Bologna, October 14, 2021 – One million. It’s a number that triggers a pause and invokes a moment of reflection regardless of the subject.
For reining enthusiasts, one million is especially significant. A million dollars in earnings solidifies a place in National Reining Horse Association history books.
Recently Andre De Bellefeuille and his businesses, Equine Plus and Ferme Equestre Excalibur, of Canada, became the association’s newest Million Dollar Owner.
«This (becoming an NRHA Million Dollar Owner) is quite an honor. I am only the second Canadian to reach this achievement. The beauty of this is that at least 50 percent of the earnings were achieved from horses from our breeding program» De Bellefeuille shared. «We are very proud of that».
De Bellefeuille as a breeder
It was just a couple of years ago that De Bellefeuille became a Million Dollar Breeder, with the cornerstone of his program being the incredible mare Snow Gun. Snow Gun, by NRHA $12 Million Sire Gunner, earned more than $120,000 in the show pen. She is the dam of De Bellefeuille’s stallion Electric Snow (by NRHA $3 Million Sire Jacs Electric Spark), who won more than $110,000. She also produced Yankee Gun (LTE $156,967), Gunstep ($58,456), Wimpys Snow Step (LTE $45,225), and Wimpys Snow Gun (LTE $31,013).
«As I said, a good chunk of our earnings as owners came from our breeding program, and the future growth as an owner and breeder will most likely come from the breeding of our stallion Electric Snow», De Bellefeuille said. «We own many nice prospects and see a bright future for him as a sire. Many top breeders have seen the same thing we do and bred some of their good mares to him. As owners, we are fortunate to own nice horses such as Electric Snow, Snow Gun, and well as Its All About Smart and Whizicle».
First priority: healthy horses
De Bellefeuille emphasizes his program’s focus on healthy and happy horses. «We are first and foremost horsemen, and the health of our horses is our first priority, and I am proud we have reached this point with sound and healthy horses,” he said. “To get to where we are, we had the help of many people and some fantastic riders. They are definitely part of our success and I thanked them for that».
De Bellefeuille is more than just an owner. He himself has won more than $400,000 in competition. «We still ride two to three horses every day and compete, although unfortunately not much in the last year due to the limited number of shows and restrictions on travel», he explained.
Recently with one of his homebred horses Its All Gun (Its All About Smart x Snow Gun) he was Reserve Champion in Level 2, 3, and 4 and the Prime Time winner in the Non Pro Futurity at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
Reining new Frontier
While reining is still a developing sport in Quebec, its popularity is quickly growing thanks in part to the foresight of enthusiasts like De Bellefeuille.
De Bellefeuille served as President and vice-president of the Association Québécoise de Reining (AQR) for more than a decade. In 2011 André was inducted to the AQR Hall of Fame. On a national level, André has fulfilled several positions; active on several NRHA committees, vice-president of Reining Canada, and also involved with the Cheval Quebec (Quebec Horse Federation) regarding their breeding programs. Many awards such as breeder of the year in Canada (the only person ever winning in a Western discipline) and several times winner in Quebec.
De Bellefeuille thanks his family, especially his wife Danielle, for their support, understanding, and for letting him live this crazy passion.