I believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason. Today, the November skies were smiling on us. Let’s trek back to Friday… On Friday, I took the working students to Keeneland to see the Thoroughbred sales. The objective was to evaluate a half sister to Nemo who was listed for sale. I have made it a bit of a life mission to come up with a half sibling to Nemo, which is getting more and more difficult as his sire is deceased. We looked at her, and she was a fine mare, but something short of extraordinary, and I did not see much resemblance to my beloved Nemo. Sigh. Disheartened, we regrouped and I decided to take the girls around the barns and have a bit of an educational trip on how to assess eventing prospects. We looked at several, and as we just happened to walk down one barn aisle, one of the WS just happened to see a name on a stall door that made them giggle.
I’ve been to the sales a hundred times, and I can tell you that I’ve never once paid attention to the names on the stall doors. But fate intervened, and this time I did. As the girls were discussing the names, I saw on a door up ahead the name “Moonlight Memories.” I asked myself, ‘Why did that sound soooooo familiar??? Is it some big race sire? No. Who was it then??’ It is Nemo’s mother!!!
What fate. I had NO idea that she was in the sale. She has been owned by the same farm for more than a decade. Had I liked the filly (half sis to nemo), we would have gone home. Had we been one barn over, we would have missed her. Had the girls not been reading names, we never would have seen her stall.
Saturday, I was coaching our young stars at Lakeside. The crossrails classes finished about 3pm… It was a long, exhausting, wonderful day. But Sunday, if I was to have any hope of getting to Keeneland, I needed the day to finish sooner. Fingers crossed… And miraculously, the last of the ponies did their last round at 10:10am…. I had time to go to Keeneland! In the sleet and the snow I darted to keeneland as fast as I could. Just enough time to show her to Howard and then go to bid on her.
What a nervewrecking process! Because it is an auction, the interest in a horse determines the price, so you have NO IDEA what a horse will sell for! She was in book 8, so I knew she wouldn’t be a million dollar horse, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t go for $25k, which would be waaaaay over my head!!
Howard was a star…. He did the bidding while I sat beside him, biting my tongue, staring at the price on the electronic screen in the sales pavilion, trying to talk it down with my eyes. There was quite a bidding war on her–we were bidding against multiple other parties, and everyone was fighting hard for her!! I was quickly losing hope, trying to grip reality that we would lose her forever. But fate played its hand again, and we were lucky enough to win her bid by a difference of $200. Talk about cutting it close!!
When they brought the sales form, I could hardly sign my name while I was shedding tears of joy. (I actually got the sales contract wet with tears.) What an incredibly emotional moment!! She is only 13yo, and Nemo was her first foal at only 7yo. Because he graded Advanced so early, and because she had him so early, we have a one in a billion opportunity to now create custom breedings to the dam of a proven Advanced horse!!!!!! How many mares in the world have foaled an international Advanced level event horse??? Only a handful! I think this could definitely put our event horse breeding program on a world class level. What an opportunity of a lifetime!!! I am so humbled, so grateful, so happy, so excited!
She is a beautiful mare. She is a bright orange chestnut just like Nemo, with his same wonderfully powerful hip that makes Reese, a grand prix dressage rider, call him “a collection freak”. Nemo’s dam has his same incredibly uphill build and the same uphill neck. She has a beautiful head and exactly the same personality. All these years I have been dutifully searching for a horse by his sire, and it was his DAM that was passing on so many of those traits that I cherish. She is a find of a lifetime. Nemo’s sire is deceased, so unfortunately we’ll be unable to create full siblings, but she is currently in foal due in April to a sire who is very similar to Nemo’s sire. SO she is currently carrying a 3/4 brother to Nemo due in April!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about tears of joy. I am a ball of emotion at this point. I am so excited about her future as a broodmare with us.
If Nemo is the Prince of the farm, then that makes this mare The Queen Mother. (Like The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth of England) Hence, we’re going to call her “Liz” for a barn name. 🙂