It was since this time that Chris knew he would spend his life involved with horses. It wasn't until mid-way through Elementary School when Chris would envision himself a, "horse trainer". Throughout School Chris continued to ride his personal and family owned horses - experimenting with and exploring his natural gift.
Upon Graduating High School, Chris went on to be unanimously accepted by both discipline instructors into the two-year Equine Science Program at Olds College where he majored in Western Training under the instruction of trainer, J.P. Forget.
In 1999, Chris began which would turn out to be 3+ years as head trainer for Gerold Dautzenburg owner/operator of Long View Ranch (LV Ranch) in Wilhelmsburg Austria. LV Ranch is a world-class show, training and breeding facility. While there, Chris trained and campaigned prospects, fine-tuned finish horses as well as coached youth and amateurs at home and at shows throughout Europe. Chris was fortunate enough to coach and compete in 3 European Championship Quarterhorse shows held annually in Kreuth Germany.
After 3+ years based in Austria Chris returned to his home in Invermere, BC where he continued to train and coach riders throughout the Columbia Valley. To this point Chris' experiences were primarily with Quarter horses however that was all about to change when he was hired by, Elk Horn Ranches to work with, "Star Fan Nicomen" a Dutch Friesian mare. Soon Chris would find myself under the helpful guidance of talented Alberta Dressage trainer and friend the late, Nadeem Ayoob. Eventually hard work and true equine talent prevailed when Chris navigated the Mare before a judge through her third level dressage test in 2004.
In 2008, Chris joined forces with Rich Zenner of Valleyview, AB and together they took over the equestrian center formerly known as, Stoddart Creek Stables located in Radium, BC.
In 2009 Chris and Rich have moved north to Valleyview, Alberta, where they were the resident trainers for the, "Riverside Meadows" facility owned by Gordon & Betty Anne Vivian. While there they trained, showed and campaigned young prospects, plus managed all aspects of the breeding and foaling program.
As of July 1 2014 CM Performance & Halter Horses, Chris & Rich have relocated to their very own facility, "Riverside Meadows Strathcona" located just outside Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Here they will continue their breeding, training, coaching and sales program out of their new more central facility. Watch for them in the coming APHA & AQHA shows.
For Rich horses have always been a family affair from very early on including horseback riding, pony clubs with cousins, family wagon and sleigh rides at Christmas. Eventually Rich's grandfathers passion for pony chariot racing and the rodeo life would become a passion Rich and his mother would share with him.
At the tender age of 10 while Rich's grandfather and mother competed and travelled down the road to the next rodeo Rich began to take a great interest in the preparation of the horses. Rich would take great pride in ensuring all the horses due to hit the track were polished and groomed to perfection. However, still too young to experience firsthand the rush of guiding a team of racing chariot ponies down the track or the thrill of the big win he loved and enjoyed every minute of the rodeo lifestyle.
A few years later and chomping at the bit more than ever to attempt racing on his own, Rich began working and becoming more involved alongside his grandfather while he learned to drive teams at home on the farm. Eventually while building his confidence Rich graduated to trotting the team around the field under his grandfather's watchful eye. Until it finally came......the big day, "the race track" Rich travelled to the local race track with his grandfather at the sidelines, he cried, "Lemme go!" and that is exactly what they did!!! By the end of running those ponies down that half mile track Rich's urge for wanting to race was done! Rich knew then and there he preferred to stick to making them look good!
During this time Rich's cousin had found and was pursuing her own passion.....the AQHA show ring. Needless to say this news regarding the horse show ring definitely sparked an interest in Rich. Rich then began preparing, grooming the chariot ponies and started competing at local small open horse shows. Rich's dreams quickly shifted towards wanting to own his own horse and began working a part-time job while going to school. Soon his dream became a reality and he became the proud owner of a registered paint mare, "Alito Honey" While competing at open shows Rich became increasingly fascinated for the halter horse, their stunning big muscular build, dainty heads and their presence and attitudes to WIN. Rich then sold, "Honey" and began shopping for his own halter prospect.
In 2001, Rich purchased an AQHA weanling filly, "Hanging by a moment" from a well known Alberta breeder, Shelly Schiedt. New and inexperienced in competing on the AQHA circuit Rich jumped in with both feet and committed to conditioning and fitting his filly for none other than the Canadian Nationals hosted in Red Deer. Equipped with the use of a little hip roofed barn back on his grandparents farm, little knowledge but a whole lot of heart Rich showed up to the Canadian Nationals with his weanling filly. Rich stayed the duration of the event and proceeded to compete in open classes against the "professionals" and managed to walk away proudly placing 6th out of 13 fillies. Rich quickly realized showing horses was very expensive and demanded more than he was able to provide at that time.
In 2003, Rich would find himself back in the horse business when he began working with world show quality horses at Riverside Meadows of Valleyview intermittently until 2008. There he began halter breaking the youngsters, working on the yearling lunge liners, breaking and riding the odd western pleasure horse, fitting and professionally leading and showing many grand and reserve halter champions. After winning numerous yearling and two year old lunge line futurities Rich's passion for the all mighty halter horse never ceased.
In 2008, seeking a change and to further his own career by pursuing his passion of training and showing of AQHA and APHA Rich took a chance and headed British Columbia bound where he teamed up with Chris in Invermere, BC.
In 2009, due to family circumstances Rich and Chris have moved north back to Valleyview, AB where they will continue to Train, Coach and Show together and go to be a winning team and a force to be reckoned with in.
Effective, July 1 2014 CM Performance & Halter Horses, Chris & Rich have relocated to their very own facility, "Riverside Meadows Strathcona" located just outside Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Here they will continue their breeding, training, coaching and sales program out of their new more central facility. Watch for them in the coming APHA & AQHA shows.