Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 - Year in Review

2013 was certainly a busy year for us at Cady O'Daly Farm. Hard to believe that we've already wrapped up our busy season! Here's a little synopsis of what life was like for us....

Selling, Selling, and More Selling

When we started the business full-time a little over two years ago, I never would've guessed we would be so successful with the marketing of horses. Selling close to 40 horses in two years still astounds me and I'm thankful for the wonderful owners, buyers, other equestrian professionals I've dealt with, vets, and of course the rest of the crew at the farm who make it all possible. 

This past year we've sold horses to Georgia, California, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, Alabama, New York, and Pennsylvania. Whew! 

What's New with Our Homebreds?

Alicia and her young Cady O'Daly Artisan ("Artie") had a super year at Novice and are looking to possibly make the move up to Training in the spring, and will also keep competing in the jumpers. Artie continues to impress us all with her jumping ability and always takes everything in stride (literally). Alicia plans to hang onto her for quite awhile...

Cady O'Daly Marco had a light year after sustaining a mild injury down in Ocala in the spring, but is now completely healthy and back in full work. Emily is also planning to hang onto him and will be moving him back up to Novice in the spring after he's fit! He's also one of the Pony Club favorites with his "ho hum" attitude and comfortable gaits and jump.

We started several of the 3yo's under saddle this year and all are going nicely on the flat. Cady O'Daly Class Pet ("Ethel") is owned by Alice White, Alicia's mother, and is the full sibling to Cady O'Daly Class Clown...we're hoping she follows in her fancy brother's footsteps! Cady O'Daly Tinker Toy ("Tink") is also one of the farm favorites with her sweet personality and "Barbie Pony" golden palomino coloring. She's been incredibly easy to start and we're planning to hang onto her for awhile.

Cady O'Daly Amigo was started as a 3yo this year and was sold to a family in Aiken...hoping to hear good things from them! He was one of my favorites, and I hope he stays on his best behavior...cheeky pony!

We're also welcoming a new acquisition to the farm - Cady O'Daly Charlotte. She's a lovely, huge-bodied bay filly sired by Tag and out of a nice Hanoverian/TB mare. The farm co-owns this filly with Ginny Gale, Alicia's sister. She'll be brought along as a youngster, and shown, and then likely put on the market as a 4/5yo.

Our good friend Kris LaLuna has moved back to Lynchburg, and brought along her Tag baby, Reilly. He's a gorgeous, very tall dun gelding who's coming two - and gets along perfectly with his buddy Louie. Louie is my coming 2yo Claire de Lune x Ridgetop Cady O'Daly gelding. He continues to grow in both height and quality and I'm still on the fence about whether or not to sell him. He's certainly bred for sport, with his sire being a 1* competitor and YEH champion, and his dam Cady is pretty well-known in the Connemara world and was also an avid eventer "back in the day."

Oaktree Greystone Colleen, the matriarch of the farm, celebrated her 32nd birthday last year, believe it or not... other than some arthritis, the ol' gal is still as spunky as ever, and relishes in her job as "grumpy head schoolmarm" to the colts.

****Edited to Add!*** AEC Champs....3x in a Row! 
How could I leave this out? One of our fabulous homebreds, Cady O'Daly Gabriel, went on to follow in his little brother's footsteps as the national American Eventing Champion at Beginner Novice. Mikey and his young owner Emma Ciafone clinched their well-earned victory at the biggest eventing championship back in September. In 2011 and 2012 Cady O'Daly Michael won back to back titles with his owner Logan Elliot. This is, of course, every breeder's dream and one of the coolest things we've ever been a part of... and hey, Emma and Gabe were the "cover pair" on Eventing USA's AEC issue! Woo hoo!

A-Hunting We Will Go (And Went)

Teddy had a brief eventing career this spring while Marco was laid up, and though he was a blast on cross-country, he was abysmal in the dressage. So when hunting season kicked off this fall, he resumed his ideal role as hunt pony. His preferred job, anyway!

Josh's wonderful, and ageless, Irish Draught gelding Patrick competed in a few local shows and mainly enjoyed hunting and hunter paces. Hard to believe he's only four and has accomplished so much in his short life! We're looking forward to seeing what he does in 2014, and Josh doesn't know yet that I plan to steal him and make him my dressage horse...whew, the gaits on that horse!

Artie and Marco both hunted a bit, though one of the best hunt horses is turning out to be their brother Patriot. He's a 6yo palomino gelding by Tag and out of a nice QH mare. One of those all-around, useful types that's helpful to have at home! Know anyone looking for something...check him out. He's also a favorite of our Pony Clubbers....

Speaking of Pony Clubbers

As co-DC of Bedford Hunt Pony Club, it's been a busy year. We went to several rallies, numerous shows, completed some hunter paces, and hosted two ratings and countless mounted meetings and clinics. WHEW! All I can say is we have a heck of a group of parents and a wonderful group of talented young riders. These kids continue to impress me with their dedication and horsemanship and I'm proud to be their coach. Looking forward to 2014!

Several of the Pony Clubbers are based out at the farm. 16-year-old Brittney Williams had a great season learning about horse showing with some of our lesson horses and acquired her own horse, Winnie, last fall. They're finally getting to know each other and are looking ahead to the 2014 show season. Brynn Katany also had a super year with her stalwart pony Charlie, and rated up to D-2, with her eyes on D-3 for next season. Between these two fierce competitors, we ended up with quite an array of ribbons at year-end!

Isabel Eaton is leasing a wonderful young horse from a friend of ours, and has made huge progress in not only her own riding and horsemanship, but in his training and development as well. Her younger sister, Annalise, is also an avid horse lover and is building a relationship with one of our lesson horses, Juan. Hoping these girls will join us in the spring show season! Jake Lofaso, also in Pony Club, frequently joins us for lessons and also bought a new horse this fall - a sweet TB mare who surprised us all with her flying changes and cheerful jumping ability.

We're hoping to get the kids out hunting this season, but we'll have to see if we have enough mounts for everyone. Hopefully each kid will get to go out at least once!

Cady O'Daly...Annex?

Things were getting a bit crowded over at Cady O'Daly Farm and when the opportunity to rent a farm down the road presented itself, we jumped on it. We moved a few of the horses over to the 30-acre farm to free up a bit of space. With two great barns, plentiful turn-out, a roomy house, a five-minute commute, and a swimming pool, who could resist?

New Business Venture - Bright Horse Studios

As if we didn't have enough on our plates... we decided to launch another business! Oddly enough, what started as a terrible situation blossomed into something wonderful and fulfilling. Back in late July, I had a riding accident (rearing young horse + face = multiple broken bones...and of course I was wearing my helmet!). While I was laid up and unable to ride for several weeks, I decided to do a bit of dabbling in art to try and make some extra income. Long story short, it was very successful, and I've certainly kept very busy filling orders... I've always enjoyed art and it's been very special to make my way back to it after all these years.

Josh is also going to focus a bit more on his amazing photography and we will hopefully have some prints available for sale as well. If you haven't seen his stuff, check it out:

Hands On Pottery - Busy as Ever

Alicia has been busy with her pottery business, and is now having some time to breathe after the busy Christmas rush. We had a successful open house just before Christmas, and we'll likely be doing that on a yearly basis. She always has a pretty good inventory at her studio, but do contact her for more information:

Puppies! and Chickens! 

We had a huge litter of 8 corgi puppies in the fall and Alicia and I decided to retain two of the females to breed. Currently, "Tajer" and "Khaleesi" are taking part in puppy obedience classes and we hope to show them in not only breed classes, but also agility competitions as well. We should be expecting another litter possibly next summer.

And of course, how could we forget the chickens? Who knew they could be so fun? We started out with eight teeny chicks, lost one to some predator (fox?), and continue to get fresh eggs on a daily basis. Richard Daily is also planning an extensive vegetable garden for the spring, so that should be an exciting venture.

Well, that's all for now! I'll try and keep updating on a more regular basis...

Until then, stay warm!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rolex, Soggy May, and a Few Events with Greenies....

It's been a very busy couple of weeks around here...not surprising! Here's the latest scoop:

1. Josh and I went out to Rolex Kentucky to do a little schmoozing with some clients. Josh and Frankie Thieriot (of Athletux) also produced all of the rider interview videos for the Rolex Kentucky 3DE website. We started a new "lounge" this year, which was really neat... it created a relaxed atmosphere with comfy chairs and an awesome decor. It helped the riders feel a little more at home, and plus they had a "live audience" who were really interactive and asked a lot of questions. They chatted with David O'Connor, Allison Springer, Hawley Bennett-Awad, Andrew Nicholson, and a ton of other amazing riders and coaches. Our goal is to bring this set-up to a lot of these big events...just need to get some sponsors on board! (hint, hint?)

(Top right photo: Josh and I were working out of "The Tower" at Rolex...pretty sweet view!)
(Bottom photo: Josh filming Frankie Thieriot interviewing Andrew Nicholson in the awesome Rolex lounge. You can't really see it in this photo, but there was a huge crowd that had gathered to watch, listen, and ask questions.)

2.On April 20th, we took a handful of young horses over to compete at Wavertree Farm HT - a really neat facility just below Charlottesville. Mom was disappointed with her and Artie's dressage test, but she ended up with a 24!!! Too funny. So, of course, they won the Novice, after jumping around cleanly. I moved Teddy up to Beginner Novice at this event... he decided dressage wasn't the worst thing in the world (after an hour of hacking...), and put in a pretty good test... he was super in the show jumping, and a little peeky at a pony-eating brush jump on xc, but overall I was very very pleased with his progress. Josh did a nice job in the Green division with Patrick, and they had a really educational day - Patty showed off his scope and learned to gallop like a proper Irish horse! Here are some more pics from Wavertree. 

(Right: Go Patty, go! Patty and Josh having a blast at Wavertree.) 

3. Two weeks later on May 4th, our same merry group of baby horses toddled off to the event at
Green Hill Park for another outing. Josh, Mom, Billie Bryant, and a few other stoic volunteers spent the day sweating and weedwacking and hauling jumps around the facility the week before to prepare the courses for the we were relieved that they received rave reviews on Saturday! We all had a really nice outing, and it was quite nice to see progress in all three horses. Caitlin East also joined us on her young Tag baby, Fred, and put in a great performance in Novice, picking up a stellar dressage score to top our Novice group.

(Right: Artie over The Big Corner at BREA HT...woo woo!)

4. On May 5th, I coached a half-dozen of our Pony Clubbers in a cross-country clinic at Billie's gorgeous farm in Bedford. The kids and ponies got their feet wet in the water jump, learned about ditches and banks...we all had a good time, and no one fell off. Success! Thank you to the Bryant family for letting us come play! This was a great opportunity for the kids to get in a good schooling before their rating at our farm next week.

(Right: Kids + ponies + xc = awesome happy fun time.)

5. We have a massive group of sales horses right now! The list is growing every day... We have
several nice purebred and halfbred Connemaras, amongst other various breeds. Lots of youngsters priced very reasonably as well. Looking for a nice Tag baby? Get 'em now while they're cheap!

(Right: Look how cute this pony is? A Moxley Duncan halfbred mare - foxhunter extraordinaire! Jubilee has been hunting with a child first flight in northern VA for the past several years, and is ready to show another rider the ropes. Only $7500...what a deal!)

6. We've had the soggiest week on record here at the there's finally a glimmer of sunlight
on the horizon! Thank God! After completely taking over our basement, and earning the title of world's most spoiled birds, the baby chickens have been relocated to their fancy schmancy covered coop outside.

(Right: Freeloading teenager cheep cheeps are punted out of their parent's basement and forced to get their own apartment. The partying has already begun.)

Be sure to check out our Facebook pages for the latest!

Cady O'Daly Farm on Facebook

Bright Horse Communications on Facebook

All for now!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Okay, I Promise to Keep This Updated.... Big Changes Lately!

It's been an awfully long time since I sat down and blogged about our latest happenings at the farm...I just scurried in from the feeding the ponies and barely escaped being soaked with our first big thunderstorm of the year (Repeat mantra..."I will not complain about rain, rain brings grass! And good footing! And peeper frogs!")

So here are some juicy news tidbits:

1. Neither Josh nor I are working for the U.S. Eventing Association anymore. We both worked there for about six years or so, made some amazing connections, and really enjoyed promoting the sport of eventing. Together, Josh and I produced  the monthly magazine, Eventing USA, and after I left in 2011, he launched Eventing TV, which was really unique (we're still hoping to continue on with this project).   During that time we had a small company that we created called The Red Horse, which was mainly focused on photography and other little media projects. But because of our full-time commitments, we weren't able to give it the TLC to succeed. Josh and I are both pretty creative, outside-the-box thinkers and this year we'd really been itching to give it another try... so, long story short... 

2. Josh and I created a new marketing & production company called Bright Horse Communications. In a nutshell, we do a lot of promotional things for & website design, videos, e-newsletters, photography, sponsorships, social media management, and a bunch of other neat stuff. So far, we have several fabulous clients that we're extremely excited to be representing... we have such a wide variety, though most tend to be equestrians or of that genre. We head to Rolex next week to meet with some clients and hopefully get some more projects going.

3. Horses and ponies have been selling like hotcakes! We knew the market for purebred and halfbred Connemaras was pretty strong, but we had no idea we'd be able to sell so many horses in such a short amount of time. Since the spring of 2012, we've sold 27 horses. Most of them have been Connemaras, though we've also sold a Friesian, Haflinger, Welsh ponies, and Irish Sport Horses. Our business grows every day, and some horses have sold in as little as two weeks, though it takes most about 60 days. Right now, our current inventory is interesting... from a seasoned Irish Draught, to a "pony packer," to some's quite a variety. Check out the latest roster.

4. Josh and I relocated down to the family farm in Lynchburg last year since we outgrew our adorable, but alas too small, farm up near Charles Town, WV. We're very eager to get this thing sold (what seller ISN'T eager to sell quickly??).  We put a lot of work into the place, and God knows it looks a million times better now than it did when we bought it a few years ago. Hopefully some nice family will fall in love with it, much like we did...

5. In Cady O'Daly horse news...
- Artie, Mom's flashy dun halfbred mare by Tag, is doing well at Novice this year, schooling Training, and getting fancier each day. Talk about a jumping bean!
- Marco, my "child", is sidelined for a bit recovering from an injury he sustained during our early-spring trip down to Ocala and Aiken in February. Forever after, Marco shall be known as "The Money Pit."
- Patrick, Josh's prodigy, is turning out to be the coolest horse...he spent the winter hilltopping and now he's getting ready to launch his eventing career. One day Josh will learn to sit that huge trot...
- Teddy, the brumby-look alike and hunt pony extraordinaire, is dabbling in eventing this year...he treats dressage with the utmost disdain, but thankfully is showing boldness in the jumping phases.
- The 3yos - Amigo, Tink, and Ethel have all been backed. Without a fuss. What a fun group to bring along! I do have Amigo listed for sale, but he's so easy-going and athletic that I'm tempted to hang onto him for a few years and play with him a bit more.
- Colleen, the grand matriarch, is approximately 32 this year! And still going strong, bossing around my yearling, Louie (my amazing Claire de LuneSE x Cady cross...powerhouse!).
- Tag is on HIGH ALERT with all the spring hormones in the can usually find him strutting across his field, long mane flapping in the wind, his faithful mini-donkeys close behind... Since he's retired from competition, we've let him go "au natural"...he really does look like he's fresh off the boat from Ireland! He's expecting a few offspring next year...fingers crossed we have a safe and successful breeding season. 

There are several other horses here for training and sales, but these are the "family members"... 

All for now... off to brave the elements and pack the trailer for one of our favorite little local horse trials at Wavertree Farm. Mom will take Artie in the Novice, I'm attempting Beginner Novice with Teddy the Toad, and Josh is doing Advanced Green with Patty.

Cheers -

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Report - Reg. 3 Connemara Show & Corgi Pups

The Reg.3 Connemara Show in Middleburg will be remembered for being quite a lovely time--in weather, fellowship, and rewards. On the first day, we showed our batch of 4 yr olds in the CT at the BN level. Artie was second in dressage, and then was under-piloted to a few rails in jumping. Fred went clean and ended in 2nd overall. Marco said "eek" to the jumps...evil gates and boxes. So back to green on the Sunday... and on to big boy pants when we got him home. Saturday afternoon was payback time for Cady--winning the mare in-hand class, and the overall best purebred of the day! (Payback from UpperLowerville--is that rude... well, my editor will bleep that!) Fred's in-hand career ended quietly, but he made a slight comeback as the three purebreds won the Get of Sire class! Now Tag has a ribbon on his stall-- a latter day tradition. Ask me about the day Keeper got out and tore all of Hokie's ribbon's down...

(Top Left: Ridgetop Cady O'Daly wins her third mare class of her career...and wins her first ever 'Best Purebred Connemara' victory! Photo by Megan Buchanan Harris.)

Sunday was also beautiful--and rewarding--Marco got a hack and jumping ribbon, and Artie got second in the hack--wow. Fred showed his style with flying changes and beautiful rides. Artie got the job done, but needs some work on the leads. Our hunter career ended with a bang and a reserve tricolor ribbon. Then Josh and Cady went to work, and kept everyone entertained, and finished the day with the distinguished "Another Notch Award"-- best overall pony. Pretty cool!

(Right: Emily & Josh posing for a photo-op with Cady after receiving the Another Notch Award. Photo by Sandy McShea.)

So Marco came home with me and the princesses Cady and Artie headed back to WV. Marco is off to big boy camp, and he is coming along. His body has gone through so many changes, he didn't know what to do. Now we are galloping and jumping and doing hills and trails and stadium jumping. Pretty fun assignment, if you ask me!

We would like to introduce the newest equine to join the farm: Nellie--3 days old! Her mom is Nelda (origin of name :Harry Belafonte song about donkey Joe) And she finally made her appearance, squeaky moist and on her feet when we got to the barn at 6:30 am Thur. What a lovely Christmas in July present!!!

And we also welcome the arrival of healthy Corgi pups Tuesday evening. Piglet, Christopher, Kanga, Roo, Winnie, Eeyore, Robin.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Virginia Horse Trials Update

We took two Tag offspring to the Virginia Horse Trials a few weeks ago, and both were stepping up to new levels. Keeper, the 8 yr old, competed in her first recognized Training, and Class Clown, or Hokie, was enjoying his first recognized sleep-over BN. The love affair between the two was the most difficult part, and Keeper, only inches away from Hokie but unseen in her stall, wouldn't answer his mournful cries. Pretty soon his cries got a bit hoarse, but not feeble. Both had lovely warm-ups on Friday despite being separated.

On Saturday Keeper had a very nice dressage, though not as nice as the warm-up, but enough to put us up there. Stadium jumping was next in the arena, and I could hear lots of rails coming down. It was getting a bit ridiculous actually, so we were greatly relieved and encouraged to leave them all up. Hokie had a very lovely dressage ride next, and moved along nicely down the long side in the direction of the barn. He kept his head in the game though, and finished well, but jigged all the way back to his sweetheart. His stadium round was awesome, too, and clean, and it was his first time in the coliseum.

Sunday found Keeper in first, and Hokie in 3rd or so, but no time to consider that. Keeper's cross-country time was 8:30 am, and I worried a bit about the wet grass, but I added a few grass studs and put it out of my mind. It never was an issue, and she never put a foot wrong the whole time. I had put her in a simple hackamore this week, and she loved it. I truly had the ride of my life out there, and came home in plenty of time for the win. Yahoo! It was an interesting and plenty challenging course, and I feel pretty good about trying some other Training courses with her now--she is so capable and confident!

Hokie romped home for second place with awesome rhythm and purpose out there. Nearly every jump came up out of stride--it was a wonderful ride. So this weekend ranks right up there as one of the best of all time for me. The best part is that I delivered both of these younguns as babies, so I'm a proud mama!

Click here to see Keeper's show jumping round

Click here to see Keeper's cross-country round

Click here to see Hokie's show jumping round

Click here to see Hokie's cross-country round


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun at Green Hill Park with the Babies

April 9

Good fun day at Green Hill Park at the Combined Test. Artisan was making her debut today--and I'll say I've never started a 4 yr old at Beginner Novice, but she thought the course was so silly and small. I'm going to enjoy this horse. She got her first ribbon (if you don't count the Future Event Horse championship last summer when she was three and won!) Hokie had some separation problems but did his job at his first Novice and got a second with a rail--pretty proud of his bravery today. And I am proud of myself riding him like my daughter taught me!


Hokie's first Novice

Artisan's first Beginner Novice

Keeper Schooling Cross-Country

Video of Cady's Goldkeeper & Alicia schooling Training Cross-Country at Virginia Horse Center - March 2011