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!