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Jo Kingsland

 

I would like to nominate Jo Kingsland, a CRTWH past president and her mare, Candy’s Bay Lady 2 #370, for the Century Partners program.Candy turned 34 years old in 2011 and Jo is now over 66, so they qualify with over 100 years. Candy was Jo’s first purebred TWH and she reflects the good care that Jo has taken of her.Blair and I have ridden many miles at the Tees Competitive Trail Rides with Jo on her mare, Candy. We enjoyed these rides very much.

Lori Dyberg

JO KINGSLAND & the WORLD’S OLDEST ‘SUNLESS’ WALKING HORSE
CANDY’S BAY LADY 2 CRTWH # 370; TWHBEA #773362by Franne BrandonIn the second decade of the 21st century, Tennessee Walking Horses around the globe descend from many different stallions, but the majority of them trace on most lines of their pedigrees to Midnight Sun 410751, the 1945-1946 World Grand Champion. Show ring popularity determined that other bloodlines would fade in significance as the decades passed after the formation of the registry. Tennessee Walkers with no Midnight Sun become increasingly rare with each annual foal crop, as ‘Sunless’ horses still producing are generally bred to mates that have Midnight Sun appearing multiple times in their pedigrees. Among the older horses bearing the Sunless banner is a bay mare, Candy’s Bay Lady 2, whose enthusiasm for life and whose owner’s love and care have earned this mare the unique position of The World’s Oldest Sunless Walking Horse.
The story began in 1969 when Jo Kingsland and her husband emigrated to Canada after farming for six years in Devon, England. They settled in Alix, Alberta, Canada in 1972 to raise purebred hogs and also sheep. The same year that the Kingslands emigrated, a grandson of Go Boy’s Shadow that was not descended from Midnight Sun, arrived at the Pearl Tompkins ranch in Montana. History would later connect the two of them.
During the time in Alix, Jo met Jack Chapman, a Canadian breeder of Walking Horses, and in 1980, she began helping with her local Pony Club. Because Pony Club work required that Jo have a horse, Jack was happy to lend her a mare to ride. Fascinated by the wonderful walk that this mare exhibited, Jo was “…quite ready to buy a Tennessee Walking Horse of my own.” As she recalls, “In 1983, Jack found Candy advertised in a herd dispersal ad in the Walking Horse News. Although she was 200 miles away, we arranged to meet halfway. Jack brought his saddle and rode her in a gravel parking lot. He said, ‘She’s OK.’ Candy had her third foal – a three month old filly at side. They both came home with me.”
Candy’s Bay Lady 2 was sired by Shadow’s Red Man, and out of a mare registered as Cap’s Candy Striper. She was bred by Carol and Roger Atwood in southern Alberta, and had been sold as a two year old to be a broodmare at Dean Litchfield’s in northern Alberta. She fulfilled her duties in that regard by foaling a colt, then a brown filly named Beauty’s Dawn 815941, which Jo had seen compete at the local shows near Edmonton.
After the Alberta Walking Horse Association clinic, Jo and Candy began doing the Pony Club work for which Jo had purchased the mare. At Pony Club camp, the dressage instructor held an evening session for the adult instructors. At this session, they worked on fine-tuning Candy’s canter, and it was then that both discovered the rocking chair canter. At a Pony Club 3-Day event where Jo and Candy worked as a messenger service and on the cross-country run, they participated in another evening session for instructors with a show jumping course set up for adult competition. The four adults, mounted on a Saddlebred, an Arabian, a Morgan, and a Tennessee Walking Horse, tried the course, and Candy’s Bay Lady 2 won! Jo did not want a show mare, however. She states, “Guess I was looking for a hunter type of horse as I had enjoyed riding with the foxhounds in England – a horse with good feet, good bone, and well muscled for cross country work. Candy qualified there very well – and her bay colour is beautiful, too. I had a lot to learn about gait at that point, but she obviously had a tremendous walk, and cantered easily when Jack rode her.”
With Candy’s filly weaned, Jo decided it was time to learn about Candy’s gait repertoire. She remembers “When walking along a fence line, we were moving so fast that I could barely keep a count on the posts. Her middle gait was like a trot, but I couldn’t post to it (no suspension?). Her canter was beautiful but she wanted to gallop – to race – couldn’t bear to be behind another horse, had to be in front…! This horse had not had any professional training, so was still doing what came naturally to her. Good! So I took her to an A.W.H.A. clinic for an appraisal. We only had a very brief session with Dr. (Dave) Whitaker (of Middle Tennessee State University), and all he said was, “She’s good, needs to pull a straw bale around.” Being an English rider, I neglected to follow up on this advice until…years later I tried to lead her four year old son (just started) on an exercise ride. He didn’t want to come and hung back so hard I had to support the lead rope around the pommel. Candy felt the strain and immediately broke into a true running walk. WOW! Dr. Whitaker was so right! Candy seemed to enjoy it, too, and I grinned all the way home.”Jo did not limit their experiences to just those of adult instructors in Pony Club activities. Candy’s Bay Lady 2 also competed within her own breed ranks. Jo relates, “We tried showing at Tennessee Walking Horse shows. She would place well in halter classes but hated going round and round in an arena and just could not relax. After making a mess of the judged riding, she would run-walk beautifully when we headed for the exit.”
Another breed activity that the team did was horse camping with neighbors of Jo’s who also rode Walkers. The pair did two four-day camping trips to the mountains. In her element, Candy proved to be willing, very sure-footed, and skillful at avoiding pitfalls like the area bogs. However, she never tired, and “when base camp came in sight, she still had the energy to gallop home and was hard to hold.” It was in 1990, when Candy was thirteen years old, and many seasoned trail horses would be slowing down, that the bay mare found her greatest strength.
Competitive Trail riding, active in Jo’s area in the nineties, was where Candy found her niche. Jo relates that she and Candy “…competed in several rides from ’91 to ’95. This was the sport that Candy was made for! Except for our first ride which was a learning experience for us both, we earned ribbons and/or Tennessee Walking Horse trophies each time out.” On one occasion, in May of 1992, during the TRAC ride in Tees, Alberta, Candy competed with Allanna Jackson up, while Jo rode her young sorrel mare Uphill Twilight. Candy placed fifth on this ride.
During Candy’s initial activities, bitting became an issue. Snaffles, the bit of choice for most English riders, created difficulties. At that time, Jo recalls that “We constantly had trouble with snaffle bits. Candy has a narrow jaw and a thick tongue. Removing wolf teeth did not help. She was more comfortable with a small port western bit or a soft hackamore.” Jo feels that there may be other horses with related older bloodlines that might be happier and perform better for their riders in bits that are not snaffles.Candy’s Bay Lady 2 took time from her other activities to raise more foals. After Beauty’s Dawn, sired by Beauty’s Trail’s End came a bay full sister Jest’ A Caramel, then Shandy Maestro, a sorrel gelding by Tim’s Blue Canadian. In 1987, she had Irish Coffee HBR, a dark bay gelding by Honey’s Boy’s Rebel that followed in his dam’s hoofprints to become a champion competitive trail riding horse. In 1990, she produced a bay filly by Lucky’s Koko Prince named Koca Marree. Four years later, a full brother to Irish Coffee, registered as Cappachino Boy, hit the ground. In 1996, Lady Belindi-Go arrived. Candy’s final baby was a buckskin filly foaled when the mare was twenty-two. Named Panda Capri, sired by Northfork Patch of Gold, this youngster won the Futurity Yearling in Hand Class, was sold afterward, and returned under new owners the following show season to place second in the Two Year Old class at the Futurity.
Jo credits the quality early care provided by

Jo Kingsland with Candy & her black daughter Belindi by Honey Boy’s Rebel. Photo taken in 2010, when Candy was 33

Candy’s breeder and her nurturing dam, Cap’s Candy Striper, as the foundation of the mare’s longevity. Almost always healthy during their long years together, Candy has been sick only once. The vet made a call to a suspect minor twisted intestine, but when the mare recovered, he proclaimed she had “the strongest constitution he’d ever seen.” Candy also managed to avoid the injured list during her entire lifetime except for one incident “when she stepped on the clip of a shoe that came loose.” Jo insists, “I believe in good conditioning for all sports. Candy only needed minimal grain rations with a natural seaweed based supplement. Always ‘warmed up’ and ‘cooled down’ even for exercise rides, she developed strong muscles and maintained a great fitness level that stayed with her from one season to the next. I looked after Candy and she took care of me!”

Candy’s Bay Lady 2 and Jo Kingsland – a team that has traveled many miles over the years – prove that love and care can create a positive environment where a horse can live happily into very old age.