We started out with a couple of Shires around 1980 in Washington, and then moved them to Oregon in 1982. We acquired a couple more Shires from Sue Wilson when she ended her Shire breeding program. They trace their lineage back to Ladbrook Invader, who she imported and was the tallest horse bred in England at the time - 19.1 1/2 hh. One of the mares we acquired was named Folly Farm Cinnamon Surprise, and she produced 4 offspring, with us retaining the last two before her untimely death. Her most well-known offspring is Laurel's Powerful Paul, who resided at War Horse Farm in Minnesota and most recently at Found Feather Farm in North Carolina, unfortunately, he has passed on .
After a number of years raising purebred Shires, we changed over to Shire crosses, most notable are those crosses with a Shire mare and a smaller stallion, preferably an Arabian. One of these crosses (Laurel's Carolina) was at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center in California and excelled in dressage. We have found that we prefer the cross with a Shire mare to that with a Shire stallion. These crosses have much more suspension and fluidity of movement than the popular Shire or Clyde -Thoroughbred crosses.
We also have two Welsh Cob Section D mares that we have crossed with our Arabian Stallion. This combination is little known and called a "Welara" (www.welararegistry.com). Queen Elizabeth noted that they are the "most beautiful of ponies" (the British call their horses ponies even though they are of horse size). They are excellent small sport horses, have amazing extended trots and they do well at dressage and driving.
In June of 2004, we imported the yearling Irish Gypsy Cob, Clononeen Clover Hill, so that we could breed our Shire mares to produce some Drum Horses (see www.ADHA.com). Any foals may be purchased in utero. Please contact us for more information.
Our horses are all pasture-raised with other horses so they learn to be horses. Some of our land is hillside, so they know how to negotiate difficult terrain and mud. The youngsters are handled from day one and learn to be tied and stand quietly. At no time are they spoiled or allowed to become pushy. We feed grass hay that we produce ourselves. Our breeding program is always live cover. Pasture breeding is most successful, though more difficult to accomplish with big mares and a small stallion.
At present we have several youngsters for sale, see Horses For Sale. Please contact us for further information. We welcome visits and it is good to let us know when you are coming.
John Bealey and Jolly Hibbits-Bealey, Owners