For one Calgary woman, showing miniature horses is a family affair at the Calgary Stampede and a tradition she has carried on for years with the same horse.
Having traditionally one of the oldest miniature horses in each competition, Robin Locke, 28, and her 25-year-old miniature horse, Chief, have been showing for 18 years together and won the national title at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday.
“I have actually been showing him since I was 10, so we have spent a lot of time together and we have developed a bond over the years. He knows me and I know him,” Locke said after showing Chief yesterday in the agriculture centre.
Locke said even though Chief is one of the oldest horses competing, he still has lots of years left in him.
“I think when Chief retires, I will probably retire right along with him,” she added.
But showing horses is a family affair in more ways than one for Locke.
Locke also shows Duchess, which is Chief’s 20-year-old daughter.
Locke and her family own 10 horses together and both her mother and her older sister also participate in competitions.
“I like it because it’s something we can do as a family and something we are all a part of.”
The Locke family was very proud of the achievements of both miniature horses given their ages.
“There was a lot of applause and a few tears, since Chief holds a special place in a lot of exhibitor’s hearts since he has been around for so long,” Locke said.
Watching the show for the first time was Amanda Baird, all the way from New Zealand.
“It’s very unique. I have never even seen a miniature horse before now so it’s a bit of a novelty for me,” Baird said.