Caroline gives an insight into what goes on in her daily life, sharing the highs and lows of running a successful Studfarm.
Well its not long until the New Year. We are currently underneath what seems like a mountain of snow and ice, which naturally makes life harder when working with horses.
Currently we have 15 horses at home and 3 over at my "over flow" yard (aka my mothers stables). I have to say we would be lost without this additional facility as it bodes well with having two stallions at home.
Who can believe that Christmas is almost a week ago and in two days time we will be into the New Year. It wont be long before foals start to appear and we hit the breeding season with great gusto.
MFS French Noir, MFS Edison and MFS Eros are all now safe and happy in their new homes. MFS Florencia, MFS Ella Rosa and MFS Eva Bella remain at home, and are happy playing in their new big pen together.
We are coming to terms with a new puppy in our lives. The lovely "Lucy" that was a Christmas gift from my husband to myself. She was a very sick puppy for the first few days, but with the excellent treatment by the vets and ourselves she has come through this and is now enjoying a new lease of life, which included eating my joddy boots. But I forgive her for this, as seeing her so lively is just a joy.
In a weeks time I hope to make the journey down to the BEF British Breeders Dinner and Awards in London, where we will receive an award for breeding the Highest Scoring Yearling from the BEF Young Horse Evaluations/Futurity in 2009.
We were going to be heading to Den Bosch in Holland to watch the KWPN Stallion Show, but alas we are now unable to attend. However, we will be keeping a close watch via the web and live links to the show. I always enjoy this show, not only to see all the young up and coming stallions, but it gives me a good indication of what some stallions are producing in their offspring. It also gives us a chance to see the older stallions "come of age" under saddle in either the dressage or showjumping disciplines. I was very much looking forward to seeing the first stallion crop from "Vivaldi", the chestnut sensation who's foals have taken Holland by storm and winning most championships. I am also sure that "Moorlands Totalis" will also be making an entrance, perhaps on the Friday dressage night.
So we look forward to 2010 and hope that this new year gives us another healthy batch of foals, that all the breeding of the mares for ourselves and clients go smoothly and without hitches. We have all seen just what can happening during a breeding season, and for us 2010 certainly had lots of ups and downs. I guess the end of year makes you reflect on what you have achieved over the last year, and also to ponder what is in front of you in the new one.
For us 2009 started off with great success, with all of our foals born fit and well. Sadly we lost the stunning "MFS Eragon" who we had selected as a possible stallion prospect for the future. Our stallion "MFS VISION" came back from Holland with an injury which put him out of the whole 2009 breeding season, which in turn left a lot of disappointed breeders who were looking for fresh & chilled semen. We have everything crossed that he will be fit and well again in 2010 for breeders, as his stock continue to do well. He has certainly enjoyed his holiday.
2009 also seen as introduce the wonderful "DON AQUI" to the UK, our new black Hanovieran Approved stallion, who arrived in March from Germany. Due to this stallions accolades and what he has done both in sport and what his progeny are doing in Germany, he proved very popular with mare owners across the country, and we will eagerly await his first UK foal crop in 2010.
Despite the fact that our much beloved stallion "ROYAL GENEVE" is no longer with us, his stock continue to do very well. One at the top of the list is the outstanding black dressage gelding "Riviera L". Out of a Rubinstein mare and bred by MKM Sportshorse Stud (owned by good friends of ours, Karen and Michael Malcolmson) and owned by Julie Langlands (ridden by Laura Fry), this young horse has gone from strength to strength. Currently competing and winning at Elementary and Medium Level, having qualified and competed at the National Championships several times.
We then had great success with homebreds throughout the 2009 showing season, with MFS Fancyman crowned Champion Yearling Sports Horse at the Royal Highland Show, one of the biggest County Shows in the UK.
This followed with excellent results at the BEF Futurity, with our foals leading the way in Scotland in all three disciplines, and MFS Dandyman becoming the highest scoring yearling in the UK!!
The Hanoverian Grading that took place at our Stud was also a great success, with all the mares receiving excellent results and going into the Main Hanoverian Stud Book, with "WHY BELLA" gaining super marks that gave her an overall average of 8 and high remarks from Ted Green the BHHS Chairperson.
Towards the end of the season MFS Caliana was also the Highest Scoring Horse at the Scottish Sports Horse Gradings, judged by NRPS officials from Holland. It was a great achievement for us as a Studfarm, not only because this exceptional filly is by our own stallion MFS Vision, but also out of a Scottish bred mare.
Sadly though this "highlight" was slightly marred by a few at the SSH who deliberately omitted our success from the SSH Grading Report, by not acknowledging us as the breeders of this fantastic two year old filly. Despite the fact every other breeder was mentioned. This I find very unprofessional, and sadly makes me and others question their intent and leadership of breeding in Scotland and the UK. Breeders do not get the recognition they deserve a lot of the time, so to deliberately omit this information (even with us asking for our names to go into the report) only shows the pettiness of the few.
So for now our wonderful Anja (our dummy mare named after one of our favourite mares) is in storage waiting for another busy 2010 breeding season. It wont be long before she stretches her legs agin ready for her adoring stallions. :o)
Luckily for us the successes of our breeding stock speak volumes, and this is the most important aspect for us as a Studfarm. To this end we wish to thank all our family, friends and clients, both old and new, and would like to wish you all the greatest success in 2010.
I have to say that I am not a fan of the "white stuff"! It brings nothing but more work, delays and just makes its so much harder to do anything.
We have had snow for coming on four weeks. It was not funny when it started before Christmas, as it meant we could not travel to Aberdeen for Christmas shopping, or go and visit family and friends because of the road conditions, and it certainly is not funny now. The weather in the last week resulted in me being unable to attend work for a couple of days. Thankfully I anticipated this and brought work home with me. My car has not moved for a week, and if it had not been for Gordon's jeep we would never have left the farm.
We are now sitting in several feet of snow, our roads have been blocked and yesterday we even had the road gritter lorry stuck in our driveway as the driver tried to negotiate our road which now resembles a World Cup Toboggan Run!! The only thing the driver was missing was the fetching lycra suit and a sledge.....don't think he would have been too pleased if I suggested that to him yesterday as he was digging out his back tyres in the snow drift he had reversed in to.
Thankfully our automatic waterers have remained faithful and not frozen with us, so that is one thing to be thankful for. At one point the diesel was also frozen in our tractor which resulted in a whole day to try and get it going again thanks to a local mechanic.
Sadly all this snow meant that we were unable to fly down to London on Friday, for last nights British Breeders Awards Dinner. This was a great disappointment for us, not only because it is not often that you win an award for your breeding achievements, but we were very much looking forward to meeting up with some good friends down there.
We are hoping that a friend, Jamie from Equine Reproduction managed to pick up the award on our behalf last night. Unfortunately along with this snow we also have no mobile network at home, which means that I am unable to text anyone, including Jamie.
So we trudge on with the horses, nothing else for it. They are all tucked up nice and warm inside, so really are not bothered at all about what is happening outside.
Lucy on the other hand is having the time of her life in the snow, and its just a delight to watch her jumping in the snow and enjoying herself so much.
So the next few weeks for us is much of the same. Hope that this snow finally decides to disappear, for the sake of everyone (well barring the skiiers of course). Next on our agenda is to do the annual pre breeding tests on the stallions, to make sure all is well for CEM and EVA. Likewise we start to slowly count down to the start of foaling, with our first foal due around the end of March/beginning of April. So the work continues....