Warmbloods jump for good standings

Inspection awaited breeders, trainers and riders at the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association’s

Chagall performs chute jumps at the Open Warmblood Breeders Show.

Inspection awaited breeders, trainers and riders at the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association’s (CWHBA) Heartland Saddlery Open Warmblood Breeder’s Show.

The show was hosted at the Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre for the first time, last weekend.

“Warmbloods have an inspection process,” said show co-ordinator Jill Owen. Mares and stallions must pass the inspection for their offspring to be registered with the association.

“You can actually fail. It’s part of our quality control,” said Owen. There were horses at the show that did fail their inspection.

Owen said Warmbloods are a European invention. The CWHBA is an extension of the European group’s standards, ideals and practices.

Owen said stallions are important to the association. “Most of our semen is imported from Europe.”

Warmbloods are bred to compete in three Olympic sports: dressage, jumping and eventing. They are also used in the hunter/jumper sport.

The horses are inspected on qualities including gait, conformation, parent verification, temperament and chute jumping.

According to Owen jumping is highly hereditary. Jumping horses have to be quick, careful, and must have scope. “They’re almost born with it,” said Owen.

Lineage and bloodlines are scrutinized. Owen said good jumpers usually have jumper genes that can be traced 10 horses back on both parents’ sides.

Owen also said jumper bloodlines shouldn’t be mixed with other horses. You can have a jumping horse in dressage lines, but you don’t want dressage bloodlines in a jumping horse.

“You’re always looking for a better standard of animal,” said Owen.

Dressage horses also have intelligent, trainable minds. According to Owen they started off as a military horse.

International Warmblood breeder Jacquie van den Bosch, from the Red Deer area, attended the show. Van den Bosch competes her horses at international shows such as Spruce Meadows. “You need a special breed. Most of the time we used a line that’s proved itself.”

Van den Bosch both breeds and raises international champions. “We (Jacquie and husband John) do lots of homework.”

They have a breeding process that has resulted in champions. “We let them be babies,” said van den Bosch.

By the time their horses are two or three they’re halter and saddle broke, and then returned to the field. At four they start competing in “baby classes.”

Van den Bosch said horses that don’t compete to standards are usually sold. “It’s a gamble.”

To stay at Spruce Meadow, one week costs approximately $2,000 per horse.

“The competition is very tough,” said van den Bosch. “It’s very hard on the horses. You have to have a good team to take care of the horses.”

However, the van den Boschs love the sport. “We love the horses and we love the competition.”

It takes about 12 years to train a Grand Prix horse but raising an international champion is the van den Boschs’ goal and prized achievement.

Just Posted

A Ponoka student’s artwork is in the runnings for an Orange shirt logo competition

Voting is open for St. Augustine’s Emma Wittal’s work. Her art is in the top five out of 665 pieces

Ponoka council approves sale of Kinsmen Community Centre for $480,000

Council accepts offer to purchase of $480,000 with sale taking effect Jan. 1, 2019

Ponoka union staff approve strike

“Vast majority” of staff voted in favour of a strike against the town, 72-hours notice required

Ponoka mayor responds to strike vote and contingency plans

Ponoka union strike vote triggers 120 day strike action

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Three junior hockey players injured starting campfire

Ryan Vandervlis, a 20-year old centre with Lethbridge Hurricanes has been placed in a medically induced coma

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Major tire theft at Wetaskiwin auto dealership

Wetaskiwin RCMP estimated $70,000 worth of tires and rims stolen

Capitals coach resigns after Stanley Cup win

Barry Trotz announced his resignation on Monday

Leduc RCMP investigate small plane crash

No injuries after plane crashes in lake

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Most Read