The 2021 Jump Alberta Symposium on Nov. 20 & 21, 2021 at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping will feature Kim Kirton as the main presenter.

Few riders and coaches have spent as much of their life in a professional capacity as Kim Kirton.  Kirton is the daughter of one of the pioneers of professional horsemen in Canada. She has represented Canada in international competition, as both a junior and a member of Canada’s senior nations cup team. She has coached some of the top junior and adult riders in the country. She has sold horses that have gone on to national and international success, and is an experienced clinician and judge. Her riding, coaching and judging includes hunter, jumper and equitation. 
 
Having been one of the most successful junior riders in the history of Canadian show jumping, Kirton’s coaching career has concentrated heavily on juniors, young riders and newcomers to the sport. She enjoys finding new talent, in both riders and horses, and “taking them to the next level”. With over 45 years of experience serving clients in her father’s stable, then in her own stable, and the private stables of others, she has amassed an impressive resume.
 
Kirton has the bloodlines to be a champion, and to make riders and horses into champions. Her father, Gord Kirton, was a rider and one of Canada’s most respected coaches. Her uncle, Dick Day, was also a pioneer among professional horsemen. So she was immersed in the horse industry and the sport as long as she can remember. 
 
Kirton was first put on the back of a horse before she could walk. By the age of 6, she was riding competitively for her father’s clients. She was often the youngest competitor in the pony ring. She knew immediately that she wanted to make it her career. By the time she was 8, she often had as many eight pony mounts for eight different owners. 
 
It wasn’t only the pony ring where she found herself being the youngest. In 1973, as a 4-foot-11-inch, 13-year-old, she jumped against international team veterans Michael Matz, Jim Elder, Jim Day and Kelly Hall-Holland at the Buffalo International Horse Show, winning the Power and Speed competition. Newspapers often described her as her as “little Kim Kirton” and the Cleveland News Herald dubbed her “Tiny Kim”. 
 
By age 14, she had won ten junior grand prix and was the dominant force in the junior jumper division in Canada. She was also a regular in junior international team competition. In the rare position of being a “junior professional”, she continued to ride multiple horses, for various owners. She and her father were a partnership. “He’d train them and I’d ride them”, she says. Since age 3, she had spent two hours a day in the saddle under her father’s tutelage. By age 16, she had competed at five Royal Winter Fair Horse Shows. It would only be a few years until she was a member of Canada’s team in the nations cup that was then held at the Royal.
 
In 1975 she was honoured with the Province of Ontario Achievement Award in recognition of distinguished performance in amateur sport. That year she had been a member of winning junior nations cup teams in both Canada and the U.S., and earned the Leading Rider title at both. 
 
Kirton represented Canada in the United States, Mexico, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Bermuda, Barbados and on home soil. When she was 17, she broke the Barbados puissance record, jumping 5 feet, 7-1/2 inches on a borrowed horse.
 
In 1981, at 21, Kirton began a string of consecutive appearances on Canada’s senior nations cup team. Her first overseas competition was in 1982. She was asked to join veterans Jim Elder and Mark Laskin when Ian Millar was unable to go. The three-member team travelled to Sydney, Australia and won the nations cup. Kirton was the only female rider in the international tournament. She also won an individual competition against the all-male field. Due to strict quarantine regulations, competitors had to ride horses from a pool of Australian horses. Kirton chose a Buckskin named Bonanza. The British weekly magazine Horse and Hound described them as “the star attraction”.
 
Then well beyond the junior ranks and pursuing a grand prix riding career, Kirton sought to expand her basic training, beyond the wealth of knowledge she had gained from her father. She spent a year in Virginia training with American grand prix legend Rodney Jenkins.
 
Injuries sustained in a car accident in 1984 sidelined Kirton from riding for most of 1985. But it didn’t keep her away from coaching. While forced to take time off, she realized that coaching young riders was where she found the most satisfaction. She did, however, return to  competition as strong as ever. By 1987 she had qualified for the World Cup Final in Paris, where she rode Lorbas. The following year, 1988, she was on the short-list for the Canadian Olympic team. 
 
She had often been given horses that had previously been ridden by Canada’s team veterans and were owned by the most loyal team supporters. She had a long and successful run on Beefeater, who had been ridden by both Jim Elder and Torchy Millar and was owned by Cudney Stables. At the height of her grand prix career came Shawline, the horse Jim Elder rode in the 1984 Olympics. The owner, Sam Son Farm, gave the ride to Kirton and, together, they became one of the most recognizable partnerships, of the era, on the grand prix circuit. During her time as a team member she was a member of winning nations cup teams on the North American fall indoor circuit (Washington, New York and the Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair).
 
During this period Kirton had also developed her own coaching business at her own stable. Among those she coached was the younger generation of the legendary Eaton family. She also served as Chef d’Equipe for Canada’s Junior International Team, of which she had so often been a member herself.
 
In the early nineties, although she was spending most of her time teaching young riders, Kirton was partnered with a superstar speed horse named Kiko. Together they would conquer another specialty.  Newspapers in western Canada dubbed her “The Queen of Speed” and the Ottawa Citizen hailed her “Canada’s foremost speed derby rider”. Calgary’s Spruce Meadows was, by then, North America’s  premier show jumping venue. Kirton had competed, as a junior, at the first tournament there in 1976. Returning with Kiko, in 1993, she became the first rider to win three feature speed competitions over four days at the North American tournament. 
 
In recent years, Kirton has been the private coach to the Irving family, of New Brunswick, working out of their Windhaven Farms and touring the Canadian and U.S. hunter/jumper circuit. This involved coaching both adult and junior riders, as well as managing/training horses owned by Windhaven Farms and ridden by other professionals. Her work resulted in the family members winning Zone Championships and championships at the Royal Winter Fair.
 
Currently Kirton is judging, both hunters and jumpers, and giving clinics. She has extensive contacts in Europe to assist those who are shopping for horses. She provides what she calls a “personal shopper service”. Due to her experience with juniors and newcomers to competition, she enjoys “taking riders to the next level”.  Her coaching experience ranges from beginners, who have never ridden before, to national champions. Her experience buying, selling and training ranges from ponies to grand prix horses. 

The 2021 Jump Alberta AGM will be held virtually on March 8th. Click here to nominate a board member.

2020 marked the 26th consecutive year for the Canadian Warmblood Alberta Chapter Fall Classic Sale and the first Canadian Online Horse Auction, hosted by ClipMyHorse and WeAuctions. Once again Elite Three was the title sponsor and we would like to thank them for their generosity. Thanks to a group of mainly volunteers the sale was once again a roaring success with average prices way up and numbers of horses sold on par with the previous 5 years.

We saw the most horses sold for over $30,000 ever with two of the Performance horses selling for $36,500 and $37,000 as well as two Prospects under saddle selling for $30,500 and $32,000. The bidding was rapid in the last minutes of each horse’s closing with over 400 registered bidders vying for their favourites, some horse’s prices doubled in the final moments which made for great energy and excitement. Leading up to the final days the YouTube videos had 350 hours of watch time and more then 100,000 people reached thru social media!

The high seller of the sale as well as high selling Performance horse was the lovely 5-year-old Chelletto Z gelding consigned by Tamie Phillips and was scooped up by Etsuko Sakimura II of La Honda CA. This Chimeron Z x Le Sauvage Z gelding was bred by Okanagan Show Jumping Stables and has been professionally brought along in the show ring by Tamie. The high selling prospect under saddle was the well bred 3-year-old mare Meer Kat who was bred and consigned by Klondike Victory Farm. This Orlando x Tempranillo mare will make her way just south to Rocky Mountain Show Jumping in Calgary AB.The 2-year-old high seller who went for $23,500 is the gorgeous young mare Nikita VF who was bred and consigned by Valley Field Farm. This Quidam Blue x Balou Du Rouet filly was purchased by Robert and Margaret Williams of Ottawa ON.

The yearling high seller was the feminine filly Abira RPH who was bred and consigned by Rosenol Performance Horses. She is by Atlas RPH and out of a Leeto Z mare and will be heading to Chloe Veurink of Redcliff AB for a final price of $8,500. The high selling weanling was the stunning Sir Gregory x Londonderry colt Sir Peter in Florence who was bred and consigned by the partnership of Hans and Katrina Van Den Bosch and Joely Mann. He will also be staying in Alberta and was purchased by R and K Holt Farms Inc for a final price of $16,500.

The broodmare category was hotly contested with all mares selling above $10,000. The high seller was the beautiful Inshallah who was bred in Europe and consigned by Carousel Ridge. She had competed to the 1.30m level and will be making her way up North to Yellowknife NWT to Dr. Tom Pizs for a final price of $15,500.

This sale could not happen without the hours of volunteer time that is put in by a passionate group of people. We would like to thank Valleyfield Farm and Old Gate Farm for donating their lovely facilities for the presentation days. This was the first time that the sale has incorporated professional video and photography which was provided by Gear Head Media. This year’s sale administrator was Barb Easthom. Thank you to the sale committee who all volunteer endless hours, Gavin Pearson, Rebecca Beechinor, Coreen Jamieson, Katrina van den Bosch, Joanne Wright, Jennette Coote, Doreen Kulcsar and Lorrie Jamieson. We look forward to seeing you all in 2021!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone these events until 2021-22. We look forward to seeing you all again when it’s safe.

Join us on March 9, 2020 at the Sandman Hotel and Suites Calgary South for the Jump Alberta Annual General Meeting. All are welcome to attend.

Nominate a 2020-2022 Board Member here.

Join us January 11, 2020 at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary for the Jump Alberta Year End Awards Gala. We’ll have a great evening of celebrating our riders, trainers and members with a delicious dinner and dance that’s fun for all ages. Tickets are $75; $35 for kids 14 and under.

Reserve your room at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino with code GMTJUMPA to get our special rate of $149.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

Join us at the Jump Alberta 2019 Symposium at Amberlea Meadows, November 15-17.

Presenters: Hope Glynn and Ray Texel

$75 for members
$115 for non-members for the entire weekend
Friday night is included for full weekend
purchasers; $35 as a stand-alone

We’re looking for volunteers! Apply at jumpalberta@gmail.com.

Hotel Bookings: 4 Points Sheraton Gateway
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/yegef-four-points-edmonton-gateway/ with the Group Codes:

AJAAJAB for rooms with 1 King
AJAAJAF for rooms with 2 Queens.

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