50-Year Breeders: William Boyes

50-Year Breeders: William Boyes

Though their ages have caused both of them to step back from the daily grind, their love for the horse business remains as strong as ever.

A large group of mares and foals stand in a grass pasture with a small pond in the foreground of the photo.

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Bill and Tarol Boyes of Carnduff, Saskatchewan, have enjoyed a life in the horse business. Bill, who turned 94 in January, purchased his first stallion, Mr Bed Bug, in 1969.

“At that time, there weren’t a whole lot of registered mares in our area,” Tarol says, “so a lot of the first foals were just off grade mares. Then as word got around, we got some other people’s papered mares brought to him. As time went on and we could afford it, we purchased registered mares and got into our basic breeding program.

Mr Bed Bug was a calf horse for Bill, but he wasn’t a big horse, and Bill liked horses with plenty of bone.

“Over the years, Bill purchased some other stallions as we got more mares, and we ended up with two sons of Two Eyed Jack, Barry Blue Jack and Two D Skip. Bill was interested in the old foundation bloodlines, so they improved our herd a lot.”

“He got some bloodlines that gave him bigger horses,” Tarol says, “and then he went into team roping.” The Boyes horses worked well for both roping and ranch work.

Bill had started a pregnant mare urine, or PMU, operation in 1964, and at the height of the operation, the Boyes family had about 125 broodmares. “Bill decided he may as well be raising registered colts, so it was sort of the best of both worlds,” Tarol remembers.

They still have about 30 mares, and son Slade looks after the horses on Bill’s behalf now. Tarol always handled the paperwork, and she says, “We’ve witnessed lots of changes in the Association over the years. We used to hand-draw all the markings on the registration applications. There have been added colors to the breed and all sorts of little things.”

Though their ages have caused both of them to step back from the daily grind, their love for the horse business remains as strong as ever.

“It has been our lifestyle, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” Tarol says, “and Bill still admires a good horse.”