I missed spending time at the Beaver Pond this year. I love to ride my horses down there and see what those busy little beavers have been up to. I’ve been watching them for 40 years now and they have made some big changes in that time.
This year there was a canola crop between home and the beaver pond. Between the near impossibility of riding through canola crops and the extreme heat, I made very few trips down to the pond.
So my walk down to the pond today, Halloween, was very interesting. Much has happened over the summer. The beaver are basically moving the whole pond over to where a grove of trees that are of interest to them are standing. They made a lot of progress in one summer. Almost all my trails, mostly game trails, along this side of the pond are blocked with fallen trees and brand new trails have been developed. Some of my old trails will likely be under water next year.
While Alberta continues to dig its way out of the economic downturn, this trickles into show entries. The 2019 Wild Rose Show had about 50 ponies and horses, including welcoming some BC ponies.
Our annual three-day, three-judge event is the largest Welsh show in western Canada, and in 2019 sadly it was the only Welsh show across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Manitoba has its annual show, and Ontario has a number of Welsh shows each year, while Quebec has been picking up momentum for some time and now hosts breed events.
For the Friday Youngstock Futurity & Performance Stake, Jennifer Caldwell from Ontario officiated, while the Saturday – Sunday main show was judged by Diana Cappellanti from Virginia and Megan Burtness from California.
YOUNG STOCK FUTURITY & PERFORMANCE STAKE: Judge: Jennifer Caldwell
This portion of the show is for Welsh and Half-Welsh only. It begins with several riding and driving classes for ponies aged three to eight, and culminates in the youngstock halter championships.
The Futurity Grand Champion Section A and Futurity Res. Supreme Champion went to Shell-Crest Starlight Silver, a 2018 grey Welsh Mountain Pony filly (Gallod Twm Sion Catti x Shell-Crest Starlit by Dandardel Flit) bred and owned by Shelley Snyder from Didsbury.
Her owners say, “This filly showed very well throughout her first year; she took everything with ease and showed off her Section A characteristics: movement, temperament, and conformation.”
In reserve came Alvesta Fflach (Delami Red Legend x Alvesta Caris by Nerwyn Gwyn), 2018 grey gelding. Fflach is the first offspring from Brenda Podolski’s 2014 imported colt, Delami Red Legend (Sunwillow Galong x Delami Simply Red by Delami Diablo).
Being a late foal (born July 17) and only 13 months old at the time of showing, our active yearling could have had more weight and been more mature for the show ring, but took him out for some experience. A typical smart, eager Welsh Mountain Pony, Fflach decided was quite confident with the proceedings by the end.
A real mover, he was entered in the main show’s Liberty class. Although he initially thought he should stick around for treats, he ended up stepping out and being awarded 1st and 2nd (two judges) amongst some beautiful moving ponies.
Onto the Section Bs, yearling chestnut roan colt Alvesta Owain (Thistledown Arctic Lore x Alvesta Fairy Lustre by CadlanValley Pirate) would be awarded the Futurity Gr. Ch. Section B trophy and then the top two championships of the evening: Futurity Supreme Champion Welsh Youngstock and Futurity Gr. Ch. Sport Pony.
With a herd of females sired by CadlanValley Pirate—with a few Llanarth Tarquin and Alvesta Helios daughters—we were on the lookout for a quality B colt. Then in 2015, we had the opportunity to visit Welsh studs in Wales and England, including Sandy Anderson’s Thistledown stud. After seeing well over 100 Thistledown ponies and cobs (only a portion of Sandy’s extensive program, since we didn’t get into his mountain pastures) we were particularly impressed with Lore and his family’s quality, type, and substance—plus height (sire 13.3hh, dam 13.2hh). Later we learned of their renowned temperament and movement, and Lore was purchased.
Grab the old folks and the kids. There is something happening in west central Alberta this weekend that they all will enjoy. Wild Rose Draft Horse Field & Pioneer Days on June 1 & 2 at Double Tree Village Museum. Gates open at 9 AM. It is 2 whole days of fun with something for everyone.
I’m going to start right off with my favorite part. It is the Draft Horses working in the field. Few people remember when that was “how it was done”. The turning point – when the amount of tractor power overtook the amount of horse power on American farms – was 1945. Jobs for draft horses were pretty scarce after that.
The draft horses at the Double Tree Museum give all those youngsters under 75 a chance to see horses working in the field. Actually putting in a crop. In a beautiful setting which includes a whole village filled with interesting things from the past.
You can tour a village reminiscent of the early villages in Alberta stocked with thousands of items. Join in the Jam Session and Cowboy Poetry Sat. at 5:00, vendors, Handicrafts, Pack Horse Demo, Hand work demos, Mini horses and much more…
There is a concession but if you are trying to have some fun with the family but on a severe budget, bring some fried chicken and potato salad, a nice big watermelon and lots of water and enjoy a whole day of fun for just a General Admission of $5.00 per person. There are places to sit and eat or rest. There are wagon rides to and from where the horses are working in the field.
Maybe you would like to purchase supper provided by the Spruce View Lions Club on Saturday evening during the jam session. Or breakfast which includes Cowboy Gospel singing as breakfast is served. You will be welcomed with true western hospitality.
6 miles west of Spruce View on Hwy 54 to RR41, turn north as the sign and follow the road into the village.
Every day each of us gets a little older. It does not matter what industry you work in or what job you do, days go by so quickly and none of us get any younger. This is especially important to remember if you want to ensure your way of life, your business, and your passion will continue long after you are gone. The horse industry is not immune to this circle and unless we get our kids to exchange remotes for a set of reins, we could find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum down the road.
It is with this potential pitfall down the road, that our ranch started to work on a vision of getting Youth Back in the Saddle several years ago. Our mission is to encourage up and comers of all ages to get involved in the industry and contribute to ensuring this way of life that we all love will be around for future generations. One of the projects that our ranch is undertaking to meet this vision, is our 60-day Colt Starting Challenge. This challenge focuses on promoting up and coming trainers who are trying to ensure that people of all ages get back into the saddle and stay in the saddle! Continue reading “Exchanging Remotes for Reins..”→
The Mongol Derby 2017, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race, got underway August 9th. This is the 9th Derby and it features 13 men and 29 women from eight countries riding 1000km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.
Riders Heading out on Day One.
By the day before the final battle to the finish line:
Of the 42 strong field that set out, 35 are still going in the 2017 Mongol Derby, the world’s longest, and errr, did we mention, toughest, horse race at 1000 kms across the Mongolian steppe. Continue reading “Mongol Derby 2017”→