Interviews & Profiles

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Mara's love for the horse and volunteerism within the horse industry was legendary. For six years, Mara was Vice President on the Canadian Equestrian Federation Board responsible for Breeds and Industry, founding member of the Canadian Horse Council, initiator of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta, regional representative and Board member of International Arabian Horse Association Half and Anglo Arabian Registry, and more.

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Tani Zeidler was 14 years old when she first discovered a farmer’s Quarter Horses living behind the lake cabin where her family spent its summers. Soon after, she began to frequently visit her four-legged neighbours. Before long, spending time with the horses had progressed to riding, and by the end of that summer, she was jumping over hay bales in the farmer’s field.

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“Horses will always be waiting for you,” is a well-intentioned reassurance uttered too frequently and exclusively by loved ones who’ve never experienced the isolation of a hiatus from horses. My fiancé offered me the same phrase following the doctor’s orders to stop riding due to minor pregnancy complications that could worsen by the turbulence of a moving horse. This temporary farewell to my lifelong passion served as my first sacrifice of motherhood, and I felt the significance of it at the time.

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Hoofbeats Across the Silver Screen - As anyone who has spent real time with horses knows, they are so often the teachers in this journey through life. “As we strive to learn the best ways to motivate our horses, they motivate us to be the best that we can be,” says retired movie stunt rider and double, Martha Crawford-Cantarini.

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It was a horse that gave me my first taste of stillness. His name was Ringo Star, and he was a beautiful, golden-coloured chestnut with a splash of white down his nose. He spent several years training for three-day evening with my daughter, Annika, but I didn't get to see them often because I was teaching in Bahrain for most of the time.

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“I used to build props and worked in film and television production, and I had a shop in my garage at home,” says Russ Gray, cofounder of Veterinary Simulator Industries (VSI) in Calgary, Alberta. “My neighbour was the dean for the University of Calgary’s new Veterinary School. He knew that I built weird things, so he asked me if I could build the back end of a cow just to garner some interest for the new school at the agricultural fair in Calgary. He wanted the back end of three cows so that kids could reach up into the rectum and palpate a calf’s head. I contacted my business partner, Bryan Pfahl, and we created them for him. At the time we were doing all kinds of jobs for science centres and things like that during the course of our careers, so we just took it on as another project.”

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1930. The Great Depression. Money wasn’t flush anywhere. But savvy and successful businessman Conn Smythe had become the newly minted owner of the Toronto St. Patrick Hockey Club, or Toronto St. Pats. This hockey club was no slouch. It had won the Stanley Cup in 1922.

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