By Karen Cook, CQHA Director
Calgary, AB, Sept 23, 2019 – Induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Those chosen for induction are recognized for their lifetime of accomplishments and service. No one is more deserving of this honour than the late Hans Hansma of Alberta, Canada. Hans was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame on March 10, 2019.
Hansma was a legendary American Quarter Horse breeder who helped found the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta and promoted American Quarter Horses in Europe. He was a founding director of the Alberta Stakes and Futurities Association, which became the Canadian Supreme, the largest Western performance event in Canada for many years. Hans was also a founding director of the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association and the Junior Quarter Horse Association of Alberta. He has been inducted into the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame. In 2002, Hansma was posthumously honoured with a distinguished service award from The Horse Industry Association of Alberta.
Hans had an Equi-Stat record of roughly $169,000 as a breeder and about $20,000 as an owner; however, many of his accomplishments in horse breeding and ownership pre-date Equi-Stat records.
Born February 21, 1917, Hans grew up with an instinctive relationship with horses stemming from his childhood in Friesland, Netherlands. After World War II, Hans and his wife, Henny, emigrated from Holland to Canada and built a 2,000 acre farming operation - Bar H5 Cutbank Farms - near Granum, Alberta, where they raised five sons. Hans’ son, Paul, recalled his father getting into horse breeding after his children were born. Hansma bought his first American Quarter Horse, Lucky Five, in 1963. Since then, he owned or was in partnership on many top American Quarter Horses, such as Doc’s Jack Frost, Super Holiday, Super Joe, Lightning War, Doc O Dude, Heza Quincy Dan, and Peps Mr Doc. It is estimated that Hans individually or in partnership bred more than 2,000 Quarter Horses. Hans Hansma is described as “a horseman with an eye for a good horse and an emphasis on soundness.”
Hans died June 2, 1996, but his legacy lives on in his five sons. Three of Hansma’s sons, Winston, Paul, and Gerry, are National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame Riders. Winston Hansma, residing in Weatherford, Texas, is the earner of over $2.3 million and Paul Hansma, residing in Fort Worth, Texas, is the earner of more than $6 million. Both are also NCHA Futurity and Derby Open Champions. Gerry who still calls Granum, Alberta home, is the earner of over $1.3 million and is also a Canadian Supreme and Calgary Stampede champion. Paul Hansma bred 1994 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo ($446,712), who was out of Super Poo, a Hans Hansma family-owned mare.
Hans believed that a person should always be willing to lend a helping hand. It was this conviction coupled with his strong work ethic, honesty, integrity and unselfish passion for the breed that resulted in him leaving a remarkable legacy to the American Quarter Horse industry, particularly in Canada, Europe and Australia. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes, at home and abroad, to promote the American Quarter Horse and to develop organizations and events designed to advance the breed.
Hats off to Hans Hansma, an incredible Canadian!
Visit the following link to view the full slate of 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees: Horses & People.
To learn more about the impact the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame watch the video below featuring the King Ranch.
The mandate of the CQHA, a national affiliate of the AQHA, is to address issues of concern to Canadian owners of American Quarter Horses; to be a communications vehicle for and with Canadian owners of American Quarter Horses; and to promote and market, both globally and within Canada, Canadian-bred and/or Canadian-owned American Quarter Horses.
The Canadian Quarter Horse Association is an Affiliate of the AQHA. Annual membership is FREE to current AQHA members. For more information, or to enroll as a member on-line, visit our newly updated CQHA website.
Main photo courtesy of Hans and Henny Hansma family
Published October 3, 2019.