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the abuse, neglect, and injury Mollie suffered, she was still sound and still trusted people. She did her best to please and had the best ground manners I have ever seen. We were very excited to reproduce her. Soon fate would bring me the right stallion

as well, the one that had already caught my imagination. My friend Carolyn Walch of Windance Lusitanos in Santa Maria purchased Uirapuru to become her foundation stallion. Windance, located at C&H Peruvians in Santa Maria, is also the home training barn of German Baca so the stage was set! “Pu,” as we call him, was imported from Brazil and had not yet had his first season as a breeding stallion. He is big boned, a beautiful mover, athletic, and has a wonderful disposition. He is a gorgeous palomino with an almost iridescent sheen to his coat. Even though Pu was still green, we immediately saw the fabulous potential of a cross between Mollie, who came from royal lines in the “sport of kings,” and Pu, whose ancestors carried the Conquistadors while recording history! I discussed the cross with German, who had worked with Mollie, and he agreed that the pairing was a good choice.


The breeding was completely natural and did not involve any drugs to bring her into a breedable heat. She was teased into heat by the stallion, bred by natural cover and took on the first breeding. Her gestation was uneventful with no signs or symptoms that anything was out of the ordinary. We were very excited to be expecting our first Iberian Warmblood! We discussed ultrasounding Mollie with a number of

vets and ultimately decided to forego the ultrasound. There were a couple of reasons for this. Because Mollie was such a long-bodied mare, there was a good chance the procedure would not be accurate. In addition, she was a proven broodmare with a history of single births who had been bred by live cover without any fertility drugs. In fact, because of the foals’ positions in her womb, it is quite likely we wouldn’t have seen the second fetus in an ultrasound.


Mollie was due on August 24th 2008, but there was a full moon on August 16th. I knew from my years at a breeding farm that a full moon brings delivery on and we were completely prepared for her to foal that night. As expected, she began dripping milk that morning and by 11:00 that night, her udder was streaming. I went into the house to put on some long pants, got my phone and flashlight, and went back out to the barn. In that short amount of time,

46 November/December 2009

Being the Willie Nelson fan

that I am, I figured that if the first one was Pancho, his brother must be Lefty. Katie agreed because, as she said, “We almost leftied him behind!”

Mollie was down, pushing, and in trouble. My daughter Katie called the vet and Carolyn, Pu’s owner, while I did my best to help the mare. In just a matter of minutes our field vet Dr. Eric De Vos

of Los Padres Equine arrived and set to work. He made the mare as comfortable as humanly possible before determining that the foal was stuck, presenting in a sideways manner. It took him 45 minutes to untangle the mess before we were able to pull the foal. He said to us, “I haven’t felt any life in the foal so I want you prepared for a dead baby.” It took both of us to pull and a beautiful buckskin colt landed in my lap. I felt so bad because Katie had spent the better part of the mare’s pregnancy whispering “buckskin filly, buckskin filly” into the mare’s belly and now I had a dead buckskin in my lap. Then I looked down at him and saw that his eyes were blinking! All that passed through my mind was “OhmyGod OhmyGod OhmyGod…he’s alive! …I’ve gotta name him before he dies… He’s a Spanish warmblood. (He’s actually Portuguese but my Spanish was better than my Portuguese.) What’s the first Spanish name I can think of? Pancho! Well hello, Pancho! Welcome to the family!” Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77
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