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Carnival Hill either. Also a mother of three, Debbie Malcolmson had been on an entirely different career track before moving to New Hampshire in 2000. This former advertising manager for a national Canadian retail chain gave up the corporate life to stay at home with her youngest child. Horses were always an important part of her life, but the notion of becoming a horse breeder was the furthest thing from her mind. The move to a farm in New Hampshire changed all that. Like many people, Debbie first decided to breed for

purely selfish reasons. “I originally only bred for myself,” she recounts. “I strived to produce the kind of horse that I had always wanted since I couldn’t justify spending the family budget on my dream horse. I also wanted a clean slate; I was tired of dealing with someone else’s mistakes. We lived just down the road from Spruce Meadows,” she continues, “so I spent a lot of time there drooling over the horse candy. Honestly, I never thought that I could actually own anything even close to that. Now, when I read the nameplates on the stalls in my barn with names like Nimmerdor and Chin Chin, I still can’t believe it! Life takes you to unexpected places.” Then the unexpected did happen. February 9, 2006

was a day that Carnival Hill would prefer to erase from its memory. Every horse owner’s worst nightmare came true

Te flly Floree MG (Schroeder x Silvano x Flemmingh) at liberty during the Foal Expo event.

when their 150-year old historic barn completely burned to the ground. None of their horses survived. Debbie continues, “When the shock wore off, I had a

decision to make. Either walk away from horses entirely, or start over. I chose to start over.” What began as just a hobby had now become a mission. “I’m not sure what was driving me at that point, grief or stubbornness, but the next thing I knew, Kathy and I were on a plane to Holland to buy mares.” There has been no looking back. In four short years,

Carnival Hill has achieved remarkable progress. Just four months after the fire, a foal (imported in-utero) was born, a filly that became first premium and Top Five in the nation. She was in fact born at Majestic Gaits. Kathy had offered to board Debbie’s mare there while the new barn was being built. Ironically, the very next day another filly was born at Majestic Gaits, a black filly by Prestige. One of Debbie’s mares lost in the fire had been in foal to Prestige. Through some strange twist of fate, Kathy’s filly who was presold, suddenly became available. She’s now one of the mares at Carnival Hill. The trend has continued, with several more first

premium foals. Their broodmare band has grown to include keur and elite mares that represent the best sporthorse bloodlines in Holland. In 2008, one of their imported mares achieved Top Five status on the KWPN-NA inspection tour. Like its namesake, the path to becoming a serious breeder has been a steep and rocky one for Carnival Hill. The journey, unplanned and rough as it was, has proven surprisingly successful. Their logo serves as a reminder of its origins displaying three noble horses, representing the three that lost their lives and forever changed the course of the farm’s history.

FOAL EXPO Returning to the Foal Expo, here are two people, both

Phoo by Carole MacDonald 32 January/February 2011

breeding Dutch horses, and both selling Dutch horses. Why, and how, could they put together a project that clearly presents a conflict of interest? “This project was simply too large an undertaking for either one of us to attempt alone. Together it was do-able. We are a committee of two; that makes things easy. One phone call or email, and a decision was quickly made. I’m not sure this would have worked otherwise or with anyone else,” says Kathy. “We know each other well and know each other’s strengths. Luckily they complement one another.” In fact, the whole event from idea to completion happened in just over a five-week period! Once they had secured the location for the event (generously donated by local dressage facility Ten Broeck Farm), the details quickly fell into place. Invitations were emailed via their respective contact lists, Facebook, and through press releases in


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