Friday, September 4, 2009

Holiday Farm Visit

I'm back from my business trip in Fort Wayne, IN.

On my way down for my business trip I was invited to stop by and visit Holiday Farm - birth place of Hola C Bright.

I was so excited. I was going to meet up with the Sebright's again and meet the Gilmore's (Hola's breeder) for the first time at their farm. And what a gorgeous farm it is!!!

The Gilmore's are phasing out of racing and their farm is now home to many retirees and "pets." They have a couple mini donkeys, a mule named Peggy Sue, a couple 2 yr olds that were taking some time off of their training to allow them mature a bit, and a few retired broodmares and racers that are near and dear to them. They had no foals nor mares in foal. They are simply racing what they currently have and not continuing on with new young horses. Here are a couple of their retired broodmares who are about 18-20 yrs of age.

The farm is fascinating. It's part working farm, part playground, part shrine to the ones they love. I got a tour of the 300 acres and saw some but not all of the highlights. There's a random tree in the woods covered in dog license tags, an area where you can "zip line" across a stream, another area where the christmas trees are planted after christmas. There are shrines along the paths to beloved dogs that have since passed away and random signs to describe areas of the property such as "alligator alley" - remember this is in Michigan...

You just know it's a very special place to the Gilmore's. Here they both are with one of their beautiful 2 yr olds:

I'm not sure I know how to describe how I felt about learning so much of the history of my new guy Hola. I've never been able to learn so much history of one of my horses. But with this guy, I'm learning all about his racing days right down to the super huge stall he was born in. It's pretty neat!

Holiday Farm was an absolute treat to visit. The barn is an architectural gem where I could just imagine myself spending time hanging out in the hay loft (which was full of hay). Part of the barn is set up to foster puppies for a dog rescue. THANKFULLY there were no puppies there because I'm not sure I could have walked away without one. And all the stalls in the barn were reconfigured so that all of them are now double stall size. It would be a dream home for any horse!

They also keep some cattle on part of their property. As you can see in this photo, they had a soft spot for a calf they found who doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the herd:

And the nicest people on the planet have to be the Sebrights...

They gave me a tour, shared fun stories about their times on the property and complained loudly about the other day when Mr. Gilmore rode over to their home on Peggy Sue and Peggy Sue decided to leave a gift in the driveway. Meet Peggy Sue:

I ultimately spent much more time at Holiday Farm than I had intended and had a fabulous time in the process. Hola was lucky to have started out his life with good people. I'm lucky to have met them.


  1. What a wonderful photo essay on your trip to Holiday Farm--and from now on in my mind you own "Ollie from Holiday" ;o)

    It does the sport of racing a lot of good to know that there are people like the Sebrights who not only have gained from the efforts of the horses they have bred but appreciate them "after the finish line" so to speak.

    And I'm sure the "gift" from Peggy Sue was put to good use somewhere.

    Bet you're hoppin' to get on with the dressage work for both boys ;o)

  2. Hola is truly a gift that keeps on giving. I love reading about your adventures and connections with him and because of him.

  3. What a beautiful farm and wonderful experience! Those older mares sure don't look OLD, they looked to be in perfect shape! :)