50-Year Breeders: Harold McLeod
50-Year Breeders: Harold McLeod
Fifty-year Legacy breeder Harold McLeod calls to mind Orren Mixer’s iconic painting when he’s thinking about the ideal American Quarter Horse. “I think that’s as close to perfect as you can get. I realize they’re not all perfect; there’s something wrong with every one, but you strive for perfection.”
So it’s very appropriate, then, that Harold’s first broodmare was named Lucky Beauty. A sorrel mare by Roco’s Luck 50, she was purchased by Harold as a 2-year-old in 1968 and gave him his first four foals, including a 1970 colt named Eagle’s Luck and Bars Lucky Strok, sired by Eagle’s Shand and Texas Reddy Bars, respectively. Bars Lucky Strok went on to produce nine foals for Harold.
Harold had grown up with horses. “I don’t think there was ever a day that I didn’t have one,” he says. “That was a long time ago, and there wasn’t much other method of transportation.” But there weren’t many American Quarter Horses where he was in Brookdale, Manitoba. He’d seen a few, though, and he was drawn to their disposition, stamina and good looks.
As Harold developed a pregnant mare urine business, he wanted to produce registered foals, so there would be a market for the babies. At one time, they had 75 Quarter Horse mares, plus nearly a hundred of other breeds.
“A lot of the horses have been the working cow-horse type. Many of them have ended up in the West, as we took them to sales in Saskatchewan,” Harold says. “We’ve had a number of repeat buyers in Ontario and Saskatchewan and have sold horses that have ended up in nearly every province and several states in the U.S.” One even ended up in Germany, with a proud owner who liked to call Harold in the middle of the night with updates.
“I didn’t mind. We were fortunate enough to get horses into some of those markets,” he says. “I kind of enjoyed visiting with (buyers) over the years. I guess along the way, it wasn’t so much the horses we owned as the people we met. That was the best part, hearing from the folks who have purchased our horses and the trainers who have showed and trained them for us. I have to thank them all. It’s just not possible without them.”
To date, Harold along with the help of his family, produced 889 foals. Although his breeding has greatly reduced since ceasing PMU operations, they still maintain a small herd of broodmares, most of them daughters of a successful cow horse stallion he owned and campaigned, Pepinics Paradise. Over the years, he has used a son of Coy’s Bonanza, a son of Two Eyed Jack, a son of Skipa Star, a grandson of Colonel Freckles, a son of Pepinics Master, a grandson of Peptoboonsmal and more. Today, his herd stallion is GR Peppys Legacy, a grandson of Peppy San Badger out of a Doc Bar-bred mare.
“I guess this legacy is going to continue,” Harold says, “because I just bought a weanling. He’s a yearling now.” The up-and-coming stallion carries the blood of Peptoboonsmal, Shining Spark, Peppy San Badger, Doc Bar and Coy’s Bonanza. “It’s a little of everything,” Harold says. “You put it all there and hopefully get something that’s decent. Usually, the good ones will find their way to the top, eh?”