CYTY HEAT… The Next Generation
A commonly used phrase is ‘great things come in small packages,’ and that can certainly be said for the champion-producing breeding program of Salisbury Farms.
Salisbury Farms is the creation of Robert (Bob) Sproule of Sherwood Park, located just outside Edmonton, Alberta. The farm is named after the family greenhouse business, Salisbury Greenhouse, which has been synonymous with the Sproule family in the county of Strathcona for many generations.
Bob’s foray into the horse business has been a passion that has now extended over 50 years. His first memories are of the Standardbred racehorses that were boarded on his family’s farm. He says with a laugh that he spent more time in the air or on the ground than on their backs.
Over his lifetime, Bob has owned over 100 registered Arabians and bred more than 50 himself. He is a Past President of the Canadian Arabian Horse Registry (CAHR) and currently sits as its treasurer.
Anyone who knows Bob understands quickly that anything he undertakes is done with thought and attention to detail. Fifteen years after the selection of Cyty Heat as Salisbury Farms’ herd sire, the stallion’s reputation – first established for successful, amateur-friendly show horses, and now as a broodmare sire – has forged a path to success for this small farm.
Although owned by Bob, Salisbury Farms has always seemed to be a joint effort as Bob has surrounded himself with trusted confidants who share his passion for the Arabian horse. In the earlier years, Bob and Pat McKeown, also of Sherwood Park, would be seen at most shows hanging over the rail, watching the classes intently. It was Pat’s El Hilal son Pad-O- Mac Hilan that gave Bob his appreciation for the beauty of the El Hilal lines. In 2005 a young lady by the name of Dana Romijn came to buy the Cyty Heat son Cyty Gaits+ from Salisbury; her name has since become synonymous with the farm.
Salisbury Farms’ Cyty Heat has gained a reputation as one of the most consistent performance horse sires in Canada. In early 2000, Salisbury had been searching for a new show horse and herd sire for quite some time. The objective was a stallion suitable for showing in Western Pleasure, and, hopefully, a sire of future champions. After an exhausting search, their quest lead them to RO Lervick Arabians of Stanwood, Washington. At Lervick’s, Bob came upon a two-year-old colt sired by the National-winning performance and halter stallion Cytosk+++/ and out of one of the typiest halter mares in the industry – Arabay Hilana, a beautiful dappled-bay daughter of El Hilal.
When the deal was struck, Cyty Heat was on his way to Canada. Upon his arrival in his new home, Cyty Heat (or “Marcus” as he is affectionately known around the barn) was placed in training with Carla Jackson, who trained at Whelihan Arabians at the time. He went on to win regional and national titles such as Top Ten at the 2007 Canadian Nationals in Ladies’ Western Pleasure Sidesaddle.
After a brief retirement from the show ring, it was decided to send Cyty Heat, age 12, to Joe Reser of Setting Sun Stables in Wakarusa, Indiana, where he yet again came out to win Top Ten in Open Western Pleasure at Canadian Nationals. Between stints in the show ring, Cyty Heat was siring national and regional winners in halter, western pleasure, western sidesaddle, hunter pleasure, English sidesaddle and sport horse under saddle.
Not quite content to let him finish out his days in the pasture, in 2012 Bob and Dana brought Cyty Heat back to the show ring at age fifteen. In the spring of that year, Bob and Dana moved Cyty Heat to Michelle Hansen’s Spiritwood Farms. During the spring and early summer of 2012, Dana did all the conditioning and training herself and came out with a brilliant performance – some would say Cyty Heat had never looked better. With Dana at the reins, Cyty Heat went on to win Region 17 Reserve Champion Open Western Pleasure and Canadian National Top Ten Western Pleasure ATR 19-39.
The future has never looked brighter as Cyty Heat continues to sire performance stars for Salisbury Farms and their clients. Salisbury has fostered a flourishing working relationship with Joe and Michele Reser of Setting Sun Stables, using stars such as Monticello V and Poco Van Star II on Cyty Heat daughters with remarkable results. These exciting youngsters will be hitting the show ring in the years to come, continuing on with the next generation of versatile performance horses from Salisbury Farms.