3 Canadians Among the 2017 AQHA Legacy Breeders

News Release: CQHA

2017 has been a very good year in terms of recognizing Canadian breeders of American Quarter Horses. This year, Gordon B. Mason of Killarney, Manitoba, Pat and Eddy Sparks of Taber, Alberta, and Donald A. Woitte of Clive, Alberta were invited to an AQHA Hall of Fame and Museum ceremony in Amarillo, Texas to accept their Breeder Legacy Awards for having registered at least one foal for 50 consecutive years. The Mason family was able to attend the ceremony Unfortunately the Sparks family and Woitte family were unable to attend due to health issues.

CQHA congratulates these pioneers in our industry and invites you to visit the history section of our website to view the Lists of Canadian AQHA Legacy Breeders over the years, in two categories: those who have registered foals for 50 consecutive years; and those who have registered foals for 50 cumulative years.

DONALD & IRENE WOITTE, CLIVE, AB, CA

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“The horse operation started as a hobby, but developed into a first-class business for my wife and myself,” he says. “We don’t have a large operation. It’s small compared to what most breeding operations are. At our peak, we ran about 45 horses a year – including about 20 broodmares – and now we’re down to about 15 horses, including eight broodmares. But we’ve done this a long time. We’ve bred about 800 mares during our 50 years in the business, some of them our own mares and some were outside mares.”

The Woittes call their operation Fintry Quarter Horses, named for a historic ranch that Don’s father cowboyed on near Kelowna, British Columbia. The first horse they registered under the name was Fintry Tom Cat, a 1967 sorrel stallion by Old Tom Cat. Horses that contributed to the Fintry program include Zella Hep, a 1954 mare by Leo’s full brother Tucson A that was out of Panita Lass by Little Joe The Wrangler, and she became the dam of AQHA Champion Jay Page and Leozella, a good show mare. Others were J A Bar Tango, a King Leo Bar mare who was the reserve junior performance mare in Alberta as a 4-year-old in 1972; and Fintry Miss Wimpy, Fintry Catechu Dan, Fintry Blue Ambrose and Fancy Partner, a Superior halter mare by Fintry Tom Cat who produced top-notch ranch horses.

Read more at the CQHA website: https://cqha.ca/history/legacy-breeders/18-cqha-history/132-legacy-breeders-woitte

PAT & EDDY SPARKS, TABER, AB, CA

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“When I first started attending rodeos in the late ‘40s, I was impressed by the horses that the timed-event cowboys were riding,” Eddy says. “They called them Texas Quarter Horses. Then, through the ‘50s, I broke and trained some of those horses for people who had acquired breeding stock from the States. A lot of those were by or descendants of Sleepy Cat, a son of Red Dog, that Jack Casement bred out of a Sheep mare. When I started calf roping at rodeos in the ‘50s, it was those kind of horses that I wanted to ride and use.”

Those horses also taught him what constitutes a really good horse.

“My ideal horse would be 15 or 15.1 hands, weighing around 1,100 pounds,” he says. “He has to have good withers and a short back, long shoulders and hips, a clean neck and a nice head with a big, soft eye. He should have good feet and legs, be low in the hocks with short cannons, with Size 0 shoes and well-rounded, dark hooves. Color is not really important, but I do not like too many white hooves.”

Read more at the CQHA Website: https://cqha.ca/history/legacy-breeders/18-cqha-history/131-legacy-breeders-sparks

GORDON B. MASON, KILLARNEY, MB, CA

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American Quarter Horses have long been a fixture in the lives of Gordon and Gladys Mason, pioneers of the American Quarter Horse industry in Canada.

The Masons established their farm when the breed’s popularity began to grow in their home province of Manitoba. At peak production, the Masons owned approximately 68 broodmares, a considerable growth from their 17-head herd in 1966. Since 2010, they have downsized significantly, and currently have one stallion and six broodmares.

Although the Masons stood 10 stallions during their 50 years of breeding, one sire – their first – was particularly influential in their program. Mr. Blackburn 49, a 1963 bay stallion by Poco Eagle and out of Lady Cowan by Blackburn, who was shown in halter and reining, laid the foundation for their operation, siring nearly 300 offspring.

Read more at the CQHA Website: https://cqha.ca/history/legacy-breeders/18-cqha-history/130-legacy-breeders-mason

Photos provided by the breeders’ families, Northernhorse & AQHA
Text Content provided by AQHA

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Olds College Launches New Equine Reproduction Program

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September 28, 2017, Olds, Alberta – Olds College is introducing a new one-of-a-kind certificate program dedicated to equine reproduction. Launching in fall 2018, applications will be accepted October 1, 2017 for the new Equine Reproduction Technician (ERT) certificate program.

The first of its kind in Canada, the new ERT program is an eight month blended learning certificate program aimed at providing graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in or operate an equine breeding facility. The program combines four months of online learning with four months of onsite, hands-on training.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to offer specialized training for people interested in equine reproduction,” explains Dr. Marion Anderson, Equine Science Instructor, and instructor for the new ERT program. “This program will allow anyone who wants to own, operate, or work in a breeding or foaling facility to gain the skills and experience necessary to be successful. It will also open doors for students in the Equine Science program, as they will have the opportunity to take the new ERT program to follow up their studies and become certified in equine reproduction.”

Students will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion, as well as breeding management, maximizing fertility, and managing infertility. They will also study the anatomy of early pregnancy, maximizing and caring for periparturient mares, the stages of parturition and the care of the neonatal foal. Students will have the opportunity to participant in the commercial breeding and foaling operation at the College.

“There are a number of benefits to offering this program in a blended online and on campus format,” explains Dalin Bullock, Dean of Animal Science and Horticulture at Olds College. “This format will allow working professionals to take the online courses at convenient times. It also means that their careers and personal lives are impacted for a shorter timeframe.”

Along with the launch of the ERT program, the College has also made significant changes to the existing Equine Science program. Students will now be accepted into the program as either English or Western riders. During the first year, all students will take the same courses that will include basic information on husbandry, science, barn management, farm equipment operation, and breeding, in addition to daily riding courses.

The second year of the program is designed to give students the opportunity to tailor the program to their own interests. In addition to required courses, students will now have the option of choosing from a variety of elective courses including advanced riding, starting and training young horses, coaching, therapeutic riding, rehabilitation therapy, foaling, and driving the draft horse. Students interested in additional training in reproduction can also take the ERT.

“The Equine Science program at Olds College has developed a reputation for being a national leader in hands on equine training,” explains Bullock. “Thanks to the reputation of our program, we have successfully attracted some of the best instructors in the industry. Dr. Marion Anderson will be instructing the ERT certificate program, while Wendy Johnston, Dwayne McArthur, Fallon Rice, and Joanne Wright, along with newcomers Tara Lambie and Shawn Seabrook will oversee the Equine Science program.”

Olds College is home to the Canadian Equine Centre of Innovation, and one of the largest breeding programs in North America. More information on the new ERT certificate and the Equine Science Program can be found at oldscollege.ca/programs.

For more information contact
Randy Butler, Communications Advisor

Corporate Communications & Marketing, Olds College
P: 403.505.7717 | M: 403.396.6548 | E: rbutler@oldscollege.ca

Experience more: oldscollege.ca