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Sunnybrook Stables

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North American Curly Horses

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We are located in Alberta, Canada. Only 1 hour from the capital city of Edmonton and 45 minutes west of the Edmonton International airport.
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Here's some history me!

Deanna Jean (Johnson)


Me and my Gran.


     I was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. Since I was a little girl (which was quite a while ago!) I have been infatuated with horses. I had pictures, statues, wall hangings, ornaments, books, everything you could associate with a horse. My dream was to own my very own horse and this seemed impossible to me as we basically lived in Toronto and I never even got to see a horse, let alone own one.

     In 1979 I moved to Edmonton, Alberta to find work, and 6 months later bought my very first horse. His name is Major Deln, a quarter horse Belgian cross. I was told he would make an excellent jumper prospect. Well, Major has done it all, jump, dressage, cattle work, harness (he even pulled a Volkswagon out of the ditch once) and is now one of my lesson horses. It will be a sad day when I lose him as he is definitely part of my family. He is not the prettiest horse by any means. His back is now swayed, he is turning gray, I have been told he looks more like a moose! And drinks like one, as he submerges his whole nose to drink out of a mountain stream. But he thinks he is a two year old stallion, and no one dares tell him different!

     Update - Sadly on May 9th, 2007 Major passed. See our Tribute to Major



Me and Major summer of 2004.

     In 1985 a friend of mine, Fran Hobbs, and I decided to start a Pony Club branch for the area. We started the Black Creek Pony Club and it is still going strong. My daughter, Chandra, went through the Pony Club ranks and we attended many shows and 3 day events together through the years. The Pony Club is currently running out of our arena when the weather is not co-operating.

     My involvement with the Pony Club has included: Alberta Region Treasurer, Secretary, Development Committee, Quiz Chair (Coached 6 teens and attended National Competitions in Halifax NS, Brandon MB, Victoria BC, Kelowna BC and Red Deer AB), Education Committee, Testing Committee and currently a Tester. At the branch level I have been involved in all aspects - Rally, Jumping, Dressage, Tetrathalon, Prince Philip Games, Quiz, Testing and Instruction.

     I have been teaching riding since 1986 and the love of my life is dressage. I find the highest level of reward in working with a horse to get him soft, supple and responding to the whisper of a thought. I do not tolerate riders riding on the horses mouth. I get a thrill from working with young kids that really want to work. No greater accomplishment is found than having a child grinning from ear to ear after they have finally "figured it out" and just had their horse do the movement they have been working on. I love to watch the bond grow between the two and the respect that comes with it.


We like to have our fun too!!
Barrel racing CCHA 2004

     My favorite riding though, is our Mountain Trips. I find such self peace when standing on top of a grass covered mountain with my horse and best friends with no outside interruptions. No one can get to you there. You're on your own with nature and everything that is really important. We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy such great adventures.

     I hope that you enjoy the same compassion that I have for the horse. It is so very rewarding. We currently have over 20 horses, nine hypo-allergenic Russian Siberian forest cats and two fun loving standard poodles, Baxter and Shio. We live on a quarter section, (160 acres), I work out as an accountant for an agricultural dealership and drive my red convertible Model A every chance I get. I volunteer for various charity organizations, lottery board, local hall, churches, Pony Club, etc. I love life and hope that you have enjoyed your visit here today. Have a GREAT day!

Deanna
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History on Sunnybrook Stables
     Well, where do I start. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be sending horses all over the world. Especially horses that I selectively bred. But that is what we are doing. We have sent horses to: The United States, Germany, France, Austria and Norway!! Through these awesome Curly horses I have traveled to promote the horses into Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and many of the States. It has been a very rewarding experience.
     The stables is a very, very busy place in the summer time. We have visitors just about every weekend and many people come by to do allergy tests with the horses. With the riding camps, trail rides and all the show cases that we do, we are happy to see winter arrive to catch our breath.
     The most rewarding part of this venture is the new friends I have made. So many people show up at the stables totally skeptical that they will not react to the horses. When they find out they CAN have a horse, it changes their life forever.
     We do summer riding camps, trail rides, Girl Guide badges, Birthday parties, training, clinics, trail rides, just about anything you can do with a horse. And in 2004 I purchased a covered wagon! So now we can head into the hills in comfort!!

     I have been raising horses since 1980. My first stallion was SS Sundown Buck, father to many of my excellent breeding mares (including Oakley and Buffy). I searched for two years to find a replacement for him that was of the highest standards to breed to his fillies, and found Palladin. He was the only stallion that I could find that came close to filling all of my requirements.
     2002 was our first export of horses into Europe. Dagmar purchased Miss Klondike Kitty the fall of 2002 and Kitty went to Germany in February 2003. Dagmar has allergies to normal horses and was thrilled, to say the least, that she found us. I have had the pleasure of visiting Dagmar and her family many times now and we have become good friends, despite the fact she cannot speak English and I cannot speak German! Dagmar also purchased Ss Misty Whitney in 2003.
     2003 we had visitors from Germany and Norway. Karen and Marian, who purchased Prospector and Austin. Nancy and Jens, who purchased Babe. Reidun from Norway spent 6 months with us learning about the curly horses. Karen and Reidun both had allergies to regular horses. Karen and Marian have become excellent friends and to this day we correspond almost DAILY on the horses.
     2004 saw Sassy and Tony head to France. Sophie is a real ambassador for the breed and three days after we arrived with the horses the two became three with the birth of Quick Fraise. Chinook, Painted Toiya and Snowden all headed to Alasaka! Prospecter, Austin and Babe went to Germany. Spar went to Texas. Tulsa and Commanche go to Quebec. We had 50 Danish visitors arrive for a demonstration on our horses .
     2005 Daisy, Gypsy and Kasha flew to Germany in May and Ahani and Nakita in July. July was a real first for us. Anna (our student from Denmark) rode SS Marshal Dilon in the showcase of the breeds at Calgary Stampede!! We had 7 bus loads arrive with over 50 people each to learn about the Curly horses
     2006 SS Walcurly Prince Trevino and SS Walcurly Marengo, SS Trojan Nicker head to Anna in Denmark. Our purebred Irish Draft Stallion Champion and Gypsy Vanner Irish Tinker mare arrive from Wales.
     In 2002 I started researching the gaited horses. This led me to purchasing Charming Prince from Don (Don raised him from day one). Prince is the only stallion proven homozygous for his curls. An awesome stallion, foaled in 1983, with an unbelievable personality. His first babies for us arrived in 2004 and we are not disappointed. Awesome curl on ALL of his offspring. There were only about 50 registered gaited Curlies in the world! Many hours were spent finding the right mares to match up with Prince. Our thoughts were that since most of our clients are middle aged and do not know how to ride (because of their allergies) that the smooth gait of the Missouri Fox Trotter line of Curlies would be excellent.

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Diamond pulling the sleigh down our driveway.

Franzi
Franzi arrived from Germany in 2006 and is a natural if ever I have seen one. Relaxed, calm and intuitive with the horses.
Jeanette
Jeanette also arrive in 2006 from Denmark with a wealth of knowledge on horses. They raise the lovely Irish Tinkers overseas and one day I will get to see her stallion!
Daphne
Daphne rode our first curly in the Largest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede! Daphne's Aunt purchased our first exports into Quebec and quickly became dear friends.
Stephanie!
Stephanie started at the stables in 2004 and has assisted with many of the horses here.
Stephanie had extensive training in France where she worked for a very large stable with a warmblood breeding program. We teased her the first year that she had to earn her cowboy hat, and she did!!
Anna
Anna arrived from Denmark in 2005 through the Rural Farm Exchange program. She is an awesome rider and horse person and rode our first Curly horse in the showcase of the breeds for Calgary Stampede! plus rode Oakley in her first official jumping show.
Peter
Peter and Marco were here from Denmark during 2003 and 2004. They assisted around the farm doing fencing, feeding, etc.
Reidun
Reidun was here from Norway for 6 months in 2003 to learn about the Curly horses. She has allergies to regular horses and was amazed that she can work with these horses. Reidun fell in love with Felicity almost the day she arrived and purchased Felicity and took her home to Norway! She is planning on returning as soon as she can! Reidun and her family purchased Moonlight, Luc and Audacious Amoire and transported them to Norway the winter of 2004.
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