Canadian Horse Bloodlines
This page contains information on the various Canadian
Horse bloodlines, updated stallion tables, as well as various statistics on the
Canadian Horse breed. This information was researched and written by myself,
Yvonne Hillsden of Cherry Creek Canadians, Kamloops BC, during the fall of 2000.
There have also been some small updates done as of January 2006.
This whole project started with my simply wanting to put
one small page of information on the various stallion lines, on our web site. I
decided to start by updating the stallion tables which were originally published
in the Canadian Horse Breeders Association, Stud book #7. Once I delved into it,
I became totally fascinated and at the same time, somewhat dismayed to see how
many of the old lines were on the verge of disappearing. This got me started
digging further and further and all of a sudden, my one page write up suddenly
grew into a full time, 3 month long research project which entailed hours of
work, tons of paper and printer ink, and ultimately 8 binders of information on
the 8 Canadian Horse bloodlines.
It is important to remember that this information covers
only the male lines and as such, only presents half of the picture. One must
keep in mind that the mare (and her lines) contribute at least 50% (and possibly
even more if one considers the maternal/grandsire effect) of the genetic
picture, so they too are a very important source of the various bloodlines in
the makeup of each horse. For this particular project, I did consider trying to
list both stallions and mares, however, I eventually realized that this would
have been impossible given the time that it took me just to complete the male
lines. Even though this information is based only on the male lines and thus
provides "half the picture", I think that it can still serve a purpose as a
teaching tool about the breed. My hope is that it could potentially be
utilized as an indicator of trends such as which lines or specific horses are
most rare, most common, infrequently used, most heavily used, and most
importantly - which ones may be at risk of disappearing.
To assist anyone interested in looking further into the
female lines of each horse, a link has been made on each table, to the Canadian
Livestock Records Data base where information on nearly every registered
Canadian Horse can be found.
In addition, please refer to the website of Alan Decato (of
Alan has done a fabulous job of
describing some notable Canadian Horse mares and the important role they played
in the breed's development.
Please consider that the farther the breeding gets from
the original 8 lines, the more mixed up the characteristics become, and the more
dilute each of the original lines becomes. In reality, many of today's horses
are an admixture of all of the lines, and may be so far removed from the
original bloodlines that their effects and contribution are really quite
The purpose of this information is not to provide any
"hard and fast" rules on any of the lines, and it certainly was never meant to
imply that because you have a horse of such and such a bloodline that it will
look like, or act in a particular way, or be very rare or very common or what
ever. Rather this is just a learning tool, a review of where the breed has been
and where it is going, what stallions were standing at stud at that particular
place in time, and the frequency at which they were being used.
This information was researched from the sources mentioned
below. Wherever possible, I have also tried to include information related to us
by knowledgeable individuals involved with the breed for many years. I
have also included our own personal observations gained from travelling across
Canada several times and looking at many different horses, on farms located
across the country. It is important to remember that it was collated and written
from our point of view and personal observations, and as such, may not
necessarily reflect the opinions of others. It was never meant to predict
or guarantee what a certain horse of a certain lineage will be like, and is
certainly not meant to criticize or denigrate anyone's horses or breeding
programs. Hopefully it will be viewed as I envisioned it being meant to be;
simply as a learning tool about the breed.
By doing the research and putting these tables on this web
site for ready access to all, it is hoped that several things can be
accomplished. First, hopefully this will assist others in learning more about
the bloodlines of the breed in general. Secondly, this may help to bring to
attention those lines which are at risk of becoming lost. Lastly, it is hoped
that it will assist breeders in making the most optimal and informed choices
possible for themselves, while encouraging them to consider the continued
diversity and preservation of the breed.
The horses noted here were those that were registered up
to and including October 20, 2000. I had hoped to do a full update of information
since that time, but just haven't been able to contribute this sort of time to
this project again. However, in January of 2006, I did a brief review of the smaller, less
common bloodlines since this was a more "do-able" project. I had hoped to
see dramatic changes and a revitalization of these less common lines, however
I was disappointed to see that this was not the case. The more common
lines continue to rapidly increase in numbers, and the rarer ones continue to
teeter on the brink of extinction with very few new breeding stallions being
added to the rare lines.
I have enjoyed learning about the Canadian Horse
Bloodlines and about the breed in general and I hope that this information will
help you to do so, too. Please enjoy browsing - there is a lot here to read!
History of the Bloodlines
Initially there were 38 strains of Canadian Horses,
however over time these were eventually culled to the 8 bloodlines noted below.
These lines supplied a uniformity of size, style, conformation and vitality.
Some of the bloodlines are well known for their consistent characteristics, 2
are virtually lost as no surviving male offspring exist, and 2-3 others are on
their way to becoming lost due to few surviving stallions being left. For more
detailed historical information on the Canadian Horse, see the
The links below will take you to a description of each
particular bloodline and then subsequently to the associated stallion table for
Thomas de Viger
Brio de la Victoire
La Gorgendiere Royal
St. Anne Marquis de Becancour
The stallion tables contained in this site are an updated
version (as of Oct 2000) of the genealogy tables originally printed in the
Société des Éleveurs de Chevaux Canadiens / Canadian Horse Breeders Association
Stud Book #7.
As originally stated in the stud book, these tables were
first published to classify the horses by bloodlines in order to help trace the
lineage of each stallion, and to help breeders to learn more about their horses.
I hope that the same holds true for this update as well. As in the original
tables, these tables list only the stallions from each bloodline.
It is important to note that those stallions noted to be
standing at stud, and which were included in this table, were determined in
either of two ways. The horses either had offspring registered to them according
to the CLRC Web site, or they were known to be standing at stud as noted in the
Société des Éleveurs de Chevaux Canadiens/Canadian Horse Breeders Association (SECC)
literature. These tables in all probability have missed some stallions who do
not yet have offspring registered to them, or who are not advertised or noted
otherwise as standing at stud. The author also tried to note those stallions no
longer standing at stud. This would include those which are no longer being used
for breeding, which have been gelded or which have expired.
Even though these tables only indicate the reproducing
males, they do also indicate the number of offspring each stallion had sired to
that time. This gives some indication of ongoing trends and show which
lines of horses are numerous (and perhaps being overused) and which are few in
number (perhaps being underused) and thus at risk of disappearing.
Other Bloodline Information Websites
As a nice adjunct to the info on the 8 bloodlines above,
Alan Decato of Rutland VT, has also done some extensive research on the 8
bloodlines as well. Interestingly enough, his research has shown that in
reality, the 8 bloodlines are descended from only a total of only 51 horses.
Sandra Rowe of Baie, QC has also done a very nice job of
updating these stallion bloodlines up to Dec 2003. In addition, she has added a
huge collection of photographs (300+) of many of the various stallions as well.
If you would like to see what many of these stallions actually look like, be
sure to visit her website:
Anne Belanger's site doesn't have bloodline information
per se, however it does contain many photos of a huge variety of stallions, all
arranged by bloodline:
In the original tables and accompanying literature
published in Stud book # 7, all horses from the 8 different lines of the breed
were noted. This covered a time period from the late 1950's to early August
1992, and made up a total of 1902 horses which had been registered to the 8
bloodlines. As of October 20, 2000, this author counted a total of 4591 horses
that had been registered to the 8 bloodlines. This number breaks down into the
following distribution of horses registered to each bloodline: