October Q Horse Hero Honourees

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Congratulations to Our October Q Horse Heroes, Emily Bertrand, Todd Bailey, Cheryl Norris, and Laura Siebenthal-Baxter
Emily Bertrand

Emily Bertrand’s first horseback riding experience was on her aunt’s Quarter Horse, from that moment on Emily knew she wanted horses in her life.

In 2007, Emily purchased a rundown dilapidated farm in Barrhaven, Ontario, and turned it into a thriving equestrian centre that has become a true social enterprise and staple in our local community, known as Royale Equestrian Centre.  Now 23 years later, Emily has 250 students in peak times with 40 plus horses and 14 instructors, all this started with one horse, a Thoroughbred Mare, named Royale.

When the pandemic hit, Royale Equestrian Centre was closed, however there was still 40 plus horses to attend to. Staff had 2 teams that alternated with no intermingling while keeping the horses cleaned and fed. Emily stated, “This was a successful program, all provincial protocols were followed, and we made it through.”

Emily has taken on a new extension of her business with her cousin Cody Czeitler and the Calder Family. A second business, “Royale Ranch” will operate out of Ottawa’s oldest riding academy (1958), Green Belt Riding School. Green Belt closed in 2019 since then Emily and partners have been doing extensive renovations.  Emily is planning on a grand opening for June 1st weekend 2021. This facility will offer western riding activities with 20-40 horses. Truly Emily will be busy with Royale Equestrian Centre and Royale Ranch operating in full force.

Dedication is a strong suit during good and bad times. Emily has been awarded the “Faces Award” for Ottawa area and Equestrian Center of the year, in Ottawa 2019. In addition to these prestigious awards, Emily enjoys community involvement including: Ottawa Food Bank, Shepherds of Good Hope, and, Boys and Girls Club.

CQHA honors Emily Bertrand as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.

Mathieu Cormier

Twenty years ago, was a new beginning for Mathieu Cormier, this is when he began riding in a local Pony Club. His introduction was on “Bailey”, a Haflinger.  Mathieu rode jumpers before turning to the Quarter Horse Circuit

Mathieu is employed as a Nurse’s Aid at the Centre Hospital University of Sherbrooke, (CHUS), located in Sherbrooke, QC.  His career at CHUS has covered many departments, however, currently working the Emergency Department. CHUS is the fourth largest hospital in Quebec, and the local hospital for Sherbrooke residents.  It also provides care to the entire population of the Eastern Townships. The CHUS offers services to about one million people.

The pandemic has had a toll on many, including Mathieu who was working over 100 hours a week caring for patients.  Mathieu carried the burden for two, as his husband’s place of employment was closed, bills had to be paid.

Pandemic rules, closed the facility where Mathieu kept his show horse, however, when he had a few free hours he was able to help some less fortunate horse owners who needed a helping hand to care for their horses.

Mathieu’s integrity is just another example of Equestrians shining through all crises.

CQHA honors Mathieu Cormier as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.        

Pam Esteves

Pam’s   devotion to riding horses began as a young when she was enrolled in lessons. Pam’s family supported her passion at local horse shows. As the family became more involved a Quarter Horse mare was purchased for Pam to continue her dream of training and showing.

Pam worked at different equestrian farms gaining the knowledge that has made molded her success at Azores Stable as head Coach. Pam and her husband Marco, whom is also very accomplished on the equestrian scene, with accomplishments as a high end groom for prominent stables. Together they make a winning team crossing imported Warm Bloods on their Andalusian stallion, resulting in Spanish Warm bloods.

During the height of the pandemic, Pam managed to home school her children between keeping the training up on clients show horses. Pam stated, “This was a trying time, no one was allowed on the farm, Marco and I were going from sun up to sun down.”

Pam received the “Person that makes a difference award” from OEF a few years. Pam has also been on the Gaited Horse Association Board of Directors for 15 years, serving 4 years as Vice President and 2 years as President.

CQHA honors Pam Esteves as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.           

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Teagan Goodsell

Teagan Goodsell, was raised on her parents farm in Alberta, known as Rolling O Ranches. At the Rolling O Ranch many great racing Quarter Horses have impacted the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing.

After graduating from high school, Teagan studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta. The lure of the horses brought Teagan back to the race horse industry. Teagan and her husband Allen operate a racing Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred stable in Alberta. Allen is a trainer and Teagan is a retired jockey, in the height of her jockey career (2012) Teagan’s race mounts earned $148, 820.00.

Teagan fondly remembers one of their racehorses: Mr Eleanor, who won the couple their first owner Stakes Race, and now proving himself in the barrel arena.

Now retired, Teagan is the Program Coordinator for the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association. Teagan’s responsibilities include preparing BOD Documentation, helping board committee’s in various annual events such as their Yearling Sale and Awards Banquet.

Teagan has received many awards as a Jockey including: ACTRA Top Rookie Rider (2008), and the Leading Riding Award (2012) at Evergreen Park.

Teagan is a new Director with Canadian Quarter Horse Association. She is looking forward to the position.

CQHA honors Teagan Goodsell as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.         

Bob Zylstra

Bob’s introduction to horses was first through his family and miniature horses. Today, Bob has a strong devotion to The G.R.E.A.T. Saddle Club in Tillsonburg, Ontario. In 2007, Bob was one of the founding members, now he is the President of the Saddle Club. Bob dedicates many hours to providing the youth members of G.R.E.A.T with every opportunity to learn and have fun with their horses.

This past year, (2020), The G.R.E.A.T. BOD decided not to have any horse shows or other activities due to the pandemic. Bob decided this was a good year to rebuild the show pen for the kids, hoping 2021 would be a better year for horse club activities. 

Bob is a long distance truck driver for Smale Farms Ltd., located in Mossley, Ontario. Smale Farms operate as a licensed grain handling and storage facility for corn, wheat, soybeans and rye. Smale Farms provide the local farming communities by connecting the markets in both Canada and the United States.

When not long haul trucking grain to farmers on both sides of the border, Bob is taking care of the family farm and their Quarter horses. This act of kindness relieves the workload of other family members.

CQHA honors Bob Zylstra as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.        

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