Hall of Fame
The 2005 inductee to the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame in the builder category is Mr. Dave Manning of Metiskow, Alberta. Dave was born October 14, 1941 to Dennis and Phillis Manning of Cadogan, Alberta. Brother to Gwen, Pat, Frank, and twins Lyle and Leslie. Dave started training horses at a very young age at his father’s homestead. In his youth he calf roped and steer wrestled with his brother at local rodeos.
Dave has owned and managed his own horse training stables for the past 40 years and started showing in 1970. From 1970 – 1976 he competed at Quarter Horse shows in Western Canada in trail, pleasure, western riding, reining, working cow horse and cutting. 1977 saw the beginning of the “Mr. Snaffle Bit” Legend. In his trademark black hat and orange chaps Dave was champion or reserve champion in the 3 year old snaffle bit classes at the Cochrane Stock Horse Show, the Alberta Futurity and Stakes Association Futurity, and the Saskatchewan Stakes and Futurities. From 1977 to 1989 Dave left his mark in snaffle bit futurities, hackamore reining, working cow horse classes and bridle classes across Western Canada and the North Western United States. His lists of accomplishments are long and include:
• Champion of the Saskatchewan Stakes & Futurities 3 Year old Snaffle Bit Working Cow Horse Futurities in 1978, 1981 to 1984.
• Champion of the Saskatchewan Stakes and Futurities Snaffle Bit Reining Class in 1977 and 1978.
• Champion of the Cochrane Stock Horse Show 3 Year Old Snaffle Bit Working Cow Horse and Reining Futurities in 1977 and 1978.
• Champion of the Cardston Stock Horse Show 3 Year Old Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1979.
• Champion of the Manitoba Reined Cow Horse Assoc. Snaffle Bit Working Cow Horse Futurity in ’82 and ’84.
• Champion of the Manitoba Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Cutting in 1982.
• Champion of the Big “I” Dual Crown Snaffle Bit Futurity, Helena, Montana in 1984.
• Four time champion of the Canadian Supreme Open Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1978, 1979, 1984 and 1986.
• Champion of the Canadian Supreme Bridle Working Cow Horse in 1987.
The aura around Dave Manning was much like an old west cowboy riding into town to save it from the bad guys. Dave only rode out of the hills a couple or 3-4 times per year but when he did he brought a mystique with him.
Both he and his horses were very competitive, often placing first, second and third or first, second and fourth in a class. Dave would often place 3 or 4 horses in the top ten of every futurity for that year. Dave and his horses were a little wild as well. This excitement contributed to the key element about Dave Manning, not only were his customers his clients but they were fans on a very large scale. They were people that came to a working cow horse event to not only see a working cow horse class but to watch Dave Manning perform. They were dedicated Dave Manning fans throughout his show career and often long after. And Dave never let them down. The wild and wooly style of Dave Manning fitted this era of the working cow horse like a glove. It was also needed at a time when working cow horse events were trying to become a major force in the equine industry. The excitement created in the stands about Dave’s performances were a major contributing factor to the growth and popularity of the working cow horse industry in western Canada and the north western United States.
Dave is the father to Brice, Chad and daughter Koreena from his first marriage to Carol Gregory. He is remarried to Sherry Machan and they have one son Travis. As well Dave is grandpa to seven grandchildren. Throughout the years Dave has given clinics on training the young colt through to the finished horse across western Canada including Grant MacEwan College, Cypress Hills Community College, Olds College, Lakeland College and Fairview College. Dave is still training horses at his training stable and from kid’s ranch horses to barrel racing, team penning and roping horses they all get his special level of attention.
Dave is well known and respected in the horse business for all of his horse showing achievements; his instructing abilities and for being an all around nice guy. His huge following has made itself heard over the years in loud cheers, foot stomping and
whistling. This was never more apparent then when Dave came back to compete in the Legends in the Fall Competition at the 1996 Canadian Supreme.
A client and friend of Dave’s’ Brenda Bell wrote this poem in tribute to Dave Manning and all he stands for:
Never have I heard dangnamit with such vigor;
nor see a man who doesn’t think only figur’s.
He may be the last of a dying breed;
but his old time cowboy attitude is to heed.
He trains the horses for his money;
sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s funny.
The man says he don’t ride pretty;
but he sticks through the tough & the gritty.
There’s only three things to be known;
first consistency must be shown;
second, keep in mind some common sense;
third have a reason for it all, don’t be dense.
With this in mind you now have the basis;
To put your own colt through the paces.
Every once & awhile he’ll take a fall;
But big or small he’ll train ’em all.
The cowboy is old fashioned and true;
from him each day you’ll learn something new.
He’s a man you can’t help but respect;
your outlook on life he will affect.
I’m better to have met this man;
and I will be a life long fan.
He has given me confidence on which I draw;
to follow the path of a dream I saw.
With special thanks to Dave Manning
By Brenda L. Bell