By Laurie Haughton, Chair, CQHA Media, Marketing & Communications Committee

The first few months of 2022 have been extremely busy for the Canadian Quarter Horse Association (CQHA), its members, and its board of directors. The American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) annual convention was hosted in Las Vegas, NV in February, which resulted in five new Canadian AQHA directors being appointed for the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Work also began there to start promoting CQHA hosted, Canadian Quarter Horse breeding farm and ranch tours to international guests for summer 2022 and 2023, an endeavour to promote and export the quality genetics and Quarter Horses that Canada produces. 

In March, CQHA teamed up with AQHA to host the 2022 Canadian Quarter Horse Summit in Brandon, Manitoba. The remarkably successful three-day event featured both in-person and virtual participation in CQHA’s strategic planning session. Members from across Canada discussed the challenges and opportunities that are predicted for the future of the association over the next three to five years, and how we as an informed and involved membership can address and meet them. The CQHA membership also held a special general meeting to table and approve a new set of bylaws for the association and joined together for the association’s very first awards banquet. CQHA introduced an annual awards program in 2019, with its first awards presented in 2020. However, this 2022 banquet was CQHA’s inaugural social and dining event hosted to formally celebrate the awards. The night featured both in-person and virtual hosts and award presenters, who honoured a total of nine award winners and, in partnership with Ace Therapy Canada, CQHA's official BEMER partner, presented the 22 horses inducted into CQHA’s new Horse of Merit program.

Equestrian Canada (EC) presented an update on the Canadian national equine identification program to our CQHA community in a special segment of the summit. Kristy Laroche, EC’S Director of Active Equine Industry and Development, delivered the presentation and fielded questions from those in attendance. CQHA is committed to working with EC as representative of Canada’s largest registered breed population to keep our membership and stakeholders informed and involved in this initiative as it moves forward.

AQHA staff members Sierra Kane, Director of AQHA International Activities; Paula Newman, AQHA’s Chief Operations Officer; and Joanne Sapudar, Manager of AQHA’s Multilingual Resources and Communication joined us in person. Chad Pierce, AQHA’s Interim Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer joined the summit virtually. A wide array of information and discussion was facilitated during AQHA’s business programming. AQHA welcomed and appreciated feedback from Canadians on topics ranging from AQHA sanctioned events hosted in Canada; the association’s membership relations and services as they pertain to Canadians breeding and competing domestically and internationally; and most importantly, issues surrounding the welfare of the Quarter Horse. This included educating members of the general public about the integrity of Quarter Horse sport and the primary objective of the AQHA and CQHA — to put the interest of the horse first and foremost when considering all aspects of the business, breeding, and competition both nationally and internationally. 


  • Performance Horse Breeder of the Year: Sandy Land Stables, Barry Foote, MB — sponsored by Purina Equine
  • Racehorse Breeder of the Year: Wesley Oulton, Rolling O Ranches, AB
  • Canadian AQHA Trainer of the Year: Bryn Robertson, Hillerin Farm, ON — sponsored by Capri 
  • Canadian AQHA Youth of the Year: Emma Vicente, AB
  • CQHA Youth Rising Stars: Cali Murphy, AB and Berlin Oltean, SK
  • Canadian Owned or Bred Quarter Horse of the Year: Dashin Haze (Tyson), 2005 Gelding bred by Shady Lane Stables, AB and owned by Curtis Cassidy, AB

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Above: Emma Vicente, 2022 Canadian AQHA Youth of the Year. Photo: Shane Rux, courtesy of CQHA

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Above: 2022 Youth Rising Star Cali Murphy joined the awards presentation virtually. Photo courtesy of CQHA


CQHA’s 2022 recipients of the Doris Heintz Award for industry development and leadership are pioneers of Canada’s Quarter Horse Industry. 

Blain’s Bend Quarter Horses of Manitoba helped to launch the Manitoba Quarter Horse association in 1964. The family and their breeding program produced many national and international champion horses. Additionally, the family was instrumental in founding the Manitoba 50/50 futurity. Decades later it is still one of the largest and is the richest futurity in Canada for non-Quarter Horse racehorses. 

Roy and Joan Ionson of Ontario are household names to anyone who knows anything about the history of the Quarter Horse breed in Canada. They imported the very first registered Quarter Horse “Buckskin Waggoner” to Ontario in the late 1950s and were the first owners/breeders to introduce the breed to the province of Quebec. Roy was the founding president of both the Ontario Quarter Horse Association, and the Ontario Rodeo Association, a director for the founding iteration of the CQHA in the 1960s, and was a visionary behind Quarterama, Canada’s largest single breed horse show which was hosted at the Canadian National Exhibition Horse Palace in downtown Toronto from 1969 to 1995.


  • Can Do Chocolate, 2005 Brown Gelding owned by Lynn Sandercock, MB
  • Cashs Sunshine Darby, 1995 Buckskin Mare owned by Mark and Pam Moore, ON
  • Chex My Britches, 2000 Bay Mare owned by Annalise Clarke, AB
  • CR Peppy, 1999 Sorrel Gelding owned by Anne Lorimer, ON
  • Dashin Haze, 2005 Brown Gelding owned by Curtis Cassidy, AB
  • Dun It OK, 2000 Dunskin Stallion owned by Ryan Fleetwood, AB
  • Fancy Footprint, 1999 Sorrel Gelding owned by Talia Delaney Bertrand-Meadows, MB
  • Hearts Debonair, 1988 Sorrel Gelding owned by Laurie Haughton, ON
  • Ida Liked A Dun, 2001 Dun Gelding owned by Tara Reimer, MB
  • Im All Scotched Up, 2005 Bay Gelding, owned by Mary Lou Spaull, ON
  • Just Gary, 2005 Bay Gelding owned by Linda Campagnolo, ON
  • Krymsun Kid, 2004 Sorrel Gelding owned by Gilles Seguin, QC
  • Mitos Sweet Society, 1991 Chestnut Mare owned by Thomas G Saul, ON
  • Mr Te Skips Softly, 2003 Sorrel Gelding owned by Sarah Donaldson, ON
  • Ricky Olena, 1991 Sorrel Gelding owned by Cindy Fureth, ON
  • RR The Best Man, 2007 Bay Gelding owned by Cathy Perron-Lapalme, QC
  • Sirtainly Sierra, 2005 Bay Stallion owned by Lisa Graham, SK
  • Slow Passin Pine, 2009 Sorrel Gelding owned by Colleen McFadden, ON
  • Smooth Coastin Luke, 2004 Bay Gelding owned by Jennifer & Tracy Thompson, ON
  • So Simple So Good, 1994 Sorrel Gelding owned by Rianna Storey, ON
  • Tasses Can Jammer, 1994 Bay Gelding owned by Lynda Dipietro, ON
  • Triple Tabu, 1994 Black Stallion owned by Jim Thomson, ON

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CQHA President Gilles Seguin presenting award to 2022 Youth Rising Star Berlin Oltean. Photo courtesy of CQHA

To learn more about these 2022 award winners, the CQHA Annual Awards program, and the Horse of Merit Honour please go to


The Canadian Quarter Horse Association exists to address issues of concern to Canadian owners of American Quarter Horses; to be a communications vehicle for and with Canadian AQHA members; and to promote and market Canadian-bred and/or Canadian-owned American Quarter Horses, both globally and domestically.

To learn more please visit or contact our media director Laurie Haughton, by email at or call 613-978-6977.

Main Photo: Joan Ionson demonstrating the sport of barrel racing in Ontario on the very first registered Quarter Horse imported into the province, Buskskin Waggoner, produced by the legendary Waggoner Ranch of west Texas. Photo courtesy of CQHA