28, 29, 30 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul, MN
Sponsored by the Minnesota Horse Council
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American Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Horse
at the 2017 Minnesota Horse Expo
Oberon de Fermes Boisvert, the 2015 American Sugarbush
Harlequin Draft Association stallion pictured
below with his dam, is owned by Boisvert Farms and will be at the 2017
Minnesota Horse Expo representing his breed along with a yearling filly named
Aeval de Fermes Boisvert. Please visit the horses and their owners while you’re
A little American Sugarbush Harlequin
Their story actually starts way back in the 70s when
a young man named Michael Hanna (Muir) bought an Appaloosa stallion called
Apache Double from Iola Hatley. He paid a record price for him, $100,000.00.
Apache Double is the first and only Appaloosa to go over the $2 million mark in
winnings of his get. He’s a great-grandson of Reigh Count who won the Kentucky
Derby and a maternal grandson of ApHC Hall of Fame horse Apache. Along with
breeding Appaloosa race horses at his Stonewall Stud Farm Michael Hanna took an interest in drafts and
driving. He purchased Charlie Degas, the purebred Percheron stallion foaled in
1973, who became the foundation stallion of the Stonewall Studbook and an
important influence in the development of the Stonewall Sporthorse.
Michael bred Charlie Degas to a daughter of Apache Double called
Stonewall Dottie West. Stonewall Baby Jane, 23 as of this writing, is a big bay
leopard mare, she was later bred to Stonewall Showmaster, another purebred
Percheron Stallion and produced Stonewall Rascal who is the founding stallion of
the Sugarbush Harlequin Draft breed.
About this time Michael Hanna had some serious life
changes. He changed his last name to Muir in honor of his grandfather’s name,
because it was going to die out, and he discovered he had MS. He sold his
racehorses and started focusing more and more on driving. In an effort to bring
awareness to MS he decided to drive across America with his trio of Stonewall
Sport Horse mares, Stonewall Stella, Stonewall Blanche and Stonewall Scarlett.
They drove from California to Florida as a unicorn
hitch. It was an amazing feat and showed how truly outstanding these spotted
draft crosses are.
Everett Smith also
owned a carriage company and had taken up driving as a pastime and part time
job. His Sugarbush Hitch Company in Wildwood Ohio was using his breed of choice,
Percherons. In 1998 he saw an article about Michael Muir and his spotted team
and contacted him. The two men discussed their goals and what each wanted in an
elegant spotted driving horse and the Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Horse and
Stonewall Sport Horse Registry was born. Everett bred his percheron mare, Sugarbush Felina Del Noche to Stonewall Rascal and she
produced Sugarbush Harley Quinne, a loud spotted black and white leopard.
Harley, as he was known, was Everett’s
ideal horse; a ¾ draft with loud color, traceable pedigree and good
conformation and temperament.
Quinne gained the Sugarbush Hitch Company a lot of attention and people started
seeking out Sugarbushes! Spotted drafts were getting noticed and whether it was
the heavier ¾ draft Sugarbush or the lighter ½ draft Stonewall Sporthorses both
names had gone into the equestrian vernacular to denote LP marked heavy horses.
Sadly a twofold tragedy struck. Sugarbush Harley Quinne died
leaving only one intact son, Sugarbush Harley’s Classic O. It was then that Everett discovered that
Stonewall Rascal had been sold and gelded, so he could not repeat the breeding
that produced Harley Quinne. Everett was also facing health issues and after a discussion with Michael Muir they
decided to separate out the registry for each breed. The Stonewall Sporthorse
Studbook is now in California, and the
American Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Association is now in Brookeneal, VA.In an effort to save the breed a group of dedicated Sugarbush Harlequin draft
lovers got together and with Everett Smith’s blessing they have rebuilt the
breed using his original lines and making requirements for genetic testing,
conformation and other factors.
Today the American
Sugarbush Harlequin Draft is a growing breed and gaining international notice.
They are invited to appear at Breyerfest every year where they are a crowd and
artist favorite. ASHDA has been to the International Horse Fair in Beijing, Chinaand featured at other expos throughout the USA. Articles covering the history
of the breed have been featured in the Draft Horse Journal, on various websites
Oberon de Ferme Boisvert, a 2015 American Sugarbush
Harlequin Draft stallion.
Aeval de Fermes Boisvert, an American Sugarbush Harlequin
Draft yearling filly.
HORSE BREEDS AT PAST EXPOS
Thanks to John Entenmann for the photos above taken at the 2011
Minnesota Horse Expo.
Amigos de los Pasos Drill Team 2011
(Friends of the Peruvian
Horse) photos by Clarice Mahlow
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