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Battle of the Breeds

sprucemdws2011 169The Appaloosa ladies did it again! Team Appaloosa surged to a sizable lead and ended up winning the 2013 Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, this past weekend. Teams are comprised of four members with two participants from each of the 12 teams competing in five separate events. Team “A” placed third in Compulsory Skills, first in Jeopardy Jumping, second in Precision Driving, first in the Barrel Race and ninth in Trail. Team members included Sherry Gresko, Leduc, Alberta; Lynn Johnson, Rimbey, Alberta; Kaylee McLachlin and Laura-Gene Haga, both of Red Deer. Congratulations to Team Appaloosa!

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

Battle of the Breeds, Masters at Spruce Meadows

Beginning Thursday at the gorgeous Spruce Meadows facility in Calgary, Alberta, is the Telus Battle of the Breeds competition held in conjunction with an international jumping tournament known as the Masters. Teams of four horses and riders from several breeds (usually 12 or so) wil participate in compulsory skills (more/less a dressage pattern), “jeopardy” jumping, precision driving, barrel race (using four barrels) and a timed trail course. Two entries from each breed are in each “class.” Our ApHC folks in Alberta have organized a team and we’ll have photos and updates for you. Results will also be posted daily on the Spruce Meadows web site.

While you’re on the Spruce Meadows site, be sure to check out the process for voting on your favorite breed…and here’s hoping we don’t have to pursuade you to vote the right way!

Battle of the Breeds

This year’s Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary was another big, fun affair. Perfect weather, good crowds, spectacular international jumping competition and the entertaining TELUS Battle of the Breeds. Team Appaloosa finished in second place overall among 10 breed groups. Congratulations and thanks to the members shown here: Allie Sutton, Kaylee McLachlin, Kristin Lee and Lynn Johnson. It all came down to the last horse in the last class, so spectators were pretty enthused. The Appaloosa Horse Association of Alberta took care of an attractive exhibit at Equi-Faire and organized the team. The expected attendance mark of 200,000 people was surpassed and there were folks stopping by the booth who actually wanted information about buying Appaloosas…kind of a nice experience to find out that the mood “out there” is somewhat positive. I’ll be posting a few more photos in the blog album. Thanks to Laurie, Ann and Mary Lou for all your help!

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

Battle of the Breeds update

Still working on my photo album contributions from the Battle of the Breeds in Calgary. I’m sure that I forgot to mention that the Appaloosa team finished 7th overall (out of 12 teams) after a good 4th place showing in the timed trail event. The group was only three points behind the tie for 5th and 6th in the totals, so it was a competitive deal all the way through.

Thanks to the team, the support crew and to all the fans!

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

Masters Tournament, Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows

It’s the 35th anniversary of championship equine sport at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta. It’s the 21st edition of the Battle of the Breeds. This year’s battle includes 12 breed teams competing for prize money, fan approval and a bit of bragging rights.

Pictured here is Kaylee McLachlin riding Amigo TRT in the Jeopardy Jumping — one of five events in the Battle of the Breeds. This duo performed well, scoring 460 points which included the 100-point bonus jump. Denice Jones, riding Shady’s Leo Dexter, also competed today in the jumping and compulsory skills (in Dexter’s case, driving).

Tomorrow’s agenda includes precision driving and barrels. Should be fun to watch. Each of the five components of the battle features substantial cash and attracts a good crowd of loyal fans. Stay tuned. Team Appaloosa looks to be competitive. Thanks to the Alberta regional club for coordinating an exhibit booth at Equine Expo. Even if things don’t warm up and dry up, it will be another super PR opportunity.

Team Appaloosa

COMPULSORYThe banners are fluttering everywhere in Calgary; local television covered the airport arrival of equine passengers from Europe, so it must be time for the “Masters” at Spruce Meadows. The first two events of the TELUS Battle of the Breeds were held Thursday. I guess we should also mention that the world’s best jumpers are also here and providing great thrills.

Team Appaloosa includes some new faces at the battle, but the people and horses performed well. In the photo is Allie Sutton of Sundre, Alberta, riding her four-year old stallion High on Believin. He’s a son of High Sign Nugget. This was the compulsory skills portion of the competition. Team Appaloosa was edged out of the top six placings in compulsories, but came on strong in Jeopardy Jumping later in the day, placing third. Overall points are pretty close, so today’s Precision Driving and Barrel Race will be exciting for the 12 teams.

There will be other photos from the 2009 Masters added to the album (left menu). Stay tuned.

Jeopardy Trail

Sounds like a title for an old movie, but it’s one of the five events that make up the Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows. The competition was close among several groups in this, the last opportunity to earn team points.

Sherry Gresko, Team Appaloosa member from Leduc, Alberta, tries to coax Shady Drifter out of the narrow passageway after ringing a bell. The Appaloosa folks were not able to defend their 2007 title, but did provide spectators with plenty to like about our breed. The Jeopardy Trail class is a real crowd favorite and includes a couple of truly unique obstacles. For example, a rider can choose to do a back-through that’s a bit twisty and concludes by passing between TELUS phone booths.

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

Battle veteran

Dandy’s TQ Bobby is an 18-year-old Appaloosa gelding who, along with owner Lynn Johnson of Rimbey, AB, has competed in the Spruce Meadows TELUS Battle of the Breeds a bunch of times. He’s a versatile veteran and continues to perform admirably. In this photo, the colorful pair compete in the compulsory skills portion of the five-class team event.

The best part about the Battle of the Breeds is the fact that a crowd of cheering spectators is on hand for the whole thing. It’s a very special opportunity to showcase the breed in front of an eager group of horse lovers representing every age group.

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

AHAA Booth at Spruce Meadows

Daryl Marler, director and worker bee for the Appaloosa Horse Association of Alberta, greeted visitors at the AHAA information booth during the Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows. Most organizations in the Equine Marketplace also have a representative horse on display to help acquaint people with their specific breeds. The crowds continue to build during the week. Several thousand folks will be here on Sunday for the $1 million finals in the international jumping competition. It’s cool to be able to watch many of the same riders who partipated in the recent Olympics.

Congratulations and thank you to the AHAA members, Team Appaloosa and the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada for promoting the breed at this very special event.

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

Battle of the Breeds

The action is underway at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, for this year’s Masters Tournament and Battle of the Breeds. In this photo, Jesse Halabura, Saskatoon, SK, competes in the Jeopardy Jumping aboard “Roadster.” The timed event features several options throughout the course, requiring a contestant to decide whether to take the safer jump worth a few points or a riskier jump worth more points (thus the jeopardy). Denice Jones of Sherwood Park, AB, also competed for Team Appaloosa in this class.

I believe this is the 19th year for the Battle, sponsored by TELUS. Appaloosas have a sterling record overall, but got off to a slow start today. We’ll see how they fare tomorrow in Precision Driving and the barrel race.

Categories: Events /Spruce Meadows

And the Winner is Team Appaloosa!

ribbon-toss.jpgAfter five very competitive events, a few weather episodes and lots of scoreboard watching, Team Appaloosa was officially declared the Champions of the 2007 Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. Today’s trail class proved to be the difference, but every single point earned by each horse and rider/driver was critical. Our breed earned the admiration and respect of thousands of fans and made it to center stage at one of North America’s premier equestrian events. Feel free to offer your congratulations with a comment. These ladies proved that competition can be fun as well as rewarding. They are genuine ambassadors for the Appaloosa brand. Thanks to each of them and to the supporting cast that worked hard to keep things going. Participants are identified in the previous post.

Team Appaloosa Takes Center Stage

intringmoment.jpgAbsolutely any fan of Appaloosa horses would have been thrilled by the sight of Team Appaloosa receiving the Battle of the Breeds championship trophy in front of thousands of spectators today at Spruce Meadows. The team left to right: Sherry Gresko, Leduc, Alberta; Lynn Johnson, Rimbey, Alberta; Anita Wilson, Wolf Creek, Montana; and Jessie Halabura, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan;. Congratulations ladies!

Parade Time at Spruce Meadows

first paradeNot to give too much away by the look of the championship coolers, but Team Appaloosa finished second in the trail competition and edged their way to an exciting overall victory in the TELUS Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. Here they get the chance to take a bow in front of the enthusiastic Battle fans. Later in the day, the team was center stage in the huge and colorful International Arena in front of a crowd of several thousand.

Having a Ball at Spruce Meadows

bobbyballLynn Johnson and Dandy’s TQ Bobby negotiate one of the more interesting obstacles in the TELUS Battle of the Breeds trail competition. The TELUS “ball” needed to be pushed through the uprights to score points. As you can imagine, some horses were gung ho to play ball, while others had apparently not seen anything quite like this in daily life. I think it was worth 50 points, so certainly worth a try for most competitors. After the regular trail run (which is a timed event in the battle), participants had the option of attempting a bonus obstacle of a short polo goal. As in Jeopardy Jumping, it was worth 100 points if successfully negotiated, but carried a similar penalty if not completed within the 30-second time limit. High drama all the way around.

Chester Makes Friends

chesterEqui-Fair visitors at Spruce Meadows in Calgary were intrigued by the unique and splashy color pattern on “Chester.” He’s a two-year-old gelding officially named ZIPSFITFORCHOCOLATE sired by FIT TO BE TIED and owned by Appaloosa Horse Association of Alberta President Shelby Biddlecombe. For a youngster, he tolerated the noises, strange sights and bustle of people traffic really well. He was quoted late in the day however as saying that he was ready to go back home for a while.


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