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Year Foaled: 2003

Position: Left lead

Personality: Known for his great power and start when the horn sounds, Tex won the Equine Horse of the Year award in 2011.  Tex is a no-nonsense guy who prefers not to visit with people.  In fact, you will often find him at the back of his stall or with his bum sticking out the front—sending the message he does not want to visit.


Year Foaled: 2001

Position: Right lead

Personality: One of the friendliest horses on the team, Digger will always welcome a pat or rub from visitors.  When you scratch his neck, he will drop his head and lean up against you.  He loves carrots and doesn’t get too excited when it is his turn to race.  He is calm and steady, but knows how to get the job done.



Year Foaled: 2006

Position: Left lead

Personality: Phantom loves treats and will nibble at you until he gets one. He joined the team in 2010 and gets pumped up before a race, often stamping and kicking his feet to let us know he is ready to run.  He is a hard runner that charges to the top barrel, which makes it easy to turn.  

The Horses

Year Foaled: 2002

Position: Left lead

Personality: Always the life of the party, Winner is usually a favourite of many visitors to the barn. He is often caught with his tongue sticking out and he’s always trying to nibble on something.  When it comes time to race though, Winner drops his mister nice guy attitude and turns into a race-ready demon. He is the horse that starts the wagon at the start of the horn. Winner is a very small horse with a very big heart.


Year Foaled:   2005

Position: Left wheel

Personality:   Country is the gentle giant of the team. He is a big, kind horse that doesn’t get too excited. Kelly has been known to set the little grandkids on his back and let Country babysit. He is extremely powerful on the wagon and is a horse we can rely on to give it his best each and every race.



Year Foaled:    2010

Position: Right wheel

Personality:  Ice is a curious horse who will always approach you in the corral to see what is going on.  He is playful with the other horses and enjoys the time they are given in the corrals to be with their buddies. He is an honest horse that doesn’t cheat; he will give you a good race each and every time.  Ice is Mr. Consistency.


Year Foaled:    2007

Position: Left wheel

Personality:  Howie is a bit like Tex because he is not very sociable.  He doesn’t like treats and is always one of the last ones to be caught when it is time to go into the barn. He is a smaller horse, but one of the most powerful.  He starts and charges really hard to the top barrel.  He came from California and was a superstar from the beginning.


Year Foaled:   2008

Position:  Right wheel

Personality:  Missile has a distinguishable ‘check mark’ on his face.  He is pretty easy to catch and because he is so curious he will walk up to you in a big field to see what is happening.  Missile has lots of early speed and is a sociable boy who likes to visit with anyone that comes by.  He is a well-mannered horse that loves carrot treats.

Year Foaled:   2008

Position: Left wheel

Personality:   Runner is a powerhouse who has lots of early speed, which helps to sometimes steal the rail from the inside drivers. Right from the beginning he has liked to charge and his power throws the wagon around when he turns because he accelerates so fast. Runner was a horse that took lots of extra driving when he was being started, but Mark always knew he had great potential.  Runner is a really big horse with a tonne of power so his early speed is a bit deceiving—just like humans, usually the lighter more agile horse will have more speed.



Year Foaled:   2011 

Position: Left lead

Personality:  Vlad is a tall, big kid who sometimes forgets his size and strength.  He is playful in the corrals and has always loved to pull the wagon, right from the beginning. Vlad gets excited when it is his turn to race.  He is a bit hard to handle because of his playful and carefree nature; he will mature with time.

Year Foaled:   2004 

Position:  Right lead

Personality:  Bogart is a quiet, gentle soul that will always come to the front of his stall to visit. He doesn’t get too excited when it is his turn to run; he just goes out nonchalantly and does his job. He is quite passive and when the others are playing in the corrals he will just stand and quietly watch.  Bogart is nice to brush and easy to be around. He specializes in long distance running and is one of Dina’s favourites.



Year Foaled:    2009

Position: Left wheel

Personality:   Monty is a versatile horse who is capable of racing on both sides of the wagon; most horses prefer and perform better on one side or the other. When he is turned out in the corrals he travels in a pack of four with Missile—they have done this since they joined the team.  Monty is very easy to be around and is quite well mannered.


Mark explains the importance of the horse, the pride a chuckwagon driver has for them and the process of retirement.





Manny was a playful horse that loved apples and carrots; he would always try to get into your pockets for a treat. He loved people and would be one of the first horses to approach you in the field.  Dina fell instantly in love with Manny when they first met in the barns at Emerald Downs in Seattle.  Manny was a solid an honest horse that would stand perfect in the barrels until the horn went.  He was so good that he could race in any position. Manny was a quiet gentle soul that was mature beyond his years.  He is dearly missed.


One of the most famous lead teams that existed, Bobby and Ralph won more titles than most drivers ever will; winning over 24 shows, three world titles and five Calgary Stampede titles.  Ralph, the grey, was not the most sociable horse, but he was proud, determined and so loyal to Bobby.  The two of them were inseparable and you would find them in the pasture, side-by-side, in their wagon positions; Bobby on the right and Ralph on the left.  They both had such big hearts and gave everything they had each and every race. Ralph hated to lose and would get mad when it wasn’t his turn to run; he loved what he did. In preparation for the race, we lay the harness out in front of the horses’ stalls.  Ralph knew if the harness wasn’t laying in front of his stall he didn’t get to race that night and he would go to the back of his stall and pout. Bobby was the first to pass a way on the farm during spring training.  When we loaded Ralph into the trailer to leave for the season he took one step into the trailer and stopped and looked back; we all knew he was looking back to say good bye to Bobby. Sadly, Ralph passed away later that year. It is just like the old couple that dies one after the other, they couldn’t stand to be a part.


Watch as Mark explains the love he has for Art and how hard it was to retire him. He hasn't raced a day since his injury, but he enjoys life. Art is still roaming the pastures at the ranch today and enjoys being with the other horses.  In 2018, he turned 29.  He loves black licorice and always comes to visit when we are out in the pasture.


Shady was one of the toughest horses to get started on the wagon.  He was stubborn, nervous and, we soon figured out, claustrophobic.  Mark and him had a love-hate relationship in the beginning; Shady even ran away a few times in training.  Mark spent hours with him because he knew he had potential and he knew someone didn’t treat him right in his past.  Shady just needed to learn to trust and he would be fine.  He did learn to trust and as soon as he would hear Mark’s voice he relaxed.  Shady was explosive on the wheel.  In 2018, he turned 23 and still roams the ranch with other retiree, Art.

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