News Member News

CQHA Launches Horse of Merit Program

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association
Horse of Merit Program

A program to honour active Quarter Horses fifteen years of age and older,
proudly presented in partnership with EQUI CARE Canada.

Ottawa, June 24, 2021 — 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, announces today their “Horse of Merit” program.

The CQHA Horse of Merit program recognizes registered American Quarter Horses within the Canadian quarter horse community who have matured to fifteen years of age and older as of January first. Eligible horses will be those who are still active participants in the industry through competition, lesson & schooling programs, community services and on farm/ranching operations; or enjoying a much-deserved retirement following a successful competitive or reproductive career.

The program is a tribute to senior registered American Quarter Horses in Canada and those who have been associated with them. Their stories will become a part of CQHA’s efforts to honour the breed’s heritage within the country, and attribute value to horses who continue in their purpose bred disciplines and or as they progress through secondary and alternative careers and uses. Additionally, the program aims to celebrate those individuals who are living well into their golden years, while still or after having contributed to the quarter horse industry.

EQUI CARE Canada, the association’s official BEMER partner proudly presents the Horse of Merit program in partnership with CQHA. Leanne Karoles, owner of EQUI CARE Canada, is an avid Quarter horse competitor and breeder herself. She believes, “this partnership allows all quarter horse fans the opportunity to celebrate matured horses in their purpose bred careers, second careers, and beyond into their retirement. The partnership will also
serve to educate the owners of senior horses about advanced tools, which may be used to maintain and sustain the longevity of their horses’ career. Keeping matured horses comfortable and serviceable on into their golden years while rewarding them for their contributions, is a program that EQUI CARE Canada is honoured to be affiliated with.”

Honoured horses will receive a customized letter of induction into the Horse of Merit program, along with a certificate of recognition and an award presented by CQHA and EQUI CARE Canada. These awards will be presented virtually or in person where possible.
For more information about the CQHA Horse of Merit program and the opportunity to nominate a matured horse for the honour, you are welcomed to nominate an eligible horses today.

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association exists to address issues of concern to Canadian owners of American Quarter Horses; to be a communications vehicle for and with Canadian AQHA members; and to promote and market Canadian-bred and/or Canadian-owned American Quarter Horses, both globally and domestically.

About the Photo:
Just Gary AQHA #4674097, a 2005 Canadian bred gelding. After competing for many years successfully in AQHA competition, “Gary” now demonstrates to newcomers and novices, the sport of Mountain Trail at the Happy Trails Horse Park, located in Stoney Creek, Ontario.
Photo Credit: Epona Portraits

CHJ SPONSOR Members Only News Blog General Post

Canadian Horse Journal – Summer 2021

Canadian Horse Journal is available in print on new stands and by subscription, Digital editions are also available.

  • Seven Deadly Sins of Haymaking
  • Help Your Barn Business Thrive
  • When Things Go Wrong in the Show Ring
  • Meet the Canadians Who Mastered the Maclay
  • Building Better Barn Cultures
  • Switching Coasts: Home is Where Your Horse Is
  • Traditions: Do They Help or Hinder?
  • Horses and Wildfire Smoke
  • Hot Weather Horse Care
  • Improvements in Equine Ranching
  • Hoof Care Tips & Myth Busters
  • Foot Injuries of the Equine Athlete
  • Moving Well by Breathing Well
  • Horse Council BC News
  • Manitoba Horse Council News
  • Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association News
  • The Hoofbeat

Canadian Horse Journal is the Exclusive Print Media Partner of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association.

Look for CQHA NEWS  featured in every issue! CQHA members enjoy a special subscription offer. 

News General News

Summer 2021 Virtual Seminar Series

FREE for CQHA & AQHA members!

CQHA in partnership with AQHA is pleased to present the Summer 2021 Virtual Seminar Series.

These virtual seminars will be available to view on the seminar platform anytime the registered participant wishes for a minimum of five days.
A Live Q & A session with the seminar’s clinician will be scheduled shortly after the viewing period.

To participate you must be a current member of both AQHA and CQHA!


Those who sign up between within the first 3 days that registrations are open, will be entered to win a
five (5) minute 1 on 1 live Q & A consultation with the seminar’s clinician.

Pre Event Registration is Required.

Registrations are being processed through, you will need your AQHA membership number to complete the checkout process.

AQHA will email all registered participants directly with instructions on how to access the seminar(s) they are registered for prior to the start date.


Session ONE:

Groundwork Fundamentals with Marilyn Randall

  • Material available to stream : June 14-25
  • Live Q&A: June 26 at 4 p.m. CST

Registration closes 1 pm EST June 11th

Session TWO:

Ranch Riding with Dr. John Pipkin

  • Material available to stream: June 21-25
  • Live Q&A: July 17 at 4:00 p.m. CST

Registration closes 12 noon EST June 18th

Session THREE:

Ranch Rail with Dr. John Pipkin

  • Material available to stream: June 28-July 2
  • Live Q&A: July 17 at 4:00 p.m. CST

Registration closes 12 noon EST June 25th

Session FOUR:

Showmanship, Horsemanship, and Equitation with Brian Isbell-Garcia

  • Material available to stream: July 5-9
  • Live Q&A: July 10

Registration closes 12 noon EST July 2nd

Session FIVE:

Hunt Seat Equitation with Dr. John Pipkin

  • Material available to stream: July 12-16
  • Live Q&A: July 17 at 4:00 p.m. CST

Registration closes 12 noon EST July 9th

Session SIX:

Trail with Robert Meneely

  • Material available to stream: July 19-23
  • Live Q&A: July 24 at 4:00 p.m. CST

Registration closes 12 noon EST July 16th

News Breeder News

2021 CQHA Remuda Award

Fleetwood Farms Quarter Horses named 2021 CQHA Remuda

This award is proudly presented in partnership with  RW Hawkins Ranch of Rocky View County, Alberta

Written by Bob Hawkins

Fleetwood Farms Quarter Horses is multi-generational operation located on the scenic native grass land of southern Alberta. Their philosophy is simple:
Breed the best mares to the best stallions based on the strengths and weaknesses of the animals in the pairing.  The Fleetwood Quarter Horse is not designed by making breeding decisions based on the winnings of each parent, but by looking objectively at what each parent presents, and the consistent traits in the ancestry.

The Fleetwood family lives in the multi generational home built in 1906 and surrounded by their ranch land. The family make visitors feel so welcome and the visitors will remember this special event for a long time – this is a unique place on earth. Ryan enjoys taking visitors for “Horse Tours” where they travel around to each band of horses in different pastures so that people can see the horses they’d like to. Ryan and his family believe that they are doing what is best for the breed; the breed that was built on versatility.

Ryan is approaching 30 years as an AQHA breeder, is an AQHA Professional Horseman, a Calgary Stampede Horsemanship Judge, an equestrian judge, a clinician, a horse sale pedigree man, and he has been recently appointed by the AQHA to be a member of the International Committee.

A lot of effort and time goes in to develop a foundation for each weanling to progress with their training and give them extra value. It’s the Fleetwood way of ensuring that foal has a connection and gives value to it’s future owner, which in turn, Ryan believes protects that foal from unfortunate circumstances. It’s easy to spot a Fleetwood weanling, either in the field or under halter. They are very calm, knowledgeable and trustworthy – they look relaxed, and full of confidence.

Ryan, his wife Brandy and their daughters Taya, Truly & Tulsa love the ranch life, and their horses.

Blog General Post

Nation Valley Ranch Vaulting Club & their Quarter Horse Unicorns

Author: Samantha Mirzaee, CQHA Media Team Member & Equestrain Photographer

© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.

In the early morning hours this past fall on a small beach in Iroquois, Ontario, I caught up with the National Valley Ranch Vaulting Club to photograph them showcasing their incredible talent.

When I arrived on location, fog clung low over the water and the light from the rising sun was just starting to be visible. A solitary early morning dog walker curiously looked on as the rumbling sound of a truck and trailer announced the arrival of two very special horses followed closely by a group of talented young ladies.

So how does an equestrian decide to go from ‘traditional riding’ to vaulting which is often described as ‘gymnastics on horseback’?  To find out, I caught up with CQHA member, Jennifer Byvelds owner of the Capital Cowgirls Drill Team and owner of the National Valley Ranch in Chesterville, Ontario.

Getting Into Vaulting

Byvelds is an accomplished horsewoman, owner of the Capital Cowgirls Drill Team and owner of the National Valley Ranch in Chesterville, Ontario. Two years ago, she watched a clinic with a former Cavaila performer and invited them to come to her ranch to work on cossack trick riding. While buying cossack riding tack, she saw a vaulting surcingle for sale and bought it, “just to play with.”

A few months later she sold all her cossack tack and invested in more vaulting equipment! She  worked with the Cavalia performer and connected with an Ontario vaulting club outside of the Greater Toronto Area called Hoofprint vaulting. They helped Byvelds start a club in Ottawa and had her mentoring with them for the completion of her Vault Canada coaching certification.

The club officially launched in March 2020 and, like most activities around that time, were quickly shut down two weeks later due to Covid. When outdoor recreational activities reopened later that year however, the club re-started as strong as ever.

The Club 

For their inaugural year, the club had superb participation with about 25 vaulters and 10 that were interested in showing with ages ranging from 8 to 32. The competitive team practices roughly six times per month.

Vaulting is a great sport for building confidence, trust with your team members and your horse, and building your mental resilience because vaulting is a hugely mental game according to Byvelds. “The progress I saw this year with the vaulters blew my mind,” Byvelds says and she credits this to the atmosphere that the team created and the support that they gave each other.

Training always starts on the ground and moves are learned on barrel horses or an air horse (a life-like horse sized piece of training equipment). Once the vaulter masters the moves on the ground and they are balanced and smooth, they graduate to a real horse. Real horses are only used for roughly the last half of each practice which prevents them from being overworked.

Meeting Unicorns

Two of the horses Byvelds she uses for the Vaulting Club are Beau (Play Bay), a handsome bay quarter horse gelding and Willow (Strawberry Shortcake), a sweet grey quarter horse mare. These horses were complete professionals and from the minute they unloaded in the parking lot of the beach to the time they packed up to leave – you’d have thought they’d done it a million times before.

The horses that Byvelds lovingly refers to as ‘unicorns’ came into her life at a very special time. Six years ago she had a horrific riding accident. “My accident was a total fluke, I had a horse go down under me while galloping in a field and broke my back and neck. Even though it was an accident, I needed something super solid to get back on.”

After the accident she sold her green horses and, in her own words, “used the money to buy a unicorn….to rebuild my confidence… and that unicorn was Beau.”

Willow followed having initially been purchased for her daughter from a local ranch where she was known as the ‘ultimate safe school horse who adored children.’

According to Byvelds, one of the many great things about using quarter horses for vaulting is that they are small and sturdy which helps to build up students’ confidence before moving them to a larger horse. For this reason, all her students start on Beau and Willow. The club also uses a third horse owned by Circle J Ranch who, not surprisingly, is also a quarter horse and used for beginners.

When asked about her affinity for quarter horses, Byveld’s response was that they, “have the best temperaments! So easygoing and forgiving. LOVE THEIR minds.” Judging from the way Beau and Willow handled themselves that morning, I couldn’t agree more!

What’s Next for the vaulting team?

With the uncertainty that 2020 has brought all areas of the equestrian world, Byvelds and her team show no signs of slowing down. They’ve been diligently practicing and when gathering limitations have prevented in-person practice, they went virtual and practiced online.

With the commitment, dedication and camaraderie shared by all those on the team, I have no doubt 2021 will bring exciting things for this incredible group of people and horses.

© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
News General News Uncategorized

AQHA’s 2021 First-Quarter International Newsletter

2021 First-Quarter International Newsletter
photo credit:

Highlights include:

  • International Best Remuda 2021 Award Winner
  • 2021 convention
  • AQHA International Virtual Educational Marketplace Clinics

  • 2021 Virtual International Membership Region Summits a Success

  • 2020 AQHA Annual Report

Stay up to date with all the latest AQHA international news by keeping up with the On the International Trail Blog. You are sure to be entertained by learning about exciting programs and experiences encountered abroad by AQHA staff, affiliates, members and industry professionals. We will also keep you informed of the latest news and events. Read the most recent blog posts:


Learn more about the AQHA International Department, which accommodates a diverse set of needs to enhance the value of maintaining AQHA membership globally at


2020 AQHA Annual Report

The American Quarter Horse Association has released the 2020 AQHA Annual Report, which is available to download at The annual report contains complete statistics for AQHA membership, horse registrations and transfers, show and race statistics, and more.

News General News Affiliates News

2020/2021 AQHA & CQHA Affiliate Grant Program

The CQHA’s main purpose is to support and promote the development of the Canadian Quarter Horse industry in Canada and abroad. CQHA also strives to support the hard work of all the Provincial/Regional Affiliates.
Currently, the AQHA annually allocates Funds to CQHA to be used to support, promote and develop American Quarter Horse activities in Canada. The CQHA in turn administers the allocation of these funds in the form of Grant funding to the Provincial and Regional AQHA Affiliates and other events that use AQHA horses to financially assist them in achieving these AQHA objectives in Canada using the Category criteria listed below.
The current objectives for Grant funding include activities to encourage the expansion of the AQHA and CQHA membership, AQHA registrations, the marketing of the American Quarter Horse, the understanding and protection of the breed integrity as well as the discovery of the American Quarter Horse’s many talents.
There are Three (3) Categories eligible for Grant Funding as set out by AQHA for 2020-2021:
  • Category 1: Education/Clinics
  • Category 2: Competition/Use – Funds not to be utilized for AQHA shows with greater than 100 entries (1 entry is a horse and rider combo per class entered)
  • Category 3: Marketing & Membership Outreach
Blog Members Post

Belly Up to the Bar with JXL Major DC aka “SETH”

“SETH” aka JXL Major CD, is the kind of horse everyone wants to “belly up to the bar” with – and if given the chance he is game to just that!

Thanks to Brittney Chomistek, Canadian fashion and western lifestyle influencer at Canadian Cowgirl Closet and former Miss Rodeo Canada 2018, for introducing the CQHA community to this great horse through her awesome “Bar Room” photo shoot with Kaylee Mohl Photography early this year!

Read SETH’s story of community service, teaching young riders, barrel racing , and “modeling” below.

The 2005 Canadian Bred palomino gelding is owned Linda Kraft of Irvine, Alberta.

Copyright © 2021 Kaylee Mohl Photography

SETH’s Story
(Yes he likes to have his name spelt in all capital letters).

SETH was born April 30, 2005 at JXL Ranch in Lampman Saskatchewan. He was then sold as a weanling to Faron and Leana Forsyth in October the same year. Faron then sold JXL MAJOR CD to Don Kraft who ran the local community pasture just outside of Medicine Hat in early 2009. A few months later Don traded his son Dalton a saddle for the yellow horse he had bought just a few months earlier. Dalton then surprised his wife Linda (who had fallen in love with the little yellow horse at her father in laws) that he was now hers.

It was the first horse Linda had since her beloved horse passed away when she was 16 years old. Linda loved (and spoiled) her new horse that she named SETH. He was the perfect confidence builder for Linda after not being in the saddle for 15+ years in addition to becoming a mother.

Despite SETH’s lack of athletic ability, he tried his heart out in barrel racing and within a couple years was winning in the 2D.

SETH has taught and raised both Addison who is now 12 and competitively barrel races and Tytan who is 8 and aspires to be a roper like his dad, uncles Justin and Tyler and Grandpa Don.

SETH has always been special and unique, but after Don passed away from cancer in 2015, the story about how ‘your dad traded your Grandpa Don a saddle for SETH’ always makes us giggle and gives him extra sentimental value.

The funny stories- oh gosh, the best one would have to have been January 2013 when the Kraft family was getting ready to embark on a trip down south to Arizona. The vet came out to Justin’s (Don’s oldest son / Dalton’s brother) to get blood work done so the horses could go across the border. Justin caught the horses one by one but when it came to SETH, he was not having it. Justin finally got on the phone and called his brother Dalton and told him ‘I can’t catch your wife’s horse here and if he doesn’t smarten up he won’t be going to Arizona’.

In the meantime while the vet was in the barn, SETH took it upon himself to walk in through a small side door to the barn and get his blood work done on his own. Needless to say, Justin was less than impressed but Dalton was glad that he didn’t have to tell his wife that her horse wasn’t going to be going to Arizona with them (or that he would have had to have gone out and helped catch him).
SETH has been ridden by countless kids and is always a favourite at the kids’ rodeos as many ask to use him for goat untying because of his laid back and safe nature. They could ride up to the goats as close as they wanted to then hang off the side of him while they jumped off and he just patiently waited for them. He is also popular at a local retirement home where he’s visited with the senior residences who fondly reminisced about their days of growing up with their own horses.
SETH is also a favourite at Avalon Equine’s interaction program where participants use horse interactions to help facilitate team building and girls self esteem groups for a couple of examples.

SETH, doesn’t have many boundaries and even likes to come in the house. One day a gate was left open and all the horses were out in the main yard. In an attempt to catch them, Linda went out with some grain. After the horses got back in, she came inside the house and left the grain in the front entrance which got spilled and the kids were told to clean it up. Instead of getting a broom and a dust pan or vacuuming it up, Addison and Tytan went out to the horse pen to get SETH to help them out. When Linda seen she asked what the heck were they doing and why was SETH in the house? The kids said they were just getting him to help them clean up and ‘vacuum’ the grain.

SETH truly is such a unique and once in a lifetime kind of horse. He will always be a special part of the Kraft family in addition to the many lives of others that he’s touched.

News Youth News

2021 Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards for Equine and Agricultural Studies

Apply by midnight, June 1st, 2021  

Preference will be given to eligible, full-time, post-secondary Canadian resident students studying at Canadian colleges and universities.

Awards Overview: For 2021 there will be three awards:

One award of $2,000

for full-time students entering more advanced years of study (third year and beyond) in any field of study with emphasis on horses, agriculture, agribusiness, animal health technology, or equine veterinary medicine at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution. Click here for Undergraduate & Graduate Awards

Two awards of $1,000

for full-time students entering first or second year of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution in any field of study with emphasis on horses, agriculture, agri-business, animal health technology or equine veterinary medicine. Click here for Undergraduate Awards

To apply, all students must visit The Calgary Foundation website at either of the blue underlined “Click here” links indicated above.

Help us continue to provide these awards into the future with a donation to the
Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards for Equine and Agricultural Studies

April 19, 2021 – (Calgary, AB) — In May of 2014, Dr. Wayne Burwash launched the Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards for Equine and Agricultural Studies at The Calgary Foundation, to honor the legacy of his wife Shannon’s love for the horse and her contribution to the horse industry.  


At the time Dr. Burwash offered to match all donations, dollar for dollar, until the fund reached the target goal of $125,000. It was thought that this size of investment should be enough to generate $4000 to $5000 annually to be awarded as scholarships. The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce that the goal has been reached and the

fund is generating enough to continue awarding $4000 per year. To date there have been $23,000 in scholarships awarded from this fund.


However, each year the number of very worthy scholarship applications received far exceeds funds available for distribution, and the cost of higher education continues to rise. One of the most impactful ways to address this challenge is funding scholarship awards. Gifts to the scholarship fund are invested, not spent, then they generate an income which is used to award scholarships. Your support is an investment in the future of our horse industry as deserving students develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

To Donate:  

  • Online:  Visit, choose the green button “Donate to an Existing Fund”, in the search box above the dropdown box of fund names, type “Shannon Burwash” to select the appropriate fund, then complete the payment fields and enter your VISA or MasterCard information. 
  • By Phone:  To pay by credit card over the phone, call 403-802-7700 during office hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm MDT. Please do NOT leave your credit card number on voicemail. 
  • In Person:  The Calgary Foundation, #1180, 105 12 Avenue SE, Calgary during office hours. 
  • By Mail:  Cheque payable to The Calgary Foundation, indicating “Shannon Burwash Memorial Award” in the memo section.  Mail to:

The Calgary Foundation, #1180, 105 12 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1A1     

  • Tax Receipts for Donations: A Canadian tax receipt will be issued for donations over $25

For more information, contact Ms. Darlene Chrapko, Director, Awards & Scholarships, at The Calgary Foundation at T: 403-802-7711 or E:  


For more information contact:

Name: Marnie Somers,

Title: Chair, CQHA Burwash Scholarship Committee

Phone: 204-834-2479 | Cell: 204-476-0483

Email address:

Blog General Post Uncategorized

Bobby Kerr Inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame

The Ridgewood Ontario born cowboy, and founder of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, has been inducted into the prestigious hall of honour  himself.

Known for his talent as a horse trainer, Kerr has won numerous awards in roping, reining, working cow horse and cutting in his career spanning over 40 years.  

Famed on YouTube for his ““Good and broke limo” trick horse performances which have amassed over 10 million views, Kerr has performed at some of the biggest equine events in the world.

On behalf of the Canadian Quarter Horse community, the association, and all our members who know Mr. Kerr personally and by reputation, CQHA would like to congratulate him on this honour, and thank him for his lifetime of promoting the culture and integrity of the western lifestyle.

Visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame’s  website to ream more about this Canadian cowboy and the others inducted along with him.