It was with extreme sadness that this great mare was humanely put to sleep on August 20, 2002 at Springbank, Alberta.  She had been coping with blindness for the last six years and was in failing health when the decision was made to end her discomfort.  Attended by her owner and her long term veterinarian, Dr. Wayne Burwash, her final moments were peaceful as she left this world in the company of friends.

Sired by The Milkman, (Prince Plaudit - Skipper W bred stalliion) and out of Slippery (by MIghty Bounce by Mighty Bright), Dari Maid represented the strongest bloodlines of her generation.  Bred by George Minic of Fresno, California, she was foaled in 1979 and imported to Canada as a weanling by the partnership of Russ Kitchin and Bob Carmicheal.  She began her illustrious show career with a win and Junior Championship her first time out after a 2000 mile trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

As a yearling, she attained some of her greatest accomplishments by winning that year's National Championships in Yearling Fillies, bieng named Junior Grand Champion Filly and culminating it all by being awarded the Jo Warren Medallion as the Champion of Champions.  Numerous World and National Champion horses were in attendance and by defeating them, she established herself as one of the premier individuals in the breed.

Later under the sole ownership of Russ Kitchin, she attained two more National Championships in Halter as a two year old and as a Broodmare.  In addition, Dari Maid was named Grand Champion Mare on countless occasions and held a Superior Halter Horse Award.

Long-time trainer, Rick Hemmett began her career under saddle as a three year old and she excelled as a riding horse.  Halter and Trail along with English and Western Pleasure were her strong suits and she made lasting impressions on all who saw her perform.  National and Reserve National Championships in Western Pleasure, Trail and High Point Performance Horse added to her long list of credentials.  Superior event awards were also added to her accomplishments.

Large offers were tendered by many North American horsemen who appreciated her many assets and wished to acquire the phenomenal mare.  But Mr. Kitchin decided that she belonged to Canada and graciously declined these substantial offerings.

Upon retirement from the Show Ring, "Miss Piggy" as she was affectionately called proved to be an exemplary producer.  Her first foal, Talisman was a multiple National Champion. Next followed Irish Mister, a Reserve National Champion Stallion that excelled as an all-round performance horse and sire.

A number of daughters were then produced and they immediately went into the breeding program to propagate their mother's many qualities.

Medallion was another standout stallion produced by Dari Maid.  With limited showing, he was Reserve High Point Yearling Stallion for Alberta and was World Qualified that same year.  He has since gone on to be Rick Hemmett's senior stallion at Horses Unlimited.

And Desparago, the gorgeous chestnut gelding owned by Dr. Gaye Kropf proved the timelessness of Dari Maid offspring by earning Reserve Canadian High Point and Alberta High Point Aged Gelding status in 1999, almost two decades after his dam was named National Champion.

Upon the retirement of Russ Kitchin, all of his horses were purchased by Mr. Hemmett and the breeding program has continued to this day.  During her lifetime, Dari Maid was bred to some of the finest Canadian stallions of her time.... Already Here, Tuff One, Ima Top Quest Dandy, Straw Magic, Texago, Off The Line, Devil Diver and Hot Pretense (AQHA).  All contributed to the formation and foundation of this quality herd of her descendants.

Although blind for a number of years, "Piggy" coped well with her handicap and continued to raise phenomenal foals.  Wit small bells tied to their tails, the babies let Mom know of their where-abouts wih every swish.  Of course, they earned barn names such as "Belle", "Chime" and "Ringer" because of this unique arrangement.

Always a contributor and valued friend, during the winter months the old matron still earned her keep by serving as grandmother and companion to each year's weanling crop.  The babies learned manners and gentleness from a real lady.

Dari Maid's descendants have been just as prolific as breeding animals.  Through out-crosses to such prominent bloodlines as Maid's Dream, Sonny's Security, At Long Last and other modern sires, the blood of Dari Maid continues to course through the veins of many of the finest Appaloosa horses on the continent.

The majority of horses at Horses Unlimited carry her genes and so she will live on through the numerous fine animals she has endowed with her many qualities.

Her presence, haughty demeanor, gentleness, her honesty and of course her matchless quality will long be remembered by all who were privileged to be a part of the life of this now legendary Canadian Appaloosa Champion. 

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