The 2008 Pioneer Horseman Award Recipient is Stan Sahlstrom
Stanley D. Sahlstrom
Apr 15, 1921 - Jun 11, 2008
Stan Sahlstrom was truly one of the pioneers in Minnesota horse history.
He grew up working with horses on the family farm. During WWII, Stan assisted with the rescue of the famed Lipizaner horses in Austria. After the war, he returned to the Milaca, MN area and resumed teaching. In 1950, he went to the US Calvary Farm in Vermont and purchased 15 horses for himself & some investors (mainly other teachers at the college). These horses came to Minnesota, probably the first Morgan breeding stock in the state, and are the foundation of many current Morgan horses. Any Morgans whose pedigrees show ‘Milaca’, ‘Milstans’, ‘Mor-Ayr’, or ‘Sunflower’ horses trace back to this group
In 1959, Stan was one of the founders of the North Central Morgan Association, and served as its first President. He served on the Board of Directors for over 30 years, and served 6 years on the Board of the national Morgan Horse Club.
In 1965, Stan became Provost of the new Crookston campus of the University of Minnesota, and remained as Provost for the next twenty years. He is often called the ‘founding father’ of the Crookston campus. Stan was instrumental in starting the Light Horse Management Program at the Crookston campus, and seeing that the school had a working stable, breeding, training, and showing horses. Hundreds of the currently active horse trainers, breeders, and instructors in Minnesota are graduates of this program.
After retiring, Stan served two terms on the University Board of Regents, and was involved in getting the Daniel Gainey Arabian Farm in Owatonna converted into a college Training & Conference Center.
In 1998, Stan was the first recipient of the University of Minnesota, Crookston Equine Program’s STAN award (Spirit, Talent, Attitude, and Neighborliness) for his service to the equine industry.
Stan was an active horse show judge for many years, judging at State Fairs, County Fairs, and saddle club & 4-H shows. He was known for ‘coaching’ novices in the line-up, explaining to them their problems in the class, and how to deal with them.
In his own horses, Stan favored ‘old-style’ Morgans, with classic Morgan size & structure, and he favored the traditional bay, black, & chestnut colors. He also insisted on true Morgan temperament and conformation. He sold his last horses when he reached age 80, but continued involvement with the breed. In 2006, at age 85, he presented the award for Grand Champion Mare at the North Star Morgan Show. Stan had always valued the great broodmares of the herd, saying they were even more valueable than the breeding stallion.
Stan’ was a pioneer in the Minnesota horse industry, and his legacy lives on -- in the stock he raised, in the breed association he help found, in the horse program he started at the Crookston campus, and in the hundreds of horse people he has touched as breeder, judge, and teacher.