50 Fast Years / 50 Great Stories

50 Fast Years…50 Great Stories (Read it Now!) [PDF 175kb]

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Researching and writing this project was very similar to putting a giant puzzle together without having a picture or a map to go by – I kept searching for another piece, trying to fit it in properly and then I’d find another clue or story to be told about quarter horse racing. Some stories are missing and it is regrettable, but the large scope of 50 Fast Years- 50 Great Stories means that some stories, unfortunately, are left untold. And, like many stories, if they are not written down, they are forgotten and much of our quarter horse racing history has not been documented. For months now, I listened and I wrote.
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CHAPTER 1 – DREAM BIG, LIVE THE DREAM, AND RUN FAST HORSES
No one knows where the dream originated or how the dream got started – it could have been that cattle rancher from Oyen or Drayton Valley who started it, or was it that rich oil tycoon from High River who previously had owned cutting horses that started the dream? Or, was it that woman way up in northern Alberta who watched that first foal being born from her fast Montana mare who thought of the dream? Or, could it be that wise elder of the Blackfoot band down by Cardston who had seen his sorrel stallion run across the plains and run so quickly that it made his heart quicken? Read More . . .

CHAPTER 2 – AT THE VERY BEGINNING TIME FRAME – 1950s and 1960s
When I was doing my research into the roots of quarter horse racing, one man’s name kept cropping up again and again; people said, “You’ll have to get in touch with Gerry Going because he was instrumental in organizing the Alberta racing association and he was one of the first who raced quarter horses in the province.” It took considerable detective work but I finally talked to a very gracious and humble horseman who acknowledged his role in the quarter horse racing industry.
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CHAPTER 3 – THE SUPER SEVENTIES START IT UP AGAIN TIME FRAME – 1970s
The same winds of racing which were blowing through central and southern Alberta were blowing through the north as well and no one was more excited or enthusiastic about quarter horse racing than Jerry Stojan. He would rattle off quarter horse pedigrees till your head was spinning but he was also one of the sport’s earliest breeders of running horses. He purchased Son of a Bar in 1969 . . .
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CHAPTER 4 – RACING FEVER HITS US ALL TIME FRAME – THE 80s
If a statistician was ever going to compile a poll over who put the most miles on their pick-up truck going to the races or hauling horses down the road, I would just have to get on the bandwagon and nominate Earl Brown and Donalda Cochrane to top the list. Not only does this couple have bragging rights for being successful owners, trainers and breeders but they drive to Texas , Oklahoma , California , or Lethbridge the way most people drive to the grocery store. They have been racing since the 70s . . .
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CHAPTER 5 – LOTS OF ACTION, TONS OF EXCITEMENT TIME FRAME – 80s and EARLY 90s
There’s always something to laugh about around the race track so here’s some race track humor. Cliff Whitelock was leaning on the paddock rails at Millarville and Conrad Scoville was leading his horse around. An old boy in the crowd hollered out to Connie. “Hey, can that horse run?” Connie hollered back, “Hell yes, he can run.” The old boy high tailed it to the windows to put a big bet down. Well, the long and the short of it Connie’s horse ran back and the old boy came back red in the face and pure mad. “I thought you said that horse can run.” “He can run but just not very damn fast,” replied Connie with a grin.
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CHAPTER 6 – QUARTER HORSES GET THEIR FASTER TIME FRAME – THE 90s and ONWARD
“At the spring meet in Lethbridge in 1994, my dad, Garnet, and I came across a beautiful bay filly. There was something about her that just stamped her as special so my dad, who was retiring, and I purchased her from Bud Butts. Hemps Prime Time was from Bar Hemp and out of Ernie Keller’s good mare, Now Donna. We took her home right after the spring meet and chose not to run her in Grande Prairie but to start her in the fall. We ponied and conditioned her and that fall, wooee, she won 4 races for us and we weren’t just a little hooked, we were crazily hooked on quarter horse racing.
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CHAPTER 7 – OUR PAST, OUR FUTURE, RAINBOWS
I’m very proud of our 50 th year of quarter horse racing. I think that after 50 years of hard work and dedication where people could have thrown their hands in the air and quit, they didn’t. Where would we be without our fore – fathers and people who had the courage and convictions to follow their dreams? We wouldn’t be here and we are so fortunate to be living in Alberta and racing in this great province and we owe the gains we have made to the tenacity of these early individuals. I think our future is extraordinary – after all these years and determination, our breed is finally being accepted.As President of AQHRA, I think quarter horse racing will continue to grow and be a vital force for the future so here’s to “50 Fast Years, 50 Great Stories.” As told by Ross Brigdon, AQHRA President
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CHAPTER 8 – WE  HAVE CAPTURED THE DREAM – WE HAVE LIVED THE DREAM
What I have found about the history of quarter horse racing in Alberta is that it enfolds many interesting concepts. Quarter horse racing truly has been a grand endeavor and shares some common features with every one who has participated in it since its beginnings.

What I found out was how family orientated it has been. The interest in quarter horse racing has been transmitted down to our future generations. Our children have been involved and now, even our grand children.
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How far can we go and just how fast can our horses run? It’s uncertain but one thing for sure is certain – we have followed our dream, we have lived the dream and we ran fast horses.

By Janice Sather, Beaverlodge, Alberta