How Leo, Billie and Cammie came into our lives.
My partner, who works for Telus, was on a service call in September of 2014 when he spotted
three shires in the customer's field.
He commented on them to the owner since shires are just rare and he only knew of one in the area, my mare Bella.
The owner told him, “Yeah, I inherited these from my aunt and I know they
are special but I know nothing about horses.” To which my partner offered, “My partner not only
knows about the breed, but can help you train them too.” The owner, after getting my card from my
partner said, “I'll think about it and let you know.”
Almost a year later, I got the call, “I have an offer for you.” We went over to meet he and his
wife. He is a real estate broker and she was obviously going to give birth
soon. They didn't have time for the horses and knew they needed better care. The deal: free lease as
long as we didn't breed Billie and as long as we took better care of them than he had.
Full ownership after a year.
Since I kept my shire mare, Bella at Kelowna Stables, I made a deal with the Kelowna Stables
owner: I keep Leo at the ranch for free and I'll train Billie and Cammie for the trail string. When the
owner no longer wanted Cammie, I get her back.
Slowly I found out the back story of West Fen Billie and Leonidas. They came from Northeast
Shires in Vermont. Both are/were double registered shires. Cammie – we found out, was Billie's last
foal and best guess of the sire is Welsh Cob as she looks like one on steroids.She has both the shire and
Welsh demeanor. Leo and his mum were in bad nutritional state. Cammie was of good weight as she was
still trying to nurse from Billie when we brought them to the ranch.
Sizes when we obtained them: Billie was 17.3hh Leo was 18hh Cammie was 16hh
Now:Billie is deceased, 2018, but had gotten back to her former glory for awhile.
Leo is 19.2hh fullymatured and his half-sister Cammie is 16.3hh fully matured.
Dame Billie was part of these 2 very special RCMP officers for their wedding. Over 30 RCMP personnel had pictures taken
on Bille that day, all wearing their beautiful Mountie serge uniforms.
After assessing what was needed for health and training, Cammie got her boot camp that only took 2 weeks
of intensive daily training with me and then became part of the Kelowna Stables trail string in August of 2016,
where she is still at today. Some day, she will return to me.
Cammie during her 'boot camp' in August 2016
Leo started growing and growing and growing, topping out at his height in 2018 and then filling in his
width in 2019.
Harley with Leo the day we got him in August 2015. Harley is 6'1” and Leo standing next to a 14.hh horse 2019
I've never really had to “train” Leo as learn how to understand him. He doesn't refuse anything
– except: trailering Leo out of the former owner's land took 2 days of standing with his nose pointed at
getting into the trailer with his food in it. The next time he loaded in a trailer was in September of 2019
when I moved him to the north part of Kelowna and it only took 45 minutes. Finding a trailer that fits
him is tricky. He can load into a 3 horse -7' for short distances but he has to duck to fit. The 2019 trailer
was a 7'6” and he stood slightly better. I'm thinking he needs an 8 foot or a roofless one and he wears
goggles next time.
Shire temperaments are the best of any horse I've ever been in contact. They are all the things
equestrians want in temperament and oh so easy on your body for riding comfort. The story of Bella, my
first full shire is another story to tell for it is a love story.
2018 See how Leo had grown and is now taller than my black shire Bella at 18hh
Last time I checked, the true English Shire, the 'grate' horse of history, made a breed in 1536 by King
Henry VIII; there are less than 1200 registered left in the world. I've had the privilege of having 2 very
wonderful shires as my equestrian companions: Leo and my former heart mare Bella.
The last picture of Billie and her boy, Leo, together
Leo and I competing in "The Covid Derby 2020" August 2020, since I couldn't compete in 2020 Mongol Derby