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HANS HANSMA - AQHA Hall of Fame Inductee

HALL OF FAME exterior


The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) inducted five individuals and six horse inductees to the AQHA Hall of Fame, during the 2019 AQHA Convention, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the American Quarter Horse Association. Those chosen for induction are recognized for their lifetime of accomplishments and service. No one is more deserving of this honour than the late Hans Hansma of Alberta, Canada. Hans was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame on March 10, 2019.

Hans and Henny HansmaHansma was a legendary American Quarter Horse breeder who helped found the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta and promoted American Quarter Horses in Europe. He was a founding director of the Alberta Stakes and Futurities Association, which became the Canadian Supreme, the largest western performance event in Canada for many years. Hans was also a founding director of the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association and the Junior Quarter Horse Association of Alberta. He has been inducted into the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame. In 2002, Hansma was posthumously honored with a distinguished service award from The Horse Industry Association of Alberta. 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.

Born February 21, 1917, Hans grew up with an instinctive relationship with horses stemming from his childhood in Friesland, Netherlands. After WWII Hans and his wife, Henny, emigrated from Holland to Canada and built a 2,000 acre farming operation - Bar H5 Cutbank Farms - near Granum, Alberta where they raised five sons. Hans’ son, Paul, recalled his father getting into horse breeding after his children were born. Hansma bought his first American Quarter Horse, Lucky Five, in 1963. Since then he owned or was in partnership on many top American Quarter Horses, such as Doc’s Jack Frost, Super Holiday, Super Joe, Lightning War, Doc O Dude, Heza Quincy Dan and Peps Mr Doc. It is estimated that Hans individually or in partnership bred more than 2,000 quarter horses. Hans Hansma can be described as “a horseman with an eye for a good horse and an emphasis on soundness.”

Hans died June 2, 1996, but his legacy lives on in his five sons. Three of Hansma’s sons, Winston, Paul and Gerry, are National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame Riders. Winston Hansma, residing in Weatherford, Tex., is the earner of over $2.3 million and Paul Hansma, residing in Fort Worth, Tex., is the earner of more than $6 million. Both are also NCHA Futurity and Derby Open Champions. Gerry who still calls Granum, Alberta home, is the earner of over $1.3 million and is also a Canadian Supreme and Calgary Stampede champion. Paul Hansma bred 1994 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo $446,712, who was out of Super Poo, a Hans Hansma family-owned mare.

Hans believed that a person should always “be willing to lend a helping hand.” It was this conviction coupled with his strong work ethic, honesty, integrity and unselfish passion for the breed that resulted in him leaving a remarkable legacy to the American Quarter Horse industry, particularly in Canada, Europe and Australia. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes, at home and abroad, to promote the American Quarter Horse and to develop organizations and events designed to advance the breed.

Hats off to Hans Hansma, an incredible Canadian!


Click here to view the AQHA Hall of Fame video featuring Hans Hansma

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