PINNACLE FARMS

ATA MEMBERS & THEIR HORSES

D r e a m W e a v e r

By S.E. Hall

This is the story of an ongoing dream come true, from pre-conception to present. It's about many trials and tribulations that a breeder faces every day. The whole idea is that of wanting to breed really good, sound, levelheaded, honest animals that will do something with their lives and enjoy doing it in good health until they are old.

We started not planning or expecting very much. We bought a small farm seven years ago,moved in during the winter and when the spring came, thought it was high time that there was a horse on the property. I fancied breeding warmbloods and wanted to do the best that I could; that is, one day have one of our own make it to the top. People who don't share in the passion of horses, don't understand that such things are only possible if one has the dream to achieve such things. People tried to discourage us from breeding, period (too expensive); and, when they realized that we were going to anyway, they said, don't think about Olympic quality horses! Why not? Somebody has to produce them and they don't all have to come from overseas.

I would like to help encourage people new to the breeding business to first dream and then endeavor to make those dreams come true. We started by driving down a country road one sunny spring morning, reading the want ads in the newspaper. I saw a riding horse for sale and we called the number right away. The riding horse was unsuitable, but there was a beautiful, heavily pregnant mare out in the back forty. I inquired about her and was told she wasn't for sale. We thought she was perfect for us and spent the next two months pestering the owner for her. Finally she acquiesced and said I could breed the mare and take delivery when the foal she was now carrying was weaned. The next four weeks were spent looking for the right stallion for her. I personally viewed eight stallions and looked at videos of another eight to ten. Nobody was "Mr. Right," until the third stallion we saw on a Saturday afternoon. As I stood at the rail fence of a paddock and watched the Trakehner stallion Carino (by Liguster, out of Caterina by Kobalt), run free, something inside me clicked. I just knew that this was the perfect mate for my mare. He was very correct and his movements were stunning. Everything about him complemented Martella and vice versa.

When you dream of the unborn foal you hope that it will take the best that both dam and sire have to offer. You hope that it will be correct, intelligent, show promise of talent, even from its' first gallop beside mom, but most of all you pray that it arrives safely. Color and sex are insignificant, mere icing on the cake if it happens to be what you were hoping for.

Well, the arrival of MY SEQUOIA (by Carino out of Martella by the Holsteiner Martell) in 1990 was everything that we hoped for and more. He was an awkward looking, little wet bundle of indeterminate color, lying in the straw under the light of an infrared heat lamp on that cool April night. He has turned into a magnificent black stallion that has met or surpassed every expectation. It took him two hours to stand that first night, but he only tried it once and succeeded. He has maintained this trait throughout his life. He is a willing student who learns quickly and well.

My Sequoia's show career began at the ripe old age of six months. The venue was Canada's most prestigious line class at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Standing ringside, looking at eighteen other immaculately turned out, beautiful youngsters, we were so nervous and thought winning was an impossible task. Sequoia was Reserve Junior Champion that year! Of course this hooked us on showing. There isn't anything that quite compares to the adrenaline rush of winning and the sweet tears of pride that you feel in the corner of your eyes when you look at the lineup and realize that the colt wouldn't even be there if it weren't for you.

The next summer was a magical time for all of us. Sequoia did very well and received much coverage both in the ATA magazines and in local newspapers. He ended a great summer being Grand Champion at a show, even beating imported German stallions. At the Royal he won Reserve Grand Champion over eighty-one other horses.

So much as happened to Sequoia in his life so far, both good and not so good: he has traveled many miles, from the victories at the Royal to major surgery at Guelph University, from kicking me when he was three weeks old and breaking my rib, to being in the ribbons in his first two "A" circuit shows after only six month under saddle, from being a joyful mud puppy out in his paddock in the spring, to having an artist ask to do a portrait of him and his dam, which became a signed, limited edition of prints, that now hang in strangers' homes.

It is Magic! It can only happen if you dare to dream and work to make the dreams come true.

green point reprinted from: The American Trakehner
- Membership Issue - Summer 1995

 

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