A silver-grey bundle of joy at Laughing Horse Farm

June 9, 2016

Horses…You run into them on the trails and side roads anywhere on the Gulf Islands. There is something big and bold about loving an animal that is bigger than you are.

Here a story of one:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition
Wednesday, May 24, 2000
A silver-grey bundle of joy at Laughing Horse Farm
by Tanya Lester

Her name is Cheval Rieur Star Kir-Royale and her Canadian family tree goes back to 1647 when her ancestors came over from France.

For 344 days, Sharon Card and Neville Avison have waited in great anticipation for this beautiful Canadian heritage filly to be born at their Laughing Horse Farm.

Today, there are only about 3500 in the world, mostly living in Ontario and Quebec, said Avison. About 65 Canadian horses live in BC. By comparison, Card said, there are two million quarter horses in the United States alone.

Kir, who was born to their 15-year-old Brandy Creek Pierrot named Contessa on May 9, is the first foal to be born by artificial insemination in BC. She is Contessa’s sixth offspring.

The stallion is named Star and Kir is also his first offspring in the province. Kir will soon lose the “full coat” she was born in and will probably sport a blue black on like her father.

Her official name is a long handle but it follows convention, said Card.

The first name — Cheval Rieur– is French for Laughing Horse which is the name of the herd and the farm where it is based.

The second name — Star — is for the siring stallion.

The last name is the baby’s personal name. Kir-Royale begins with a “K” which is the beginning letter for all Canadian foals born this year.

According to Card, the Canadian is known for its strength, endurance, good legs as well as feet, long manes and tails, and showy looks. It is intelligent with a gentle nature and can live to the ripe of age of 30.

This heritage breed stands between 14.2 to 16 hands high. It can be black, bay or chestnut in colour with the mane and tail being a different colour than the animals’s body.

It is an all-purpose horse and can be used for driving, logging, ranching, jumping and pleasure riding.

Over the years, it has adapted to this country’s climate. Avison said the horses were originally imported to Canada by the King of France for his nobles when New France was being settled.

They were a status symbol in the pre-automobile era and would be equivalent to owning a Porsche today, said Avison.

A Canadian mare might be purchased for $6,000 while a foal could go for between $3000 and $5000. Contessa was bought for Laughing Horse Farm a year ago.

A stallion of the breed is much more expensive since they are few and far between.

In 1970, Canadian horse numbers had declined to only 400 when the federal and Quebec governments got involved in developing a breeding farm.

Avison explained that the decline occurred because thousands were killed in battle during the Boer and American Civil wars.

Card said Canadians are also used to create the American Morgan, saddle and standard breeds.

Avison and Card own a Morgan cross and an Anglo Arab as well. Card developed an affinity for horses when she rode them as a child. Avison calls himself “a horsehusband.”….

Take a look at Tanya’s other posts on this blog by going to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya is also a psychic reader and a housesitter. For more on this go to teareading.wordpress.com or pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Goggle. Or contact Tanya directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or 250-538-0086

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader (can be purchased from the author or from amazon.com), Women Rights/Writes, Dreams and Tricksters and Friends I Never Knew. The last three are in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All can be found in some library systems

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