Both of us grew up with more than the usual dose of love for animals. It did not matter what kind. As companions and as friends, animals were a large part of our youth. At some point early on, horses were introduced to both of us. Not show horses, just riding horses- bareback, gymkhana, as a means to interact socially with other kids who also liked animals with no particular need to extract a ribbon or prize. Listening to the sound of a horse chewing its hay was pleasure enough. Both of us, almost by accident, came across people who showed Arabian horses and thus it began. My story has been fairly well documented. For three decades, I have been in the middle of a wonderful, decorated, and published career. For Ann, her story has been blurred a bit by raising our children, caretaking, and running a household. In truth she was not that interested in horse shows. However, she never waivered from her love of horses and animals.
In 1981 at the Canadian Arabian Nationals, Ann made an enormous breakthrough in the show world; she claimed the title of Canadian National Champion English Pleasure AOTR. What was amazing about this title was that it came at a time when there were no age divisions, only one class. Adults, kids, everyone rode in the same class. Aboard Ravon, she won the National Championship. In doing so, at the of age sixteen, she bested some seasoned veterans such as Misdee Chauncey who was aboard the highly decorated Heritage Emir. Later in the fall of 1981, Ann went on to claim the titles of US Reserve National Champion Saddle Seat Equitation and English Pleasure 14-17. She completed her junior years by winning more Top Tens in English and Western. Most importantly her love of animals continued to grow. Once her junior rider years were over, it was off to college to earn a B.A. in Psychology.
Ann and I met during her junior years, and we became friends which was part of my initial reason for moving to Texas. Throughout her college years, we maintained our friendship seeing each other when and where possible. After graduating, Ann took a job with an airline which allowed us to meet more freely; she joined me at horse shows when time allowed. We were married in 1988. Although initially indecisive about staying in the Arabian horse business, I did. We relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where we began anew both in our lives and my own commitment to being in the horse business. We also started our family; first with son Griffin and later adding two daughters, Hannah and Hallie. It was also during that time that Ann began showing again. In 1995 and 1996 she won several national titles including US National Champion English Pleasure 18-39 riding our beloved JA Rave Review. However given the responsibilities of our children, the riding once again took a back seat. Her US National Championship in 1996 would be her last competition. After a few years in Georgia, we decided to relocate to Texas where we would reunite with Ann’s family, raise our children, and commit to finding a home and canvas for our dreams.
In moving to Texas, we both agreed whatever we purchased would be about having a beautiful place to have our animals. Our Atlanta facility had been about commercialism; this one would not. It would be about beauty, nature, pastures, serenity, and a place where our animal friends could thrive. After a long search, aided by a friend’s watchful eye, we were able to find our paradise in New Ulm, Texas.
The development and progress of our farm has been a wonderful. .We leave you with a pictorial essay. Our animals thrive and we feel blessed to share this glorious place. Enjoy.