History of Epiphany Bay Farm 2012
The First Year with Two Cleveland Bay Hunting Days. December 2, 2012: New Market - Middletown Valley Hounds and Margaux Tip Farm (Hunter and Lauren Wilson) hosted the second Cleveland Bay Hunting Day for 2012. New Market - Middletown Valley Hounds hosted the first ever Cleveland Bay Hunting Day in 2008. The weather was delightful, the fixture beautiful and the participants all had a grand time. The hunt was followed by a delicious breakfast in the Wilson's pool house.
Fourth Annual Cleveland Bay Hunting Day. November 3, 2012: Thank you to Steffanie Burgevin, The Fairfax Hunt and Farmer's Delight Plantation for a wonderful day. The day was a bit windy and cooler than expected. Despite this, it was a lovely fall day in Virginia with many of the trees still sporting their fall colors. Eight Cleveland Bays and their riders were present for the event and had their photo taken for the traditional CB Hunting Day photo. The hunt was followed by a delicious breakfast held inside the manor house at the plantation. We quite enjoyed visiting with friends and new acquaintances.
Natural Horsemanship Clinic with James Anderson. October 14, 2012: The clinic was held at Guildord Manor in Haymarket, VA. This is a series of clinics held monthly throughout the winter. We took Lady Leone to the clinic. She was given the opportunity to work through all of the obstacles on line. There was a square filled with brightly colored small plastic balls, Cornstalk people, a spiral, walk poles of mixed heights and spacing, a tarp, a rocking bridge, barrels, a fluffy purple pillow on an orange line, a mattress and colored barrels. True to form, none of these items phased Leone. Not even walking through all of the brightly colored small balls.
As can be seen in the photos, there are many windows in the indoor arena. Under saddle, Leone's attention was frequently drawn to horses and riders who were moving around outside the arena. Children were playing outside of the arena making the usual noises of children at play. Occasionally, the children were popping up and looking inside the windows. Leone did very well with all of these new experiences.
Fall Updates. October 8, 2012: For the past month Epona has been at the Anderson's being put under saddle. Epona took to being ridden like a duck takes to water. She spent the month out on trails in the mountains learning to negotiate many different types of obstacles and becoming quite fit! Mr. Anderson declared her to be "bombproof" when Mike arrived to bring her home. Lady Leone continues to do well under saddle. Mahogany is back in light work.
We are down to two foals due for 2013. Both Mahogany and Abigail have been confirmed in foal. Unfortunately, Rose has slipped her foal. We are quite disappointed as her foal would have been a full sibling to Epiphanybay Hamilton.
Hamilton. August 27, 2012: We recently received photos of Hamilton, who is now in California, from his owner, Rachel. Hamilton looks great and is coming along nicely in his training. Rachel is playing with Hamilton at liberty. In the photo of Hamilton going over the jump, Rachel said he just kept going around the arena to go over the jump. Seems he enjoys jumping. Thanks Rachel for the photos!
Note: Hamilton's dam, Candy and Roses (TB) is in foal to Penrhyn Bayswater for a 2013 foal. This foal will be a full sibling to Hamilton.
Three Mares in Foal. August 7, 2012: Today, we received confirmation that the third mare which we had bred is definitely in foal. This means we will have one foal due in May and two foals due in June of 2013.
Howard County Fair, Maryland. August 6, 2012: We took our three year old purebred filly, Epiphanybay Independence "Penny" to the Cleveland Bay Show at Howard County Fair. She did superb! She won the In-Hand Junior Champion, the In-Hand Division Champion and the Cleveland Bay Horse Society High Point Purebred Ribbon.
Two is One too Many. July29, 2012: This past Friday, we took Rose to be ultrasounded. She had double ovulated and there was a concern she may have twinned. On the ultrasound screen, what popped up? Yup, two conceptus (fertilized ova). Rose will spending a few days at the reproduction center, with the goal that there will be one healthy ova left intact. We hope they don't pinch off the filly! This foal will be a full sibling to the gelding we bred, Epiphanybay Hamilton.
One Confirmed, Two to Go. July 22, 2012: July has been a busy month for getting mares bred. We transport the mares to the farms where their chosen suitor resides. This trip is frequently made in addition to visits at the Equine Reproduction Center where the mares are checked to ensure they will be visiting their chosen suitor at the appropriate time. On occasion, the time for visiting the suitor does not occur at a convenient time for us or for the owner of the suitor. This past week entailed once such situation. We did not leave our farm until 8 pm (and without dinner) due to our schedules. We drove during and through a severe thunderstorm arriving at our destination 10 or 15 minutes after the worst of the storm had thankfully passed through their area. At this point it is quite dark out as the moon and stars are blocked by storm clouds. Once off the trailer the mare handled the situation of a dark night and new surroundings quite well despite being a bit "up". With the mare safely delivered, we headed home with a stop at a fast food restaurant along the way. We arrived home after midnight. The plan is that this mare will be bred this week.
One purebred mare has been confirmed in foal to a purebred stallion, with the foal being due in May 2013. At the end of this week we will be taking the TB mare to hopefully be confirmed in foal, with just one foal and not two as she double ovulated when she was bred. It will be a few weeks before we take the mare, who was dropped off the night of the storm, to be confirmed in foal. Keeping our fingers crossed!
Too Hot for Man and Beast! July 7, 2012: We had planned on taking two of the girls to a local show this afternoon after Mike returned from work. We want to acclimate them to going to and being in a show environment. It's 12:30 pm and 97.5 degrees and feels like 106 with the heat index. Too hot to go today! Poor girls were soaked with sweat before I brought them in this morning. Just finished hosing off everyone and they are in their stalls under the fans. Now, I'm inside with the air conditioning and a sweet tea!
It seems the Grazing Muzzle Game has ended, as the mares wearing the muzzles have not had them removed for several days. Both of the mares have lost weight, which was the goal. They look much better now. With the extreme heat we are experiencing, the pastures are turning brown. The mares may not need to wear the muzzles much longer!
The Grazing Muzzle Game. July 2, 2012: Two of our mares are being turned out in grazing muzzles as they have become a bit plump. One mare was comfortable using the muzzle as she had worn the muzzle previously. For the second mare, this was a new experience which she did not appreciate. When turned out with the muzzle for the first time she tried her best to get it off by dragging it across the ground and on other horses. Not being successful in this, she began to run around the field shaking her head as she ran hoping the muzzle would go flying off. When this did not work, she settled in and started trying to figure out how to graze with it on. The next morning, I found the muzzle off , all of the Velcro straps pulled open and she was happily grazing away.
The next evening when this mare was turned out with the grazing muzzle, she ran to the yearling filly and started pushing the grazing muzzle in front of the yearling's face. Now, knowing who the culprit was in taking the muzzle off of the mare, I wish that I had a hidden camera to record their antics. Sure enough the next morning the muzzle was off again. Hopefully, soon the Grazing Muzzle Game will become boring and the muzzle will remain in place.
Cleveland Bays at Upperville on June 9, 2012 June 12, 2012: We took Epiphanybay Independence "Penny" to Upperville, entering her in the Purebred Cleveland Bay In-Hand class. Penny has been off the farm a couple of times with Upperville being her first horse show. She was quite "googlely-eyed" at all of the activity which goes on at this busy show and did well with this new experience. She earned a fourth place in her class. Penny is by the Cleveland Bay stallion, Penrhyn Bayswater. The Championship for the day went to St. Patricia, a half-bred Cleveland Bay mare by Penrhyn Bayswater
Sully and Hamilton. May 18, 2012: We have received recent updates on Sully and Hamilton.
What follows are photos of Sully, provided by his owner Sisi, along with excerpts from her email about Sully. "...Sully and I are having a great time. We have been very busy! In April he did his first Combined Test (Intro level) and was 2nd out of 5 or 6. It was just a schooling opportunity but could not have gone better. Then we also did a 3 day dressage clinic with Patrice Edwards, who comes once a quarter from England and is fantastic. She really liked Sully and he worked very hard! ... And moving right along, I am taking him on his first hunt trail ride this weekend. These are a great way to get a young horse ready for hunting and this one is close enough that I can hack to it from the barn."
Hamilton moved to California last fall with his owner Rachel. What follows are excerpts from her email. She will send new photos soon. "...Hamilton, he is still the same good boy he has been. I believe that since the last time you saw him, he has grown a bit bigger in his body, but he has not grown taller. When he was shipped out to the west coast, the hauler just gushed over him and said that he was easy loading and unloading...Horse life on the west coast is a little bit different than life on the east coast. Not as much grass and open spaces as on the east coast, but Hamilton seems to be settling in well...As far as training, we have just been working on a lot of flatwork. He is such a smart boy and a quick learner. I just want him to get a solid foundation of training and flatwork this year, and maybe next year we will start showing."
Premium Mare designation awarded to Olddominion Epona 155 USA and Belladonna Mahogany 159 USA.
May 4, 2012: Today we received official written notification from the Cleveland Bay Horse Society that our two foundation mares have been awarded Premium Mare designation. In November 2011, we took the mares to a Premium Mare Inspection which was performed by Cleveland Bay Horse Society Inspectors. The mares' conformation and movement were evaluated based on meeting the standards for a purebred Cleveland Bay. The mares' each also had a veterinary examination performed prior to the inspection. In addition, each mare had to have produced at least one live foal and be a minimum of five years of age before they were eligible to apply for Premium Mare designation.
This and That. April 23, 2012: Mahogany and Lady Leone have now been at training for the past two weeks. They are going well under saddle in the ring and round pen. This past week they were going to begin their rides into the mountains of Virginia. We are looking forward to learning how they have done.
Sisi and Sully have been busy. Sully has been to a schooling combined event participating in the basic dressage test and stadium jumps. He and Sisi spent the day there just hanging out to acclimate Sully to this type of event. Sully has also been to a three day dressage clinic, where he did great.
The horses continue to shed out their winter coats, although with the chilly weather the past few days I think they wish they still had their winter coats. I have been in a search for a new saddle and hope to have one by the time Mahogany and Lady Leone return from training.
Congratulations to SiSi Gallagher! April 8, 2012:
Sisi has purchased Epiphanybay Celebration, "Sully". Sully will be residing in Clarke County, Virginia. His future includes fox hunting with the Blue Ridge Hunt and as an event prospect.
Epiphanybay Abigail and Epiphanybay Independence. March 13, 2012: Our local newspaper, The Free Lance-Star, produces a calendar each year using photos from their files. In 2009, the year that Abigail and Independence were born, the paper did an article on our farm. In that article was a photo of these two fillies frolicking in the field. In this year's calendar the photo of our fillies appears as the picture for March 2012.
The Bird in the Mirror. March 8, 2012: Last fall we repeatedly kept finding bird deposits in the same places on the doors of our vehicles which were parked in a particular spot. Finally, we saw the culprit...a mockingbird. We stopped parking in that spot and along with the weather becoming cold the deposits stopped.
Last week the deposits returned on our vehicles. The parking area is visible from the house allowing us to watch this silly mockingbird. This bird sits on the edge of the door and plays with the bird in the side mirror. Repeatedly, the bird taps on the image in the side mirror, then sits on top of the mirror followed by flying back down to view the bird in the mirror again. The bird flies to the opposite side of the vehicle to the other side mirror and plays with the bird in that mirror thus having a friend in each mirror. When disturbed, he flies to the top of the pump house roof until he/she can return to his friends
Farm History 2012
Breeders of the Purebred Cleveland Bay Horse and the Cleveland Bay Sport Horse
The Cleveland Bay Horse is a critically endangered heritage breed of horse as determined by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the Rare Breeds Survial Trust
Musings. February 12, 2012: Seems that Punxsutawney Phil may have been correct in his prediction for 6 more weeks of winter after having seen his shadow on Ground Hog Day. This past week has been all over the chart in terms of weather with the weekend becoming bitterly cold along with 35 mph icy winds placing the temperature just above zero. With a few snow squalls and no real accumulation, we are just plain old cold! Now we have frozen water buckets and frozen ground having been muddy just days ago which is a challenge to navigate as it is uneven from the now frozen hoof prints. Although the horses do not seem to mind the change as Clevelands do seem to prefer the cold temperatures. As a testament to the overall mild winter, our daffodils and crocus are in bloom. They are tough plants and will survive the cold without a hitch.
Tally Ho! February 5, 2012: Earlier in the week I was invited to be a guest of my riding instructor, Davera, at her fox hunt on Saturday, Feb 4. Davera is a member of the Bull Run Hunt Club. My anticipation grew as Saturday drew near. This would be my first time actually participating in a hunt which is something I have always wanted to do. An item on my "bucket list". Over the past three years, I have been in the car topping group at the annual Cleveland Bay Hunting Days, thus I had some exposure to fox hunting.
Having the appropriate clothing for the rider is imperative. Davera loaned me what I did not already have which was the jacket, vest and stock tie. She provided the mount, Marley, who is a "steady eddie" having taken many riders on their first hunt. We loaded the horses and off to the hunt we went.
The location of the hunt was gorgeous. The weather was a bit nippy, damp and cloudy, although no precipitation. Following the appropriate introductions to a wonderfully, friendly group of people, we mounted our horses and prepared to depart. I rode with the third flight which was expertly lead by Betty Long who was quite accommodating to myself and another rider who was there on her first hunt, as well. Our flight spotted the fox who was well ahead of the hounds, who were in full cry. The first and second flights arrived moments after the hounds. This was a lovely sight to see, horses, hounds and a fox. I was told that I was quite fortunate to have seen a fox on my first hunt. After being out two hours, we returned to the trailers. Once having cared for our horses, we proceeded to the location of the breakfast. Following a time of delicious food and good fellowship, we headed back home. For me, this was a perfect first hunt. Riding in a fox hunt can now be removed from my "bucket list" and become an activity in which I would like to participate more often.
New Experiences. January 30, 2012: Morningside Training Center is a gorgeous equine facility, which is available for use (fee based) located just north of Warrenton, Virginia. We took Sully there on Saturday and Sunday to school him and to give him the experience of being in a new venue. Sully was all eyes and ears with the new sights, sounds and horses. He did well with his schooling under the tutelage of excellent riders.
Cleveland Bay Hunting Day at Farnley November 2011: January 15, 2012: January 2012 has provided mild weather to date for which we are grateful. Especially, I am grateful as my "manure transportation specialist", Mike, has been out of commission due to an injury. If you will remember in the winter of 2009/2010, we had snowstorm after snowstorm. That winter I was also caring for the horses without the aid of my "manure transportation specialist" as he was recovering from surgery. For me, I hope that the weather continues to be mild.
As I missed posting in November of 2011, the Third Annual Cleveland Bay Hunting Day took place at Farnley in White Post, Virginia on November 19, 2011. This was graciously hosted by Peter Cook a member of the Blue Ridge Hunt, along with the Blue Ridge Hunt Club and the owners of Farnley. Farnley's history is significant to the Cleveland Bay Horse breed. Without the breeding of Cleveland Bays at Farnley, along with the exportation of a Cleveland Bay stallion back to the UK after the war, we may not have had the Cleveland Bay Breed today. Five of the Cleveland Bays bred here at Epiphany Bay Farm have bloodlines back to the Farnley stallion.