Uploaded : 14 Jan 08

You may remember last year we started having stallion viewings before Christmas ? Today is the 26th of October and we have already had three prospective viewings……...so far !
As the last of the season’s mares go home and the clocks change the timing seems right to put pen to paper and review the year.
Our first foal was born on March 16th, a beautiful bay filly by Weld out of the multiple NH winning mare Broughton Manor by Dubasoff. As always, once we start we seem to go headlong into the foaling season. This year we have foaled nearly 40 mares, not all ours I hasten to add ! With one exception all of the foalings’ went well and in no time at all the fields were filling with gangly babies learning to balance, then to chase and play. The weather was very kind and the early spring was very much appreciated. For the first time that I can remember we had turned out the youngstock and the later foaling mares by the last week of March, fully expecting to have to bring them back inside but mercifully April was dry and very warm, even hot in fact. Not long until June! Thankfully Devon County Show just managed to stay dry and then it started to rain. And rain, and rain, and rain. By now the majority of the mares had foaled and a lot of visiting mares had arrived with their respected offspring too. By the end of the second week of June things were getting serious and the foals were struggling against the cold and the wet and so we bedded up the covered yards, filled the feeders and opened the gates and then stood back as 30+ mares and foals stampeded across the home paddock and into the yard. A very expensive exercise as by now we were having to buy in haylage but there was no other option. As with lambs, foals can survive the cold if it’s dry but not incessant rain. Within just a few minutes the mares were lined up along the hay troughs and the foals were spread out in the straw sleeping, dry at last for the first time in days. The workload on the yard was incredible with 20 or so mares and young foals already stabled and over 100 mares at grass, Stephen and the girls deserve medals, at least. The gates were left open but the mares preferred to stay inside for the best part of a fortnight. Sadly there is simply not enough room to have the youngsters and the maiden/barren mares inside at this time of year. Drier weather settled in and things returned to somewhere close to normal. Surprisingly with such an upset in the weather most of the mares seemed to cycle throughout the summer and on the whole conception rates were good. I am convinced that the dry and warm spring had got the mares into a regular oestrus pattern which they maintained throughout.
Our tally of mares covered, either AI or natural, by the end of the summer was nudging 300. The stable stalwart Catherston Dazzler, now nearing his 24th birthday, leads the fertility prize with 36 mares visiting and 34 conceiving. Lostock Huntsman remains as popular as ever and it is exciting now to see his early Devonian offspring making their mark as ridden horses this year. Jane Thrupp’s Rowcombe Stan The Man, was Champion at the B.S.P.A. stallion grading and has spent his first ridden year concentrating on his B.S.J.A. career. Mandy Pitts’ Freya has sailed through her first year British Eventing at Novice level and our own colt Langaller Bisto finished his first season finishing 2nd beaten by 1 point at Aldon Pre-Novice. Daws Firebird has a very loyal following and belies his 21 years. No Submission is on a roll ! He has been very busy and is becoming increasingly popular within the showing sphere with progeny winning up and down the country from foals to 3 year olds in Hack, Riding Horse and Hunter Breeding classes. Prince Of Darkness, the apple of my eye, has been quieter this term although he has had some lovely mares and again is really producing some super horses. Weld, of course, wins the crown for the most mares drawing them from all equestrian circles. Primarily from racing but an increasing number of event and show breeders are using him. For Weld this season will stand alone. When standing stallions it is always so exciting to watch their offspring go on and succeed. We were so thrilled to watch Hot Weld win The Scottish Grand National and were hoarse from screaming at the television when we saw him go on and win the Betfred {formerly The Whitbread}, within a week putting him into the record books! In 2006 Weld was the only British based sire to have a winner at the Cheltenham Festival and in 2007 became the sire of the first horse ever to win Scottish National and the Betfred. According to 2007 statistics Weld is ranked 41st in the leading National Hunt sires list above such notable stallions as Classic Cliché {42nd}, Karinga Bay {48th} and Phardante {62nd}. In the Sire of Chasers’ list he is ranked 21st above the likes of Alflora {32nd}, Overbury {36th} and Fourstars Allstar {40th}. I suggest you book him early for 2008!
The new boy, Catherston Liberator has been a very popular addition to the team and I’m glad to say he will be staying for 2008. Shipton Teasel again has been busy covering 28 mares. Does this make him the busiest Connemara in the country? Quite probably.
Our showing season traditionally starts with our local County show, Devon County. 2007 was a quiet start for us as Euphoria didn’t foal until May and Eve’s Wish wasn’t in foal for ’07 and so we didn’t have a hunter Broodmare to take. Stephen’s small hunter mare however had foaled in early April and so she had to fly the flag which she did admirably by winning her class with her foal by No Submission, winning his class too. My three year old filly { Eve’n Tide by Kuwait Beach out of Eve’s Wish} was duly third in a strong three year old class. Bath and West is never a good show for us, I don’t know why. Moving quickly on to Royal Cornwall and again Breeze showed herself well to be 2nd in the Small Hunter mare class and again her foal won his class. Evie { Eve’n Tide} was again third and I must say I think hard done by. The Royal Show in July has always been an important date in our showing diary, possibly because we used to show cattle there many years ago. This year it provided Euphoria with her first outing. She followed her 2006 form by winning the Lightweight Broodmare Class and subsequently the Broodmare Championship. The following week we made what is now somewhat of a pilgrimage to The Great Yorkshire show in Harrogate. Sisters Breeze and Euphoria excelled themselves in the very best of company. Both won their respective classes and Euphoria was Champion Broodmare. She then went on to emulate the success of her stablemate Eve’s Wish’s by claiming The Cuddy Supreme Championship thus qualifying for Horse Of The Year Show. Then the round of local shows started: Evie won 3 Hunter Championships and Trenavey Consent, Breeze’s yearling by No Submission, now owned by Jane West, made her debut at Launceston standing a very respectable third to two County Show yearlings on quite possibly the wettest day of the year. Well it was July! She followed on to be Champion Riding Horse at Wincanton, winning again at Dunster before being placed 2nd in a very strong class at Bucks County. The National Hunter Show marks the end of the season for us and Euphoria again held off stiff opposition to win her class and stand Broodmare Champion, three Championships from three shows!!! Evie stood 2nd and Res Champion filly which I was absolutely thrilled with. She has now been sold and we look forward to seeing her out next season under saddle.
With the show and stud seasons running at the same time it is very difficult to fit them both in but we consider our showing to be a very good ‘shop window’ for our stallions offspring. Initially Stephen always showed the foals but as the stud business has grown he now prefers to stay at home and run the yard and so Viv Booth very generously gives a lot of her time coming to the shows and she does an admirable job. I in turn do my part for ‘care in the community’ by taking her !!! Turn the light on, Viv. {Private joke}
As a business I consider us to still be very much in our infancy, this being the end of our 7th season. Young horses by our stallions and carrying our prefixes {Langaller and Stephen’s Trenavey } are just starting their ridden careers and this year has seen us dip out toes into the eventing circle with a five year old coloured colt by Huntsman called Langaller Bisto. It felt very strange to be wearing the ‘owner’s’ hat and having to stand back and watch but I have really enjoyed seeing my horse compete and hope I am now more of a help than a hindrance to ‘team Boon’. We are very privileged to have Terry Boon back in his native Westcountry and he has done a superb job in producing this colt for us. Not broken until the middle of his fourth year Bisto, has had just 4 runs BE eventing at Pre-novice. His dressage score has always been in the late 20’s and he is always clear cross country. A couple of tweeks with his show jumping and Badminton here we come! Hey, you have to have ambition, don’t you ? Sadly he will probably be sold as we have a colt by Matinee { Trenavey Matson} that we hope Terry will compete for us next season and we simply cannot stretch the budget to two horses. Terry is partly sponsored by Puffa and Bisto is features in their new brochure and web-site.
On the hound puppy front last year’s pups showed themselves well at the puppy show. Girdle was a respectable 3rd in her class but Rumpus and Giveaway were unplaced but Rumpus will show them how good he is now that he’s hunting ! This year we have had another couple from dear old Wilful: Stylish and Steward. We walked Wilful and her sister Willow 4 or 5 summers ago. Steward learned the hard way that horses can be dangerous. He broke his leg within the first few weeks of being here when he tore in around Liberator’s stable chasing his sister and probably the cat. Poor Libby jumped sideways and accidentally stood on the pup. Thankfully at that age their bones soon mend and after a couple of weeks of being bound up he was as right as rain. He has grown into a beautiful, strong hound now, puppy show ’08 ? Bring it on ! Stylish is a beautiful, feminine bitch, quite dark and nicely marked, quite shy but very affectionate. It was a real wrench when she moved back to kennels and she is one of the puppies that we have had that I would gladly have back in retirement. The other is Tussle from the same year as we had Willow and Wilful. By the end of September couple number 2 had arrived and are now ensconced. Dollar and Dorcus, two dog hounds. I know, I know. Dorcus is a girls’ name but apparently it is also the name of a wood in the Whaddon Chase country. Poor puppy !
Many of you now will know Rose Miners who has organised and run the office for the last eighteen months. She has become a real asset to the team and plays a vital role in the running of the stud being new customer’s first point of contact. Sarah and Stephen as always have worked exceptionally hard throughout the year and I want to thank them publicly for all their help and support. Emma Routley decided to move onto pastures green in June of this year and so sisters Danni and Steph Parker ‘job shared’ her position throughout the summer until Steph joined us full time in September. We have a few people throughout the summer here on work experience, some are completely useless, far more interested in texting their friends and plaiting their hair than the hard graft of stud work but we have had some very good girls come to us through this scheme. Emma initially came to us for a week and stayed for nearly 2 years and Danni Parker came to us first for a week and now is part of the team although is only here in holiday time. Big sister Steph has taken her job !
In the busiest part of the season our veterinary visits have been daily, sometimes nightly too, and again I am delighted to have Western Counties Equine Clinic supporting us in that role. The vets. and the girls at the clinic are always very helpful and supportive and are very much part of our team.………particularly when plied with cake !
May I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a productive 2008

Very best wishes from

All at Langaller Farm