by Laurie Powell.
I have ridden all my life, show jumped, evented, fox hunted and rode hunter in my youth. Pleasure, trail rode and hunted with the Calgary Hunt Club while raising children at a ranger station in the mountains of the Kananaskis, west of Calgary. I came back to eventing about 8 years ago on my amazing Shire/TB mare, she has taken me to Prelim level and done everything I have ever asked of her. Now I have a new crazy dream . . .
I have bred my brave, bold incredibly smart and sound 15 year old mare. What was I thinking? Each day I second guess my decision, the what ifs, and now whats . . . But she has so much to offer, and I did not take on this venture lightly. I researched stallions, I knew I wanted a Thoroughbred stallion to refine her, though by Shire standards she is not that big – 16HH. I wanted a stallion with a performance record, and yes, I wanted a Canadian stallion if possible. A Fine Romance fit the bill, I mean who wouldn’t want a foal by the sire of ‘A Little Romance’! So I contacted his owner, only to find out that they had planned on retiring him from breeding. Not to be deterred, I asked about frozen semen, yes, they had some, but it had never been used – was a 15 year old maiden mare a good candidate? Not to be deterred, I made a vet appointment to see if there was a reason Wellington Wren aka ‘Gracie’ could not have a foal . . . after an ultrasound, we were given the green light.
I was totally new to the world of AI ‘artificial insemination’ though the main thing I have learned is bring money.
Gracie started the 2014 eventing season strong with a great Prelim at June’s Beaumont event and a really strong clinic with James Alliston – this came to a screeching halt when the vet said she could not compete for at least the first 40 days – hmmm. A major rethinking of my 2014 plans . . . The 8th of July she went for her 14 day ultrasound – she was pregnant! The ultrasound showed a black blob which the vet informed me was a pregnancy.
Wow – it was really happening! Gracie is growing a foal! She goes for her 40 day ultrasound next week, if all is still good, I will be able to let out a bit more of this breathe I have been holding . . . stay tuned for news . .