Photo by Nancy Dickerman

Photo by Nancy Dickerman

Photo by Nancy Dickerman


Canadian Breeding


Breed History | DNA Testing | CLRC

Canadian breeders have been producing top quality American Saddlebreds in Canada for over 60 years.

Southern Ontario and Quebec's lush farmlands and the prairie grasslands of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta produce some of the worlds finest hays, forage products and feed grains. Canada's winter climate controls disease in crops and has pushed crop scientists to produce hardy and fast growing strains that compete on world markets.

Canadian livestock breeders are world class. Canadian bred dairy cattle breeds like the Holstein and Jersey are shipped worldwide to form the foundation stock for foreign herds.

Canadian race horse breeders compete successfully internationally, producing stakes winning Thoroughbreds and Standardbred. Western breeds like Quarter Horse and Paint boast world champion Canadian blood stock. Many of North America's top Hackney pony and Hackney horse champions were bred and raised in Canada.

Things are looking good for Canadian breeders of American Saddlebreds.

Breed History

The American Saddlebred was developed to meet the American pioneer's need for a versatile farm and road horse:... beautiful yet hardy,... docile yet flashy,....and above all comfortable under saddle for days at a time. To achieve this end, Narragansett Pacers, natural and easy gaited animals developed in the colonies of Rhode Island and Virginia were selectively bred with early Thoroughbreds for their size and quality.

By 1776 an all purpose riding horse, then commonly referred to as the "American Horse" and was easily recognized as a definite type. An interesting side note is that both the Thoroughbred and the Narragansett Pacer have their origins with early Galloway and Hobby Horses that were brought to North America with the first settlers. By the 1800's as the pioneers moved west, this "American Horse" was the breed of choice by farmers and frontiersmen who followed Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.

In 1839 a very special Thoroughbred named Denmark was foaled who changed the "American Horse" forever. Over 60% of registered horses would later trace back to his son Gaines Denmark. Also over the years, some minor crosses to Morgan, Standardbred, and Hackney horses also contributed to the breed. When the US Civil War ended the breed was perhaps preserved by General Grant's order at the end of the war that confederate troops could keep their "American Saddle Horses" when they returned home.

As horse shows regained popularity after the civil war, the "American Saddle Horse" shone as their beauty, easy way of going, stamina and their ability to learn made them sought after and commercially valuable. In an effort to preserve the breed, the US registry was formed on April 7, 1891, and the American Saddlebred was born, remaining a pure breed to this day. According to "Modern Breeds of Livestock", published by Macmillan in 1980, "The conformation and style of the Saddle Horse is usually considered the most impressive of all breeds of horses, and most people regard it as the most beautiful horse existing in the world today".

DNA Testing

All DNA testing for ASHA of Canada is done by Maxxam Analytics Inc.

Maxxam has changed DNA testing in Canada. With annual revenues of $50 million, Maxxam Analytics is one of the largest independent analytical services companies in Canada. Today, Maxxam operates modern laboratory facilities totaling more than 150,000 square feet, in 12 Canadian cities, and employs more than 600 highly trained people.

For the first time a private laboratory has taken the bold step to prove the quality of its work. Accreditation is the only way for a laboratory to prove their commitment to quality. Maxxam was the first laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada and is the only private laboratory to hold any relevant accreditation. Recognized experts in DNA testing have inspected their laboratory and all aspects of their operation.

Maxxam's DNA laboratory uses the same technology as the leading forensic laboratories around the world, including the RCMP, the Centre of Forensic Sciences, and the FBI (USA).

Maxxam has applied 30 years of experience in forensic testing to the design of an efficient DNA testing laboratory with technology, facilities and information systems that deliver high quality service at lower cost.

CLRC - Canadian Livestock Records Corporation

Canadian Livestock Records Corporation is a private non-profit organization that has been serving the Canadian livestock industry continuously since 1905. It is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act, which is federal legislation that regulates the keeping of all animal pedigree records in Canada. A full listing of ASHA of Canada members, their addresses and phone numbers as well as the animals listed under their ownership is listed in the Electronic Herdbook at the CLRC website.

Internet visitors to these pages are able to do extensive searches for animals of interest to them, by name, registration number, sex, percentage of purity and current owner as reported. Visitors may view full pedigrees by clicking on the sire or dam's listing and view complete information on those animals. All information is is verified, updated regularly and is official.

Registrars for ASHA of Canada are:

Mavis MacDonald

Ext. 311

- 8:00 am to 12:30 pm ET

Dianne Lance

Ext. 313

- 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm ET

Laura Lee Mills

Ext. 314

8:00 am to 4:00 pm ET (French only)


CLRC Address:

2417 Holly Lane, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1V OM7

Phone & Fax

Phone: 1-877- 833-7110 or 613-731-7110 Fax: 613-731-0704




© ASHA of Canada 2010 Website Design by: Cyan Star Consulting