Langaller Newsletter 2010

Uploaded : 21 Mar 11

As I start to write this letter, at the usual 11th hour, it is minus 8 degrees outside and only 2 taps are working. Yesterday we loaded up after hunting in a blizzard and as I drove home I think it was the first time I had driven in a snow storm when the trees were still hanging on to their autumn leaves. Stephen is just home from hospital following his long awaited surgery, hopefully now he will be able to get back to full strength and be free from pain.

2010 certainly started as it is finishing with some of the coldest temperatures and heaviest falls of snow for a long time. That said we only actually lost a week to the ice and snow, the hunters were ‘moth-balled’ and lived on hay and water during their confinement and surprisingly, and thankfully, weren’t overly ‘fresh’ on their return to work. The youngsters and broodmares all live in groups in the covered yards and the weather really has no effect on them whatsoever. Following the cold start we had a good spring with many of the horses being turned out by the turn of April.

Foaling started on February the 20th with the matron mare Eve’s Wish producing an outstanding coloured filly by Lostock Huntsman. This old mare never, ever lets me down. She has bred Champion after Champion and this skewbald filly should be no exception. Eve’s Wish is now due for 2011 to Alot About Luey. Foalings’ then ran on without incident and a total of 13 foals were born carrying either the Langaller or the Trenavey prefix. A number of additional visiting mares foaled here and thankfully again without any hiccups. It is always such a relief when the foal is up and sucking. It is never safe to relax but at least if the initial few hours go according to plan then nature will take control.

2010 saw two new stallions start their stud duties. Trenavey Sea Heir is, we believe, the only son of the late Kuwait Beach; certainly the only full Thoroughbred son. He has grown into the most lovely looking horse and has the temperament to match. We were encouraged that our feelings about this colt were shared by so many and he covered 25 mares. The other ‘new boy’ was Alot About Luey. Although he doesn’t have the ‘Langaller’ prefix he was in fact bred by us and sold as a foal un-named. He is by Lostock Huntsman and out of the coloured Advanced Event mare Polly V. This gives him an incredible pedigree with an Intermediate sire and an Advanced mother and ‘colour’ on both sides. Again our confidence was reinforced with 26 visiting mares. I really rate both these young stallions and can’t wait to see their 2011 crop of foals. The established stallions all held their own in what was a ‘steady’ season numerically throughout the breeding industry. There is no getting away from the financial restraints that we are all struggling with and understandably many mare owners are taking a hard look at their breeding policy. However, as I said last year, there is always a market for quality in every sector and breeding from poor quality females should always be discouraged. Sandy’s Light added to his already good book of mares. This Irish Draught stallion really is an outstanding example of the breed and without exception he has improved on the mare. There is a number of his stock really excelling in the show ring and his eldest will be making their debuts under saddle next season. I was caught on the hop by a telephone call from his owner in August telling me that she wanted to sell Sandy and whilst she wanted him to stay with me there was no way I could afford to buy him at her valuation. A few panic telephone calls and a lot of frenzied number crunching followed. Thankfully I can report that our offer was accepted and Sandy has changed ownership and now belongs to Di Sexon. This is great news for all concerned and means that he will stay at Langaller for the foreseeable future. More about 2011 later.

Hound puppies arrived at the end of April, a dog and bitch. Limestone and Lively. Lively definitely was aptly named and as with most bitches was always busy, independent and somewhat aloof. Limestone is typically male; docile, devoted and dependable. Was that a groan I heard???? Most of you will know how much I enjoy having the puppies, I just love them. I suppose it’s a bit like other peoples children; they are great because you can hand them back! As with their predecessors they were very keen to tidy up with plenty of boots, brushes, and lead ropes being taken to their ‘den’. The two farm cats implanted the ground rules from the very start and were then very often found asleep snuggled into or under the pups on the sofa in the kitchen. There is something very endearing to see different species so relaxed together particularly when history suggests an on going distain. Limestone learnt to talk too. Last years pups excelled at their Puppy Show, Winner won Champion Dog Hound and from 2008 Barrister {Known to us as Barry} won best Working hound

Hunting finished in mid April, foaling started in February and somehow we had a team of youngsters up and ready to campaign the show season by the beginning of May. Try as we might to get out earlier in the season Devon County is always our first proper show in the third week of May. Two lorries and a trailer set forth and we had a good day overall, despite a bad case of seconditis but Di’s Tawstock Fedora by Prince Of Darkness made her debut a winning one as did Karen Ligthelm’s Dancing Queen, again by Prince Of Darkness. What was most rewarding was realising in the afternoon that 6 of the team were, in fact, having their first ever showing outing and they had all behaved impeccably and loaded on and off the lorry without a hitch. Good behaviour is something that I seem to take for granted but that day I was so proud of them all. Bath and West followed on and Stephen’s Trenavey Cry Freedom by Catherston Liberator went one better than at Devon County to win her mixed 3 year old class and stand Reserve Champion to the eventual Cuddy Qualifier winner. Fedora maintained her winning run by winning her class. Royal Cornwall is next and again we set off with 2 lorries. Woodlander Firefly was Champion ridden Hack here in 2009 and this year we showed her with her colt foal by No Submission. She stood 2nd to a very consistant mare who went on to be Champion so we were delighted with that as her debut as a broodmare. Jane Ellis’s Evening Chorus and Red Ember, by Daws Firebird and No Submission respectively, stood 2nd and 3rd in the 3 year old Hacks with Evening Chorus also standing 2nd in Part-bred Arab class. The Kellow family present The Three Shows Challenge trophy in memory of the late showing master Douglas Kellow to the highest points winner in the Hunter Breeding classes at the Devon County , Royal Cornwall and Bath and West. We are delighted for Di that Tawstock Fedora won it this year. Di’s father Morley Sexon and Douglas Kellow were very close friends and rivals in the show ring for many years. Stephen’s Trenavey Cry Freedom was Reserve.

On to Three Counties with the youngsters. Fedora remained unbeaten, Bridget Skinner’s 3 year old filly by Catherston Dazzler, Royal Crest, had her 1st outing and was 2nd to the eventual champion. Then we start to travel further. Cheshire County is next and gave our young Hunter Broodmare Coogee Bay her first outing. She won her class as did her foal by Catherston Dazzler. Cry Freedom won the mixed 3 year old class. From Cheshire we travelled on to Lincoln County. This is the first year that we have gone to Lincoln and it certainly lived up to it’s reputation. It is one of the most beautiful showgrounds, manicured hedges surround the rings, the grass is immaculate and they have hot showers!!!!! It also proved to be our best show to date. Coogee Bay won her class and was Champion Broodmare, her foal won and was Champion foal, Cry Freedom won and was Champion Youngtock. She then went on to stand Reserve in the HOYS qualifier. A very long way to go but well worth the effort. The last ever Royal came next and another good day for team’ Langaller’. Coogee Bay stood 2nd and her foal won its class and stood Champion foal. Our Heavyweight mare Big Bird had her 1st outing and duly won her class and stood Champion Broodmare. Fedora continued on her winning run remaining unbeaten, Evening Chorus won her 3 year Riding Horse class and stood Reserve Champion and Red Ember won her 3 year old Hack class and stood Champion Hack. A very good day but also sad to think that we have now lost one of the major shows of the season. Great Yorkshire is an annual pilgrimage. Big Bird won her Heavyweight broodmare class as she did in 2009 and Cry Freedom won a very strong mixed 3 year old class, no mean achievement for a filly in such strong company. This is without doubt one of the best shows in the Country and well worth the effort of travelling from the South West to the North.
From here on we seem to be at one or other local show with the youngsters and all in all we had a very good season, I won’t bore you with each and every one.

A new show on the calendar this year was The National Arab show at Malvern. Jane’s Evening Chorus won her part-bred class, the Part-bred female Championship and then crowned the day by taking the overall Part-bred Championship. I was absolutely delighted both for the filly and for Jane. The filly is now being broken and may come out as a 4 your old under saddle. Jane Ellis has been such a loyal owner over the years. I am delighted that her horses have done so well for her. The last 2 shows of the season are Bucks County and the National Hunter Show. At Bucks County Coogee Bay won the mare class and was Champion Broodmare and her foal was 2nd. Fedora was placed 2nd and Cry Freedom was pulled top and demoted to 2nd to the eventual Champion. Royal Crest was 4th in a large Sports Horse class, Evening Chorus was 3rd in her mixed Hack/Small Riding Horse class and Red Ember was 4th in the Large Hack/Riding horse class. The National Hunter show was, if I‘m honest, slightly disappointing. Coogee Bay stood 3rd and her foal won and stood Res Champion Foal, Big Bird was 2nd, for the 1st time ever, Cry Freedom was 2nd, Dancing Queen was 2nd, again beaten for the 1st time. Thankfully Fedora returned to winning form to win both the 2 year old Hunter filly and 2 year old Sports Horse filly and stand eventual Res Champion Filly. The highlight was definitely the new awards presented by SHBGB to the most consistent youngster sired by a graded Stallion. Trenavey Cry Freedom won the 3 year old filly section and Tawstock Fedora was the joint winner for the 2 year old fillies. No mean achievement for either filly.

Before we knew it, it was the run up to our first ever home sale of youngstock. This was something that I had thought about for a long time, a few years in fact. This year I took up the challenge and organised my sale, run my way, on my terms. I have long been disappointed by breeders who place unrealistic prices on their stock and then moan that they can’t sell them. From my farming background you take your animals to market and sell them for their market value. If there is one thing that guarantees to kill a sale stone dead it is lot after lot leaving the ring unsold. The decision was a risky one but I was convinced that we had to sell without reserve in order to get the buyers confidence. There were always going to be some bargains, and there were, but hopefully those buyers will be keen to come back again. There were some that sold extremely well but again that was dictated by the buyers and again hopefully they will be keen to return. Every lot was sold on the day. We have however bought back a half share in a Weld yearling and my Prince Of Darkness two year old has in fact stayed with me as his purchasers changed their mind after having him out of his stable no less than three times before he went through the ring. Hardly in the spirit of the day but…….I got to keep my horse.

I have had so many favourable reports both on how the day was organised and how pleased everyone has been with their purchases. In fact I haven’t had a single negative comment. I was amazed by the support from all over the country, as far as Yorkshire and the eastern counties, I’m told that there were over 700 people. Nosey beggars!!! It was a lot of work and so many friends worked so hard to help get the place and the horses ready. The following day was bliss. We intend to have another sale in September 2011 again limited to youngstock or broodmares in foal to/or by Langaller stallions. Hopefully having an outlet for the offspring will be of benefit to mare owners and is something unique to Langaller.

2011 season is just a couple of months away and there are some new faces to introduce. Weld and Prince Of Darkness have been retired and Lostock Huntsman is moving to a new home. Moving in are the 15hh SHP Colbeach Nightlight, a fantastic stamp of pony, who had 5 individual offspring at HOYS this term. I know he will be very popular across the board, from ponies to breed up and larger mares to breed down. He already has a good number booked. Hot off the press is the news that we have purchased the homozygous stallion Keady Star. He stands at just over 16hh, with the limbs and movement to make him special. He is only a young stallion but already has some beautiful offspring, particularly well limbed from a selection of mares. He will be an excellent cross onto the Huntsman daughters and guaranteeing colour will hopefully help his appeal. Without A Prayer is a young Thoroughbred horse by the Champion miler Intikhab out of a Rainbow Quest mare. He has won 3 Group races and was placed in a Listed race and has a timeform of 115. He won up to a mile and a half so he has the stamina and the speed to produce some really useful NH/Point to Point horses.

It has been a very busy year but also a very rewarding one. As I said earlier a lot of friends have played an enormous part in our year. I know it is dangerous to name names but…………..Stephen, Rose, Steph and Dani make a truly incredible force at home enabling the showing team to be away so often. Viv, Clare, Di, Matt and Stephanie all help at the shows; Clare and Patrick have worked so hard all summer prepping the youngsters; Jon and Lorraine worked like Trojans leading up to the sale, building boxes, hanging doors etc. thank you , thank you , thank you.

We wish you all a very happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you again in 2011.

All at Langaller Farm