Hans Hansma was a man who really liked horses.
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Class of 2019 Hall of Fame inductee used to think nothing of driving all across the province of Alberta with a friend, said his son, cutting horse trainer Winston. Those weren’t horse-buying expeditions. The pals were just getting a good look at what people had in their barns.
“Heck, they used to jump in their car and drive for two days just to look at somebody’s horse,” said the Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider, one of Hansma’s five sons. “[They’d] have a look at his horses, have coffee, then turn around and drive home.”
The Dutch native, who died in 1996, was known for raising quality all-around horses – including a number of AQHA champions – and promoting Quarter Horses overseas. Fellow 2019 Hall of Fame inductees are Mr Jess Perry, Harlan, Tiger Leo, Zippos Mr Good Bar, Vital Signs Are Good, Trippy Dip, Billy Allen, Johne Dobbs, J.M. Frost II and Jim Jennings.
First exposed to horses on his family’s farm in Holland, Hansma didn’t begin breeding horses until immigrating to Alberta, Canada, after World War II. His son, Paul, recalled his father getting into horse breeding after his children were born.
Three sons – Gerry, Winston and Paul – are cutting horse trainers with collective Equi-Stat records of more than $10.2 million. Another son, David, manages the Claresholm Agriplex, a riding arena and show facility in Southern Alberta. His oldest, Taco, has a hoof-trimming business specializing in cattle.
Based in Texas like Winston, Paul said he and his brothers started out riding whatever horses they had on the family’s property. At one point they had some jumping horses, and the boys rode in 4-H before the family began showing in the AQHA.
“Back then, that’s when a Quarter Horse was an all-around horse. That’s the kind of horse [Dad] raised; it was an all-around horse,” said Paul, an Equi-Stat Elite $6 Million Rider. “If it was a good-lookin’ horse, we would halter it. We would just find a place that we could promote it and sell it.”
In announcing his induction, the AQHA lauded Hansma for founding the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta, as well as his work promoting the Quarter Horse in Europe. He was a founding director of the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association and the Junior Quarter Horse Association of Alberta. Hansma also was a founding director of the Alberta Stakes and Futurities Association, which is now known as the Canadian Supreme – the largest Western performance horse event in Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame and, in 2002, was posthumously honored with a distinguished service award from The Horse Industry Association of Alberta.
Hansma and other members of the 2019 class will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 2019 AQHA Convention. The 2018 class, which included Smart Chic Olena, were inducted in March during the association’s convention in Jacksonville, Florida.
Indivudally and in partnerships, Hans had an Equi-Stat record of roughly $169,000 as a breeder and about $20,000 as an owner; however, many of his accomplishments in horse breeding and ownership pre-date Equi-Stat records.
Hansma owned or bred a number of accomplished AQHA stallions, including 1961 Racing Register of Merit earner Super Joe (Super Charge x Black Bottom III x Joe Reed II) and Crimson War (Crimson Page x Lightning Becky x Lighting War), the 1978 AQHA World Champion 3-Year-Old Stallion and 1979 AQHA Champion. He also stood sires Lightning War and Lucky Five.
Another Quarter Horse stallion he owned in partnership, Doc’s Jack Frost, made a lasting impact in the bloodlines of timed-event and rodeo horses. The 1968 son of Doc Bar (out of Chantella x War Chant [TB]) is best known today for the success of his son, Sun Frost, who fathered Equi-Stat Elite $8 Million Sire Frenchmans Guy and Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Sire PC Frenchmans Hayday.
Despite the fact Hansma focused on all-around horses, he made an impact on the cutting horse industry through horses like Super Poo. The 1979 mare he found in Washington State went on to produce earners of more than $750,000, including National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo ($447,855, by Doc’s Hickory). She also foaled Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Dam Poosmal, a daughter of Peptoboonsmal.
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