Alberta Youngsters Score


Repeatedly, past members of Alberta’s Halter and Harness Heavy Horse 4-H Club, schooled by Brian & Colleen Coleman, Eaglesfield Percherons of Didsbury, are being employed by the leading Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire stables found across North America. Few equine programs have offered young horsemen greater opportunities. Several of the boys, who Brian Coleman also employed, were taught how a draft horse’s feet should be trimmed for working on soft ground and shod for the showring, for pulling or working on pavement. The skills these fellows learned have won them industry recognition. Today several former members are make their living working with draft horses.

Thad Newman was the first to surface in the program. This teenager from British Columbia, who resides in the Ottawa Valley, is one of the most successful farriers found in Eastern Canada. His clientel includes Ontario and Quebec horsemen. Also known for his skill as a teamster, Thad is often been called upon to wheel Belgians, Clydesdales or Percherons for many draft horse stables in Eastern Canadian that exhibit turnouts.

Zephrin LaRivierre has also won industry confidence. While a Halter and Harness 4-H Club member, Blake & Fran Anderson, Gentle Giant Shires of Didsbury, employed him to show their Shire horses. Witness to his success, Bill Prins, Prins View Belgians of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, hired this teenager when he finished school. The young horseman took charge of the province’s largest stable of pedigreed Belgian horses. A professional teamster, who won countless honours wheeling the Prins View Belgian turnouts, Zephrin, too, has become a popular farrier in Saskatchewan, who is also breeding Shires at Kennedy.

When 15-years-old, Kelby Tannas, won the Amature Driving Competition at Denver’s National Western Stock Show. The linesmen the Cremona, Alberta, boy defeated were  horsemen with years more experience. Give his success the young horseman was hooked. Currently a student of Veterinary Science in Budapest, Hungary; Kelby has worked summers past for Brian Coleman, Prins View Belgians and for Valley View Percherons in Washington. This past summer he helped Brian Thiel of Pleasant Grove, California, field his tramping Percheron Six. A quiet young man, Kelby is a man on a mission.

Amy Leclaire, Hannah Leclaire and Erin Chabers, roling manes

Girls who were members of the Halter and Harness Heavy Horse 4-H Club have also enjoyed success. Employed by Pat McMahan, 2S Clydesdales of Schulenburg, Texas, for several summers, Amy and Hannah LeClaire of Didsbury, Alberta, groomed, decorated and help show McMahan’s celebrated 2S Clydesdales. Jim Westbrook, her stable manager, recommended both girls, who he seen while judhing in Alberta. Well respected in draft horse circles, Westbrook was Chester Weber’s instructor, when Weber was growing up at Florida’s Live Oak Plantation. Schooled driving the Live Oak Clydesdales, Weber has represented America at the international level on repeat occasions  Combined Driving.

Erin Ferguson, Elise (Ferguson) Lucas, Sarah Hunder, Jody Graham, Delia and Darla Loomis, number among the Alberta girls, who were Halter & Harness 4-H Club members. Countless draft horse pundits have been impressed with their skill handling, decorating, harnessing, driving and showing draft horses. Like the boys the Colemans taught, they, too, have been employed by some of North America’s leading draft horse stables. Each of these girls, without exception, have lifted a Youth Decorating Championship at one or more of North America’s leading exhibitions.

Rein Roy, wheeling a Smyth Clydesdale team

This summer, Bryce Smith of Tillamook, Oregon, hired Rein Roy of Markerville, Alberta.  This 14-year-old former Halter and Harness Club member helped decorate, harness and drive the Smyt family’s Clydesdale hitch. Winner of the Youth Aggregate Trophy at the Calgary Stampede’s 2013 Heavy Horse show, Rein spent August with the Smyths, who campaigned their Clydesdales across Western Canada Canada and in the United States. His summer sojourn ended at the 2013 Iowa State Fair, where he won the Youth Decorating, Youth Cart and Youth Team classes handling the Smyth Clydesdales. Given his success he lifted the Youth Aggregate Trophy, defeating young American horsemen from across the Midwest.

Youngsters, if you have a passion for a horse, phone Julie Roy at 403-728-3127. Express your interest. You, too, can learn what constitues conformation and soundness in a draft horse. And how to feed, care and handle; how to trim, decorate, and show a draft horse, albeit on halter or performing in harness.