For Those We've Lost
The legend passed from this world to the next July 16, 2004, due to a ruptured abdomen. He has left a quietly, but deeply grieving woman behind and a fellowship of fans and admirers. He is much missed and still loved, and it is our joy to know his soul lives on in the wonderful sons and daughters and their progeny that he gave to this world. Frans was one of less than 20 Approved stallions in the U.S., and less than 100 worldwide, making his life at Toadstool Farm a dream come true for us! Having loved this stallion from afar for a very long time, and having dreamed always of having one of these rare stallions, Jacqueline was quite literally shaking and lightheaded when Frans officially became hers. Frans was one of the last of the rare Age line, his sire is Lammert 260, his dam's sire is Ewoud 250, and Frans is himself sire to approved stallion Melle. Frans was Prix St. George trained, and the Friesian star of the Robert Vavra book, "Horses of the Sun", making him one of the more famous Friesians in the world. His photograph has graced the cover of calenders, magazines and other miscellaneous gift products across the world and still does. Frans presence is undeniable. At age 21 ( the age he was when we got him) he still had the most captivating energy, but no longer felt the need to draw attention to himself through the more obvious antics younger stallions perform. Frans simply WAS. His personality was that of a total lamb, Jacqueline called him, "Creampuff". He used to nap after breakfast, and has been known to express enjoyment of sharing Jacqueline's company during this time, when she clambers across his back and snores right along with him. To ride him was best compared to driving a Rolls Royce. It was the epitome of luxury; smoothe, serene, and comfortable, with that unmistakably powerful engine purring along underneath you, ready to jump and roar at the slightest urging. He was as sound and healthy as a horse half his age , and Jacqueline is still extremely honored to be the human chosen to spend the end of his life with him.
Wolfe was born April 3rd, 1999. A purebred Friesian colt, he was out of Bendert and Nikkie, a Reitse mare. Wolfe fell out of his mother into Jacqueline's lap, and she was there to support him as he took his first breaths and his first steps. Wolfe was quite a precocious foal, and he grew up into a precocious and loving stallion! But Wolfe's story is rather a sad one. His mother was killed in a horrible accident when Wolfe was only 5 weeks old. Jacqueline handraised him from that point on, feeding him with a bottle, and often sleeping in his stall with him on her lap. She even rented him a goat to keep him company!From gangly beginnings, Wolfe was shaping up into a wonder horse! His future was to be a Champion Dressage horse. He had movement and presence unrivaled! Long legs, long neck, beautiful head, and incredibly smart. He was the horse everyone stopped and said, "WHO is that horse!?" But in his barn, in his stall, he was still Jacqueline's baby. He still tried to curl his 1700 lbs into her lap, and he still fell asleep to the sound of his favorite lullaby. He was 17.2 hands at not quite three years old, and we figured he would eventually grow to be one of the tallest Friesians in the United States! But his heart was too big for this world. On February 20th, Wolfe was found dead in his stall. He looked asleep, and as an autopsy revealed, he probably was. The wall of Wolfe's heart had opened and a flood of blood had stopped it. He most likely never even woke up. Jacqueline's grief knew no bounds, and the outpouring of sympathy and grief for this beloved stallion was amazing. Flowers covered his stall, and cards came by mail in piles. Jacqueline was and is still grateful for the love everyone showed her wonder baby, and she is thankful for the most extraordinary not-quite three years she had with him. Wolfe has become Jacqueline's guardian angel.
May, 2011 Topsy is our purebred Gypsy Cob mare. She was a 1998 baby. She came to us in the Fall of 2003 from the green rolling mountains of Ireland. Topsy had the sweetest disposition you could ever hope for. Unbelievably calm in demeanor, you could put the greenest riders on her bareback with nothing more than a halter or a piece of string and know they would be absolutely completely safe with her. Jacqueline compared her often to the English Sheepdog in Peter Pan, "Nana". In fact, after Jacqueline had her baby in November of 2005, Topsy was the first horse of her herd she rode as she was getting past her postpartum period. The day Topsy stepped off the trailer at Toadstool Farm, Jacqueline draped the halter over her neck, hopped on her bareback and puttered all over the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.In and out and between the tractors, show trailers and temporary barns being torn down from the last weekends Big Dressage Show, Topsy never once so much as looked funny at any of the strange and scary new things she saw. Jacqueline said it was like riding a Yoga Mat! Safe and relaxing. Topsy had the most stunning "Fairy Eyes"...Jacqueline's name for blue eyes with black eyeliner. A solidly built mare with good feathering and great markings, there was just nothing cuter than that white face and forelock with the little black ears poking out of the hair!
Sissy was our 1982 partbred Arabian mare, and National Show Horse. She was approximately 92% Arabian, and boy did she know it. Retired from 'active service' at age 18 due to two back to back emergency colic surgeries she earned a living occasionally giving rides to Jacqueline or her friends, or being a lesson horse for small children. Sissy's registered name was Cal-O-Flame, and she was out of the great Cal-Dorado. His first foal, to be exact. Sissy remained, even in retirement, a handful, though safe, for more experienced riders, but a gentle lamb for children, and the inexperienced. At the age of 14, many, many years ago... Sissy taught Jacqueline's small son to ride and years later, right up until she passed away in May 2011 at age 29, was teaching Jacqueline's then five year old daughter, Antonia, how to ride. She was a true treasure and is dearly missed.
Nikkie, the ethereal one. Our first broodmare, and the mother of not only Wolfe, (who is shown as a wee colt in this picture), but also Pagan and Willow. Nikkie was a purebred Friesian mare by Reitse and out of a Dagho mare. She was brought to this country by Frank Leyendekker. Toadstool Farm acquired Nikkie a year after buying one of her sons, Pagan. Nikkie has since passed from this world. We love her and honor her and thank her for the joy she brought us, and the sons and daughters she gave.
And All The Other Critters
Palo, Woof, Seamus, Barkley, Goblin, Cneajna, Bridey, Isabel, Mattie, Buttons, Truffles, Daisy, Poppy, Pepper, Turtle, Whisper, Batty, Tulip, Nepal, my beloved familiar Ella, all the hamsters, and Freckles the Highlander Fish....there could be only one.