm in Salmon Arm, BC. where both parents practiced large animal veterinary medicine. Haven ridden horses all her life she has been competing competitively with Icelandic horses since the age of eleven, thanks to her grandparents keen involvement with the breed. She is the youngest certified Class 1 Sports Judge in the world and was the first Canadian to participate in the International Icelandic Horse Youth Cup and the North American Icelandic Horse Youth Cup; she states “I love my sport and in the future, I hope to use my knowledge as an equine veterinarian to educate and help fellow equestrians succeed in their discipline.”

Thurgood has been an active member of 4-H for ten years, and has participated at several community fundraising events. Currently she is a 4-H BC Ambassador for the Kamloops-Okanagan Region; her role as an ambassador is to promote the 4-H program within the region and within the province, volunteer at 4-H events, and to act as a resource to members, leaders, and the public, she tells us “I love 4-H and am always looking for ways to give back to the program. Recently, I joined the executive team for the UBCO Pre-Vet Club as treasurer.”

News General News

2022 AQHA Ride Program Achievers

Congratulations to the following Canadians who have been recognized by the AQHA’s Horse Back Riding Program for 2022.

The AQHA Horseback Riding Program rewards you for spending time with your horse. Spending time with your horse is one of the great parts of your life. AQHA’s Horseback Riding Program is a way to honor your horse and your partnership, as well as earn rewards for something you’re already doing. 

Once you enroll in the program, you can start recording hours. As you climb the achievement hour levels, you will earn valuable prizes and earn recognition for you and your horse. 

All breeds are welcome – there is both an American Quarter Horse division and an All-Breeds division.

Quarter Horse Division
5,000 Hour Award - Janelle Cameron of  Wetaskiwin, Alberta
5,000 Hour Award

Janelle Cameron of  Wetaskiwin, Alberta with Mr. Peppy’s Bonanza, Betarocknrumble, Goodtimebootscootin, and Elko.

Each one of my horses has taught me something different. That’s one of the cool things about horses and getting to ride so many different ones. 

I have lots of good memories but I think it’s neat to look back at where I was 5,000 hours ago and compare it to now; I’ve come a long way not only in my horsemanship but in my life as well. 

I am an equestrian strength and performance coach and owner of Optimize Your Ride. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned in my formal education in Kinesiology and what my horses have taught me to helping other riders become the best partners they can be to their horses!

2500 Hour Award - Anne Lewis from Coalhurst, Alberta.
2,500 Hour Award

Anne Lewis of Coalhurst, Alberta with Zans Golden Ruler aka “Simon”

My first horse was an American Quarter Horse and I have stuck with the breed ever since. I love the look and versatility of them. Trail riding is my passion. Living in southern Alberta, winter means indoor riding with the occasional coulee ride on a warm day. I take dressage lessons and clinics when available. I live a hour away from the Rocky Mountains. Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Provincial Park offer trails galore to explore and camp.

500 Hour Awards
Wyatt Hallock with ONLYHOTTILLMIDNIGHT from Ontario
Karen Krueger with DF Jackpot aka "Mazer" from Stanley, Manitoba
Becky Green with Peppered Playmate & Skipped My Pepper from Hay Lakes, Alberta
All Breed Division
2,500 Hour Award - Lena Kronschnabl of Thorsby, Alberta, Canada

2,500 Hour Award – Lena Kronschnabl
 with Juanna Lil Red Rose, Snoopys Black Juan, Snaps Bully girl from
Thorsby, Alberta

All of my horses mean the world to me as I love them to pieces! Each one has his own personality, and not all of them are way to handle. They work extremely well for me and I am so happy friends trusted me and gave me the opportunity to own them. As part of the Horseback Riding Program, I love the gifts and getting my own mail, plus it is really interesting how many hours I spend with the horses! In the future, I want to compete in our amateur rodeos, high school rodeos and our local junior rodeos as I do barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, ribbon roping, breakaway roping and started to team rope (heeling). 

2,500 Hour Award - Karen Shannon of Alberta

2,500 Hour Award – Karen Shannon with Boomer and Sexsmith, from Alberta

Boomer is a truly unique Paint Appaloosa, exhibiting both the pinto markings and a spotted blanket on his hips. Riding is a life-long passion for me. During the winter, I find Boomer in the pasture, put on a hackamore, climb on something, and Boomer moves over so I can get on. We will continue our HBR journey, riding the trails together, perhaps for another 2000 hours.

Blog General Post

Noseband November

Noseband November – how tight is too tight?

By Lindsay Grice

Lindsay is an renowned Ontario riding coach, horse show judge. You may know her as a columnist or speaker, specializing in equine behavior and equitation science.

Standard equipment in English disciplines. Training equipment in western. While nosebands are designed to prevent bit evasion, in the horse business, we’re inclined to think, “If a little is good, more is better!
Equestrian Canada initiated “Noseband November” , following a noseband measuring project at horse shows last year. (See below for horse show rules and current research findings re nosebands).
The question upstream from noseband “restrictions” is -Are we masking bit evasion without asking WHY the horse might be resisting?
The International Society of Equitation Science responded to the dilemma of cranking nosebands in equine sport with studies and by designing a noseband gauge for horse show ring stewards:
“Some equestrian manuals and competition rule books propose that ‘two fingers’ be used as a spacer to guard against over-tightening, but fail to specify where they should be applied or, indeed, the size of the fingers.”
“When this device was used to check noseband tightness on 737 horses at a variety of national and international dressage and eventing competitions, 44% of nosebands were found to be too close to the horse’s face to accommodate the tip of the taper gauge under the noseband. By extrapolation, this revealed that we are routinely preventing swallowing, chewing, yawning and licking in the name of sport.” I.S.E.S.
The EC rule, amended last year reads:
Cruelty can be defined as causing pain or unnecessary discomfort to a horse. As examples, an act of cruelty can be but is not limited to any of the following:
a) nosebands used in such a way that they interfere with the horse’s breathing, or be tight enough to cause pain or discomfort
Although we cannot interview horses to ask them how it feels to have an over-tightened noseband, the research is convincing that it’s a significant welfare issue.
Here’s a summary:
Horses wearing tight nosebands, have demonstrated elevated physiological stress responses (Fenner et al., 2016; McGreevy, 2012), are prevented from performing normal oral behaviours such as chewing, licking, and tongue resalivation (Fenner et al., 2016; McGreevy, 2012), experience stress due to constant unrelenting pressure, may experience physiological damage to nasal bones (Crago et al., 2019), and commonly experience pressure that greatly exceeds that of a tourniquet, which in humans restricts arterial blood flow and causes significant pain and potential nerve damage (Casey et al., 2013).