"Mr. Appaloosa" 1907 - 1980

James (Jim) Wyatt was born September 8th 1907, in the old Boulton house on the south side of the Sheep River, 2 miles north of the town of Aldersyde. He moved to the Buffalo Hills (50 miles east of High River), with his parents in 1909. Jim and his brother, Frank, broke many horses for the ranchers and farmers in that area during the years from 1923 to 1935. In the hungry thirties, they broke a lot of horses for the Hart Parr Tractor Co. who were taking in a lot of horses in trade for their tractors in 1936-1938. Jim and Irene (married in 1934) and Frank stayed on the old homestead and operated the ranch until 1944. At that time Jim bought the old Tom Noble Ranch west of High River and moved his wife and family to that area in March 1945.

Jim started his purebred Hereford herd in 1942 registering his cattle with his ranch name "Wyalta" (Wyatt and Alberta). Jim started breeding Appaloosas in 1942 but owned Appaloosas for about 10 years before that. His first Appaloosa was an "old mare" he saw pulling a stone boat and he decided he wanted that mare and that was the beginning of his breeding of the Appaloosa horse. Jim later purchased Speckel Boy in 1947. Jim was an excellent horse person, breaking and training all his horses until his boys were old enough to help him. He passed much of his knowledge on to his children and grandchildren.

Jim has been a director of the High River Rodeo and Fair and The High River Agricultural Society since 1945. A director of the Millarville Agricultural and Racing Association, director of the Hereford Association, and involved in all community activities. Jim also worked with the Canadian Girl's Rodeo Assoc. and gave an Appaloosa foal to the top Junior All Around for many years - a tradition which was carried on by his wife - Irene - and now by his son, Syd.

Jim was a director on the ApHC, Moscow, Idaho from 1952 to 1961 receiving a Shatka Bear-Step belt buckle for his services.

Jim, along with Grant MacEwan and Lorne Stout, was instrumental in forming the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada in 1954 and I believe that Jim Wyatt did more in Canada for the Appaloosa horse than any other person during his time - he supported the Appaloosa all his life. Jim was President of the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada for 11 years and a director for 21 years. Jim judged many ApHC shows in the USA, gave many clinics all over Canada and some in the US. He was a well known carded judge for the ApHCC as well as one of the highest rated judges on the CHSA list of judges.

Jim and his wife, Irene, ran the ApHCC office out of their home west of High River from 1954 to 1968, the office space remains intact to this day and much history can still be seen there.

The Wyalta Ranch has been known as the Appaloosa Capital of Canada.

Jim and his well known Appaloosa stallion, Speckel Boy, won many awards in Canada and the US. In 1949 Speckel Boy, then new at the show business, won first in cow cutting and third in the stock horse class at the National Appaloosa Show at Lewiston, Idaho. Speckel Boy made an indelible imprint on Canadian stock horse competition in 1950, winning nine firsts in nine starts, then in 1951 Jim and Speckel Boy won the calf roping in record time at the Fourth National Appaloosa Show.Jim and family were known to load up as many as 20 horses and go off to an Appaloosa Horse show and have an entry in every class! One of Jim's favorite classes was the Get of Sire class - he believed this was the proof of a successful breeding program.

One of the great moments for Jim was in 1956 when he sold an Appaloosa stallion, "Speckel 3 Dot", sired by Speckel Boy, to actor Slim Pickens and he can be seen in the movie "Big Country". Jim has exported his horses all over the USA and sold a top stallion to New Zealand, which went on to be Champion Stallion in New Zealand.

The names of Jim Wyatt's sires and dams are still turning up in many horse pedigrees today. Get of Jim's horses have won numerous awards throughout the years. One of Jim's dreams was to judge the Canadian National Show.

Jim Wyatt was the first to be inducted into the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada Hall of Fame in 1993 and it is only fitting that six years later in 1999, his stallion Speckel Boy joined him in this honor.

story by Donna Wyatt


James Wyatt | Grant MacEwan | Jo Warren | Patchy's Jr. Lila Gleska | BCA Flyin Higher
Werner Paysen | Winston Bruce | Speckel Boy | Three Bars Queen | Irene Wyatt | Bill Lucas
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