Knightsbridge Farm
Knightsbridge Farm

Knightsbridge Farm is located on one of the many McNutt family ranches spread throughout the area surrounding beautiful Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada. Rocky Mountain House is situated in the northernmost portion of the Canadian Rockies at a crossroads between the foothills corridor to the north-south and the City of Red Deer, Alberta and Jasper and Banff National Parks to the east-west. The town lies at the confluence of the Clearwater and North Saskatchewan Rivers.

Rocky Mountain House has a long history dating back to the 1700s when it was settled by British and Canadian fur traders during the westward Canadian expansion. In 1799 the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company each established the Rocky Mountain House and Acton House fur trading posts. Trade with the local aboriginal peoples continued until 1821 when the companies merged and closed the Rocky Mountain House trading post. The name of the post remained however.

The Rocky Mountain House settlement also served as a launch point for many explorers in search of a passage west to the Pacific Ocean. Travelers used the town as a stopover on their way to destinations farther west or northwest.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the next wave of adventurers arrived hoping to capitalize on the opportunities available in a region with such abundant natural resources. Rocky Mountain House became a firmly established town by 1912.

Our Manager

Jennifer Kunz manages the 320 acre ranch and oversees the care of 135 Spotted Draft mares, geldings and foals along with another 25 horses of various breeds. An animal lover all of her life, Jennifer is passionate about her horses. She has been a horse owner for 13 years. While still in her teens, Jennifer became an avid fan of cutting and working cow horses when she spent three years working for a cutting horse trainer. Following high school, she attended the University of Calgary and Olds College where she majored in Equine Science, completing her degree with distinction. During the course of her studies, Jennifer earned numerous scholarships and awards for academic excellence.

For the past 8 years, Jennifer has been dedicated to horse rescue and the placement of at-risk horses. She spent 4 years in the position of Vice-President at FoalQuest, a PMU (Pregnant Mare Urine) placement organization where she coordinated the sale, care and logistics of transport/export of over 300 foals per year. Jennifer’s responsibilities also included responding to all customer service needs and the management of the volunteer staff. In the spring of 2005, Jennifer worked at Equine Services Ltd., a busy equine veterinary clinic where she performed her student practicum in equine care and management. In December 2005, Jennifer took over as manager of Knightsbridge Farm. Her academic and professional backgrounds coupled with outstanding organizational and computer skills have provided Jennifer with the knowledge and experience necessary to oversee such a large and complex operation.

The McNutt Family

The McNutt family settled in the area almost 100 years ago. J.J. McNutt came to Alberta, Canada in the fall of 1913 in search of land. The family, with six of their eventual nine children in tow, had decided to move north from southern Montana.

The first winter J.J. trapped fur-bearing animals for income, as the family had not brought any money with them to Canada. There was an abundant supply of rabbits and the lynx were plentiful. Lynx hides were worth about $15 each and a good trapper could catch several lynx in one season. Trapping provided an essential source of income for the McNutt family and many of the other early settlers.

The Flood

June 16, 1915 will be remembered as one of the most anxious days of the McNutt family’s early experience in Alberta. The McNutt home was located between the Clearwater River and a creek flowing into the river, a location that came in quite handy when it came to keeping the large family supplied with fish for the dinner table. Those who had known the area for some time felt that the location for the home was an unwise choice for Mrs. McNutt and her then eight children. But the happy-go-lucky J.J. so enjoyed stepping out the front door to catch fish that he didn’t give much thought to the possible dire consequences of living in such close proximity to a river.

Following is an account of what happened next from the McNutt family records.

"The Clearwater, ordinarily a bright clear stream with every stone and pebble visible, was a dirty boiling spread of water and it rose to the very brim of its banks. The rain continued to come down. Mrs. McNutt felt they should go up onto higher ground. The happy, carefree J.J. said if the river overflowed they would have a boat ride to safer ground. In the meantime, J.J. and his sons were busy cutting trees and began lashing them together for a float. The float turned out to be too short and the river was rising very fast. J.J., realizing his family was in trouble, hurried to the nearest neighbor for a team and a wagon. By now the water was so high on most of the flat that the team had to swim, pulling the floating wagon. The men quickly saw this was not going to work and turned back.

A neighbor had a boat under construction and it was finished in a hurry. Two other family friends climbed into the boat but before they had traveled far, the boat swamped and one of the boat’s occupants almost drowned. The effort was abandoned and the attempt to rescue Mrs. McNutt and her eight children had to be postponed until the following morning. By this time, most of the settlement had learned of the McNutt family’s plight and doubted they would see Mrs. McNutt and her children again.

Meanwhile, Mrs. McNutt had taken her children to the highest knoll they could find. The knoll had a number of large trees on it that she and the children considered climbing if the need arose. Soaked from the rain as it continued to fall, the family huddled together and waited for help to arrive.

About four in the morning, as soon as it was light enough to see, the men made another attempt to find the family. This time they planned to use saddle horses and swim them across the deep channels in the river. Since the settlers were still somewhat new to the area and the floodwaters made once familiar landmarks unrecognizable, the rescuers had a good deal of trouble finding the McNutt home. They lost a good deal of time but eventually the cabin was located and the men heard eldest daughter Laura's shouts that she and the rest of the family were safe."

The floodwaters receded and the family decided to return to the cabin where they lived for the next twenty-two years. Although there were a number of anxious moments, the river never again reached the level it had on that day.

For more information, please contact us at



Home | About Us | The Farm | The Spotted Draft | Our Horses | Jenn’s Diary | What’s New | Contact Us
© 2005 – 2008 Knightsbridge Farm. All Rights Reserved.