Monday, January 6, 2014

Bill Collins: Accomplished Horseman Passes On (AQHA)

Our foundation Mare Zsa Zsa SH
I raised horses for almost twenty years and have many memorable experiences.  I remember when I met Bill Collins.  It was at the boarding and training facility along Hwy 1A to Cochrane.  I was becoming acquainted with the equine scene in Calgary in the late 80's and watched him work a horse in a circle.  Horse trainers are a distinctive breed.  I always used to say they knew what the horse was going to do before the horse did - which was quite the opposite for myself!  They were quiet, and soft, and non-threatening, and moved slowly and with purpose - me? not so much.  It was always a pleasure to watch these folks work with their horses, while I secretly wished I too could master such behaviour.

Bill Collins and 
Smart Scotian Gold
Bill Collins Dies
American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Bill Collins died December 31, 2013.

The American Quarter Horse Journal
January 3, 2014

Bill Collins, 89, of Sherwood Park, Alberta, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2013, with his family at his side.

An AQHA 20-year cumulative breeder, Bill witnessed his first cutting in 1946, but it was 1955 before he became involved with the event. Asked to help with a cutting demonstration, it did not take long for Bill to switch from tie-down roping to cutting. A year later, in 1956, Bill and friend Leo Lemieux began showing cutting horses together and subsequently formed Leecoll Stables in Edmonton, Alberta.

By 1965, the stable was doing so well that Bill retired from tie-down roping to attend to the business of up to 75 horses. The horses stabled at Leecoll performed in both English and western events, and Bill soon found himself working with both groups. The cutter even found himself competing in a show jumping competition in Edmonton.


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