Although everyone at Phoenix Farm has been blessed by working with wonderful human trainers and coaches, in the end it is our horses who are our greatest teachers. Meet the equines who inspire and educate us every day. The greatest of these was Master Merlin, a horse of a lifetime for John and Heather who passed away in September 2009. Please visit his page to learn about this special horse.


Firebolt
Born in 2002
15.1 hand liver chestnut Appendix Quarter Horse mare


img_0931.jpg"Alba" was a horse we never looked for or planned on aquiring, but she came in to our lives just the same. Alhough the original plan was to sell her as a nice, cute, lower-level horse, she has proven to be so much more than that. This "little mare that could" has wormed her way in to our hearts—and off the for-sale page. As quiet and easy on the ground as you could ever want, she has the heart of a lion when a fence is in front of her. Who knows, maybe 10 years from now she'll be Wesley's first event horse. UPDATE: Alba finished second in the Galway Downs CCI* with steeplechase. We are so proud of our little girl! Alba has competed at preliminary level since 2010, finishing second at the classic-format Galway Downs CCI1* in 2011 and jumping clear on cross-country at the 2013 Galway Downs CCI1*. She competed 10 times at intermediate in 2013 and 2014, finishing in the ribbons five times, and she has been competing at training and preliminary levels ever since. Alba is available for lease by a motivated, hard-working student.

Mystic Millennium
Born in 2001
15.0 hand Bay Tobiano APHA gelding


mystersj.jpgThis funny, fesity horse had tried out a lot of careers, before he found his true calling in eventing. Bred and originally owned by farm manager Roxanne Rainwater, Myster and Heather started working together early in 2010 after his penchant for bucking proved too painful for Roxanne. They did their first event together in May of 2010, and have garnered high-placed ribbons at beginner novice and novice. On off weeks Myster enjoys giving lessons to qualified students. Myster is now our No. 1 schoolmaster. He’s a champion at teaching riders of all ages and experience, because he can instill confidence in anxious riders or teach new skills to more confident riders. Everybody loves Myster, and he is available for lease.


Phoenix Secret
Born in 1998
15.3-hand, bay Thoroughbred gelding by Class Secret (by Secretariat) out of Native Monarch


shawnxc1“Shawn” is our first homebred and the inspiration for our breeding program. John competed his mother “Ariel” in eventing and raced her over hurdles and over timber. She was also a winner on the flat track. Born with a serious kidney infection Shawn spent the first week of his life in the NICU at the Marion du Pont Scott Equine clinic in Leesburg, Va. Heather spent all day every day at the clinic, caring for him and holding him on her lap. Day by day he fought the infection, grew stronger and blossomed into a phenomenal horse. Competed by professional Sharon White, Shawn is a ribbon winner through the intermediate level and a winner at novice, training, and preliminary. Top riders and trainers have evaluated him as a serious prospect for the top levels of the sport. Following a pasture injury, Shawn returned to competition in 2007 with former Phoenix Farm associate trainer John Michael Durr, garnering ribbons at preliminary and intermediate, and placing sixth in the classic-format CCI* at Rebecca Farm. We feel so blessed to have our first homebred ascend to such great heights, but he’ll always be our little “Scrawnie Shawnie”. Unfortunately, Shawn has proven to be Ariel’s only foal. Shawn has since shown the ropes of eventing to four young riders. He’s currently being leased by working student McKenzie Thomas, who’ll soon be competing him at novice level.

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Phoenix Bellisima
Born 2009
Bay pinto Oldenburg/TB filly by Palladio out of Lizzie's Hero (Pardner's Hero)

This little girl has been everything we were hoping for from the start--flashy, fancy, female, and COLORFUL! Her mother Lizzie was an extraordinary mare, and we miss her every day, but she lives on in her darling daughter. And if she got a jump like her winning Dad's! Bella has won ribbons at more than half a dozen training level events and is currently competing at training level.
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Alpine Music
Born 2012
Chestnut Thoroughbred mare by Swiss Yodeler out of Seniti (FIve Star Day)

Before we lost Amani to malignant tumors in Nov. 2015, Heather searched for get of the Thoroughbred stallion Swiss Yodeler, because she’d heard that his get had excellent workhorse temperaments. She found a 3-year-old, unraced filly, who’d been turned out for about 6 months after getting slightly injured in what was to be her final workout before her racing debut. We took her out of the field at the trainer’s farm, and John set about longeing in a flattish area next to where her half a dozen pasturemates were milling anxiously about. Lola went right to work, ignoring her pasturemates. That moment was an accurate indicator of Lola’s work ethic, and John said then, “If this horse can’t gallop and jump, then I haven’t been paying attention for the last 40 years.”

Everything we’ve done with her since , her reaction could be best described as, “I was wondering when we were finally going to do that!” As 2016 ends, Lola has eagerly jumped faultlessly around two beginner novice cross-country courses and one novice cross-country course (at Fresno in October.) John is eager to move her up to training level in 2017. “On cross-country, she feels like Alba all over again,” says John.



Kaydett
Born in 2000
Dark Bay Thoroughbred Gelding
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This handsome boy came along just when Heather needed him most. She’s gotten to compete him a few times, but motherhood and her journalism career keep getting in the way. Kaydett, who loves to jump, especially on a cross-country course, is currently available for lease.



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