After months of preparation on our part, the 2018 CTHS BC Yearling & Mixed Sale is over. It left us with some mixed emotions. What it all comes down to is that this is the business we have chosen. And it is a business. Moreover, it is our life, and we put so much of ourselves into our horses; from the moment we decide on the matings to the moment the hammer falls in the ring. There's a whole lot of cold days, hot days, fun days, and exciting times in between. We give our horses the best start in life we can, and we pray that the next chapter, when they leave the sale to start their racing careers, is a time where they can reach down within themselves and put to use the foundation and the lessons we've provided for them.
Pride in a Job Well Done
We're a small farm near Armstrong, BC. That means we do all the work ourselves; and there's a certain amount of pride in that. When we foal out a mare on a freezing morning, it's hers and our breath that mingle in the stall, as we await the new arrival. It's our hard work that helps that foal grow stronger every day. This year, we had the good fortune to bring into the world the first British Columbia-bred crop of our Unbridled's Song stallion, Value Plus. And we welcomed a special colt by classic siring stallion Maclean's Music. But there was another mission we were on; we had two yearlings to get ready for the CTHS BC Sale, and our focus each day was squarely on them and the continued growth and development of these two colts.
Matings Planned With Care
With our 2018 sale horses, it started with carefully planning the matings. One we loved because we believe in his sire, Gottcha Gold. This MGSW son of Coronado's Quest (himself MGSW of the Cowdin (G2), Travers (G1), Haskell (G1), Wood Memorial (G2), etc.), continues to impress as a sire. Gottcha Gold’s Deland won the Mo Exception Stakes at Gulfstream on September 7. Deland is a MGSW of over $300,000. Gottcha Gold is a leading sire in Canada this year, with progeny earnings of over $350,000. The dam of our Gottcha Gold colt was a winner of over $50,000 and the family included top horses such as leading BC-bred Romancing Stone.
Our second colt entered in the sale was by a stallion we have a lot of faith in - Graydar. Graydar is a son of the great Unbridled's Song, as is our stallion, Value Plus. From foals of racing age, Graydar has 64 winners, plus he's a top 10 3rd Crop Sire by earnings, and has sired 1 GSW, 2 SW and 3 SP horses. We really felt good about this horse a few years ago, before he burst onto the scene, and bred him to our Alphabet Soup mare, Flight Path. She was a winner at 3, 4, and 5; plus she's a 1/2 to a SW and producer. The page on this mare is very strong; with a number of SW and GSW performers in the family.
A Terrific Place to Raise a Thoroughbred
With these carefully planned matings and the hard work that goes into helping young horses become all they can be, we went forward through the last several years, watching over our mares, caring for them and their new foals, and bringing these two colts forward towards sale day in 2018. We believe the land in the Okanagan is a terrific place for young horses to develop the bone and vitality necessary for the rigors they'll face on the racetrack.
As the summer months of 2018 unfolded, much time was spent prepping the yearlings for the sale. The colts had grown not only in stature, but their personalities had developed; we saw glimpses of who they would be as mature individuals. Teaching them how to walk and stand calmly, and the grooming and handling that they received all added to their knowledge of what would be expected of them. We felt proud to be able to present these horses at the sale, as they represented the culmination of so many days and months of work and hope.
Our Weanlings Carry Hope for the Future
You might think we'd write an extensive bit on how the sale itself unfolded - but that has been well chronicled. We felt the pride that comes with a job well done, and when the sale concluded, it was time to make the long drive back to the farm and continue the cycle again. As we pulled up to the house, our eyes sought out the Three Musketeers - they are the future; Phil & Kyle (Value Plus colts) and Kevin (Maclean's Music colt).
So many days have passed already since they were foaled. Soon they will be yearlings and the process will go on. Sometimes we wonder about our place in the breeding and racing industry; and like many others, we want to participate at the highest levels of the game. What's gone before, and what's ahead of us, keeps us focused and hopeful. What we do today shapes what tomorrow will be like. And we have faith that the horses we raise here will go on to make us proud.