The Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association has celebrated a milestone with its 10,000th horse registered. The lucky breeders, Heather and Marshall Cowell of Ingersoll, Ontario, will receive a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

It is a great way to start off their breeding career, since this was their very first foal. Heather first became involved with the CWHBA as a Young Breeder and travelled to England in 2015 as part of the Canadian Young Breeders team competing at Hartpury College, site of the International Young Breeders Championships. She continued her involvement as a junior judge and became Ontario Chapter vice-president in 2019.

Heather took what she learned in the young breeder program and applied it to her breeding choice, selecting a stallion that complemented the mare’s strengths and weaknesses. Canadian-bred Beau Balou (Bon Balou x Calypso de Moyon) was chosen for his size and compact body type as well as athleticism. The mare Olive II, a chestnut tobiano former show hunter and now Marshall’s pleasure horse, has a fabulous disposition, but had a longer frame and needed more height. The resulting filly, born May 19, 2020, Beaux Art ON-[CAN]10000-20 G is an eye-catching foal that was sold shortly after weaning.

Time will tell if her selection works out, but Heather is passionate about the value of inspections and the move to linear profiling as important aids to new breeders. She sees the Stallion Service Auction as a great way to expose our high quality stallions, although she was not a successful bidder in 2021.

The new owner, Jeff Franklin of London, ON, is also a first-time buyer. His young daughter Addyson, 12, a keen horse enthusiast, motivated Dad to consider buying a horse for her to ride, but Jeff decided he wanted a family project that he and his daughter could participate in and learn from together. Coming from a dairy farm background, he knows the value of genetics, so when Heather introduced him to the young filly, he researched the sire line extensively and was impressed both with the strong performance pedigree and the temperament of the bloodline. Jeff with his daughter Addyson are looking forward to working with Beaux Art through all the stages of her development.

It seems fitting that a new breeder and new owner should mark the beginning of the next 10,000 Canadian Warmbloods. Looking back to registration number 1, Argex (Arkansas – Olds Lady Reward) registered August 5, 1993, bred by long-time Alberta breeder Roy Gunderson, it is rewarding to think about all the pleasure and success Canadian Warmbloods have brought to Canadian riders. From the Olympics and World Championships to local shows, Canadian breeders have applied international standards of excellence to their breeding programs with outstanding success.

Breeding and owning a Canadian Warmblood is special not just because you know where it was bred, but because it represents the pride and dedication of breeders working together to achieve excellence here in Canada.