Bar 17 Stable offers a wide range of services to the Alberta thoroughbred industry including boarding, training, foaling out, rehabilitation, sales preparation and breeding.
The Andersons have dedicated themselves to the industry for most of their lives. As a youngster growing up in Manitoba, Maxine was involved in horses through 4H Club and Pony Club. After moving to Alberta and meeting Ken, she became involved in all aspects of raising young thoroughbreds from breeding, breaking, starting young horses, sales prep and preparing youngsters for the track. Bar 17 Stable has been Ken’s home since he was eighteen after inheriting the farm from his father. In the 1970’s, Ken was involved with the training and running of horses with Ernie Keller, a leading Quarter Horse trainer at the time. Ken then became a successful trainer himself running horses from Montana to Peace River including stops in Milo, Olds, Trochu and Stettler.
The Bar 17 stallion operation has been a cornerstone of the Anderson’s farm over the past three decades. They initially ventured into the breeding business with the purchase of their first stallion in 1983 named Blondie’s Dancer. This colt by Nice Dancer was a multiple stakes placed runner who Ken had the opportunity to purchase in 1983 from the Mannix family of Calgary. The Andersons then owned and stood a number of other stallions over the next few years including Nice Bippy purchased from Red Diamond Stable and the Danard family. Nice Bippy was a well known runner in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Edmonton and Calgary with wins including the Spangled Jimmy and the Journal Handicap. Stallions since then have included Chapel Creek, Desperately, The Trader’s Echo and Smithfield.
Ken and Maxine owned Chapel Creek for twelve years purchasing him in 1994 at the age of sixteen. The stallion was very small at 14.2 hands high but ‘had a huge stride!’ He was a multiple stakes producer siring the well known Alberta winners Wild Creek ($195,551), Deacon’s Duster ($151,088), South Side ($195,551), Breezy Creek ($153,152) and Brand Nu Gal ($91,505). Maxine notes that the produce of Chapel Creek mares has also had considerable success on the track.
Desperately came to Bar 17 as an eleven year old and has since helped to develop the successful breeding reputation of Bar 17. He has sired well known Alberta runners Bear Nobility ($60,971), Desperate Dancer ($142,610), Almeda Slim ($86,455) among others. Desperately is now retired at the age of seventeen. Bar 17 Stable currently stands the stallion The Trader’s Echo ($233,357) who was a track record setter at Keeneland. Maxine comments that ‘he throws big, correct foals and hopefully when they run here, they will show his ability as a race horse.’ The Andersons have consigned a yearling by The Trader’s Echo out of Rural Queen, who earned $121,898 on the track, to the 2013 Alberta CTHS Thoroughbred Sale (see pg 49).
The Andersons have always strongly supported the development of quality in Alberta thoroughbreds. The breeding philosophy of the Andersons is that the quality mares should stay in Alberta and the offspring offered to local buyers. In 2004, Bar 17 expanded their operations further by purchasing 12 mares and foals from the dispersal sale of Horizon Farms when it closed operations.
The training program has been another cornerstone of the operations at Bar 17. At one point, there were over 100 horses on the property including 30 in training. Up until recently, Maxine was starting 40 or 50 youngsters a year and getting them ready for the track. The Bar 17 Stable has an Equicizer on the property which is used a lot and “helps out immensely” with conditioning the young horses. With her show horse background, Maxine believes that young thoroughbreds ‘should be able to do something besides run around a track.’ She strongly feels that a horse has to be an all around athlete and ‘kid proof’ in order to have a good future beyond the race track Maxine.
In recent years, Maxine and Ken are reducing the scope of their operation and staying true to their philosophy of producing what the market will bear. The quality of their operation and breeding philosophy is highly regarded and their support and involvement over the past 40 years has provided a keystone for the Alberta thoroughbred breeding industry.