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About The Irwin Family

 

Sir Colonel

 

The Irwins were married in 1956. That was about 12 years B.C.
( Before Colonel ) And, they became very involved with Quarter Horses soo after. One of their early horses was a mare named Yucca Alice, purchased for $3500.00, a fair piece of change back then, and not too shabby by today's standards either. Sharlis and Bill credit her with firmly establishing the Irwin name. "Alice" was campaigned against the "biggies" of the day in the newly established BCQHA (British Columbia Quarter Horse Association).

The Irwins owned a stallion prior to Sir Colonel. A brown horse named Ricky Cocoa, who's bloodlines can still be found among the annals of BC bred Quarter Horses. Ricky was later gelded and was Kami Irwins first show horse.

In the Western Horseman book, " Legends Volume 2, chapter 9 begins: "One of the most universally recognized names in the annuls of the American Quarter Horse is that of Skipper W." In 1970, looking for a stallion for their small band of brood mares, Bill and Sharlis visited the Alamosa, Colorado, ranch of the "Master Breeder", H.J. "Hank" Weiscamp. Over the years, Weiscamp had developed a line of horses descending from the famous Skipper W, born on his ranch in 1945. The Irwins were completely hooked on the mares and stallions they saw as Mr. Weiscamp gave them the grand tour of his ranch.

When Sharlis and Bill left Alamosa, Colorado, they had a two year old stallion with them in their horse trailer. Sir Colonel, a line bred son of Sir Teddy out of a direct daughter of Skipper W. A young palomino with a pedigree that is still a household word today, was on his way to make his mark in British Columbia, Canada.

Sharlis recalls that on the four day trip back to B.C., they spent the time thinking about and planning the future of Country House Quarter Horses. As it turned out, the hopes and dreams they shared on that long ride home were destined to come true. Perhaps even beyond their earliest expectations.

In a March / April 1983 issue of The Quarter Circle, the official publication of the BCQHA, Sharlis writes: "We stood Colonel in his three year old year, and out of his first crop of foals he sired such notables as Century 72, twice a Youth Champion with 143 halter points and 131 performance points, Country Dainty Dish, twice Honor Roll Bridle Path Hack of the Nation with 28 halter points and 349 performance points,( her lifetime points total, today in 1999, is 571!) Country Eclipse, BC's top trail Trail Horse and ROM performance, Country Irwinski, BC's High Point Team Roping Association Horse, and Colonels Lady Mac, 30 Halter and 11 Performance points.

And that was just his first foal crop!

In the more than 20 years that followed, the "hits just kept on comin'!" Old Lady Irwin; AQHA Champion and AQHA Youth Champion, amassed an astounding 879 points!; Ima Century Two, AQHA Champion, Youth Champion, 30 Halter points and 139 performance points; Irwins Medallion, who was the first BC bred Supreme Youth Champion, has a point total of 473!; Palo Colorado, Youth Champion, ROM performance and Champion at Halter; and Pacific Image, 18 Halter Points and 56 Performance points. And the list goes on...and on...and on!

When Sharlis and Bill Irwin brought Colonel Home from Hank Weiscamp's Alamosa Colorado ranch in 1970, Kami was eight and Jaimin was four. The girls grew up with Colonel and his babies.

Sir Colonel, two pleasure points short of what he needed for his Championship, returned to the show ring at the age of 15. In July of 1983, In Duncan, BC, Kami Irwin won a four point Hunter Under Saddle Class and the veteran stallion became an AQHA Champion!

As a young stallion, he won many Grands and Reserves under such respected judges as Tommy Manion, Thane Lancaster, Dan Opie, Roger Ruetenik, and Walter Hughes.

No outside professional trainers or handlers were involved in Sir Colonel's AQHA Championship. The Irwins, as a family, did it themselves!

"He was a true family horse," says Sharlis. "We all rode him." According to Sharlis Colonels most outstanding trait was that he was an "honest horse," a trait that he passed on to his foals.

Sir Colonel died in 1995. He's buried on their property, near the barn, and will always be the "heart" of The Home of the Irwins.

Many of the Irwins Horses today still carry Sir Colonel's name in their pedigree's.

 

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BILL IRWIN

Nov.19 1934

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Sept. 5  2008

WE MISS YOU DEARLY