Three Foals Arrive
While breedings in 2004 and 2006 did not produce our hoped-for foal crops, we welcomed with great excitement three Morab foals bred specifically for the sport horse arena. All three are available for purchase and we invite you to view at them on our For Sale page.
In October, Victory Meadows was pleased to place SW Naphtali in training with horse trainer Tamara Solange. Ms. Solange is well known locally for her work as an assistant to Olympic contender Jan Ebeling at his Moorpark dressage training facility, The Acres. We feel blessed to be working with Tamara, and Naphtali is blossoming under her tutelage. We look forward to the next show season.
Victory Meadows Loses its Biggest Fan
In June my mother, Arlene R. Winters, succumbed to cancer. My mom must have carried a recessive horse-lover’s gene, because when I embarked on this journey, she threw her whole being into the venture right alongside me. Every detail and every decision thrilled her and fueled her new-found passion in horses. Her knowledge of pedigrees, bloodlines, family strains, training methods, foaling practices, equine ailments and treatments grew right alongside mine. She was a cheerleader, a motivational coach, and a willing partner. I am grateful that she was able to see the first fruits of all of our planning in the birth of our first home-bred foal, Victory Meadows Reagan in 2004. I regret that she really didn’t meet horses until later in life because she was always a little fearful of them and was careful to keep her distance. But I like to imagine her today, standing in heaven with a horse on either side of her, an arm draped over each and wearing a great big smile. Perhaps in that place she will find fulfillment in the passion that began late in her life. We miss her. (Click here to read her tribute in the September 2007 issue of The Morgan Horse.)
Fire Revisits Victory Meadows
In December, wildfires swept through Victory Meadows for the second time in three years, burning on all sides for more than 2 days. Winds of more than 70 mph drove the fires with incredible speed onto the property before horses could be evacuated. Many of us fought the fires right alongside the firefighters, armed with whatever was at hand: shovels, buckets of dirt, and garden hoses. At times, the smoke was so thick, a person could not see their own hands. With towels tied around our faces, the barn’s “foot patrol” did the best we could to keep the animals safe and to battle the numerous small fires that were created by blowing ash and embers while the professionals battled the larger blazes. The amazing firefighters kept the barn and main house from catching fire as they made a stand before the approaching walls of flames. At one point, we counted a total of 13 fire trucks parked on the property! Thankfully, no one was injured and we only lost the hay barn. Firefighters truly are our heroes in this extremely dangerous line of work.
In a Twist of “The Farmer Takes a Wife,"
the Horse Breeder Weds
After more than a decade of single living, Victory Meadows’ sole proprietor made the transition to married woman in May and welcomed her new husband to share her life with horses. Despite his very limited experience, Tom quickly made a wonderful addition to the team. With a natural affinity for both horses and humans, Tom brings much to the equation as a savvy businessman, motivational coach, and a competent and sensible horse handler.
Victory Meadows Welcomes its First Foal
In June, Victory Meadows welcomed its first home-bred foal, a colt sired by the multi-titled dressage champion Morgan stallion, Iron Forge Starman, and out of another Iron Forge-bred mare and dressage champion in her own right, Pacific Blue. With this breeding, we are certain this little guy is destined for great things. Chestnut with two hind whites and a small star and snip, he is a friendly, gentlemanly youngster. Former president Ronald Reagan passed away the day after the foal was born, and as a tribute to both America’s greatest leader and the innate gentlemanly qualities of the colt, he has been named Victory Meadows Reagan.
Sweeps Through the Ranch
Victory Meadows experienced a time of upheaval as wildfires burned across Ventura County, wreaking havoc along its way. When I received the 4:30 a.m. phone call that the wildfire alarm had been raised and evacuations begun, I raced to the barn. As I drove, our sleepy little country road was framed on both sides with fire. Although the road was officially closed, police officers allowed me through. Since all surrounding roads were closed to traffic, we could not evacuate the horses out of the area, so we took them only a mile up the road to a newly built facility owned by Julie and Robert Nelson, who were kind enough to allow horses from several nearby facilities. For the next 48 hours, everyone battled the blazes as they sprang up on the property, armed only with buckets and shovels. The Nelson’s barn was brand new, with the roof having been completed only the day before, and the stalls having only a pile of gravel for horses to bed down on. Installation of water was not yet complete, so volunteers had to carry water, one bucket at a time, to fill containers for 26 horses. Winds brought soot and ash and burning embers from every direction and we all remained vigilant to the possibility of hay inside the barn catching fire. Shovels and dirt put out small fires as they cropped up around the facility. About once an hour, the fire chief stopped by to assess our situation. At one point, when a wall of flame much too big for our small band of volunteers approached, fire trucks arrived within minutes and formed a barricade between the fire and the property and the professionals battled the blaze until a wind change took the fire in another direction.
Everyone was on alert and we worked through that first night, since the roads remained closed and smaller fires flared on every side of the barn.
It would be nearly a week before all area fires had been contained and it was safe to bring the horses home. The fire had burned so close to our home barn that the vinyl paddock fences were melted and the thresholds to each stall scorched and the shavings burned.
We are eternally grateful to the courage and bravery of our fine firefighters. While we suffered no loss of buildings or animals, our friends and neighbors were not so lucky. Lives—horse and human—were lost as well as many area homes. We grieve for those losses together with the rest of our Moorpark equestrian community.
Victory Meadows Acquires Dragonfire Amethyst
Victory Meadows would like to extend gratitude to both Garn Walker of Garn Walker Stables in Auburn California and Shirley Rosenberg of Sacramento for the privilege of purchasing Dragonfire Amethyst. When we began our search for a quality black Morgan mare, we did not realize how daunting an endeavor this would turn out to be. We wanted a mare of obvious quality, a minimum of 15 hands tall and one backed by a performance pedigree. She must be conformationally correct, structurally sound, possessing a balanced way of going, as well as pure gaits—and we wanted beauty, to boot. On top of all of that, we were looking for a kind mare with a good mind. We received a phone call from Garn Walker alerting us to an available daughter of the multi-titled World Champion dressage horse, Cedar City Penbrook. This mare was bred by Earl and Jennifer McFall of the world-renowned sport breeding program, Dragonfire Morgans. Amy was everything we were hoping to find. She passed her pre-purchase exam with flying colors—with even the vet commenting on her kind, sweet nature—and she was soon on her way to Southern California. Amy has been a delight from the moment she stepped off the trailer and we are honored to have her.