Our boys (and two girls) at Friendship Farm and Yet Again Farm!
OK, I know we are saps but you will find our beloved seniors listed first, and then our riding horses.
Still a handsome devil at 28.
31 year old, 15.3+ hand chestnut Trakehner gelding owned by Maureen Wurzel
The King... Presto is a retired show hunter and was one of the best in his career. Maureen purchased him as a three year old and together they had a long line of successes including competing wonderfully at "A" shows in New England and Harrisburg and Washington International. No horse ever had a prettier jump and he explains the rules of success to all his pasture mates. Presto still looks the part and enjoys the attention royalty deserves. He's a role model on how to age with spunk and grace. He is the ideal turn out companion to explain to all younger models the appropriate behavior and submission, without ever touching them.
22 year old, 16.1 hand dark bay Hanoverian gelding owned by Amy Bresky
Purchased sight unseen by Amy, Welkin was selected in Germany by her dressage trainer, Verne Batchelder in Spring 2007. It has turned out to be a wonderful decision, as he and Amy have reached heights she only dreamed of before. He is a handsome fireball, with the philosophy that if some is good, more is better, and more power should solve everything. Amy is having a blast learning to channel that energy and is thrilled to have reached the FEI levels. The summer of 2009 was Amy and Welkin's first Prix St. Georges and Amy earned her Silver Medal on him. A horse of strong opinions and lots of power, he gives her the opportunity to learn more every day.
March 2009 Update: Amy just came back from a great three weeks in Florida working with Verne and doing a little showing. They made another big step and graduated to Intermediare I. It was a successful first outing at that level and now it's time to work on improving all the little details.
May - October 2009 Update: After more fun and successful shows in North Carolina with scores at Intermediare I to over 67%, the trip back to MA proved to be disastrous. Welkin arrived very lame, and we'll never know how or where but it turned out that a piece of wood went directly up into the delicate structures in his foot, doing damage and causing infection. After spending the entire summer stallbound at the equine hospital and enduring numerous antibiotic profusions, an MRI and a CAT scan, as well as surgery and shock wave therapy, he is enjoying his return to Southern Pines. He is still not completely sound but there is hope that he will slowly recover from the deep digital flexion ligament injury. He now gets to go out in a small round pen with his buddy, Simon, on the outside around him, and gets handwalked several times a day. Everything possible medically has been done and time is now his best ally and hope.
January 2010 Update: Amy can now get on and ride Welkin at the walk and he is such a gentleman about it. He seems to enjoy this relaxed version of riding and gets a half-hour daily, plus his handwalking. Kelly, our barn manager, has been wonderful about making sure he gets his handwalk time. He's now sound at the walk but not 100% sound at the trot, so time is still our best hope.
April 2010 Update: It's now 11 months after his injury, and Welkin is back in nearly full work. Sometimes there are a couple of funny steps as he warms up but his ride after that is just great. He is focusing on his collected work at this time, to continue to keep the weight off his front end. This is actually very important, as it is addressing some old issues for the powerhouse. Amy is not riding for the next few weeks, recovering from an emergency appendectomy, so dear friend and talented rider, Jeanette Van Mill, is continuing Welkin's exercise and training. He is looking great and things are hopeful for the future.
July 2010 Update: Welkin miraculously went back into competition this month and was a star. He has qualified for the Regional Championships at Intermediare I on his first outing and was sound and happy. What a gift!
October 2010 Update: Welkin has stayed sound, healthy and happy and we got to compete twice more this summer with good success. The regional Championships are next month here in NC and if all goes well, we'll be there. His time spent working on collection while recovering has paid off.
June 2011 Update: Welkin continues on his sound path and has continued his training and competing at Intermediare I. This past winter brought a really great training experience in Ocala with Verne Batchelder for a month. Two big highlights for us are learning to piaffe and passage, and a 67+% ride at the Dressage in the Sandhills show this spring. Don't know that I'll ever see a score like that again, but it's on video and I can watch it when I am in the old bats' home.
May 2013 Update: After a stellar couple of years competing at Intermediare I, including getting to create and ride an I1 musical freestyle, I decided that Welkin and I had accomplished everything I had ever hoped for and more. Jeanette van Mill, a skilled professional and dear friend, has taken over the ride on the boy and they are a fantastic team! She has known him for years and appreciates him, quirks and all. He now lives at her lovely Dutchfield Farm in Aberdeen, NC and and I have the great pleasure of going to shows with them and watching them compete. No surprise that the two of them were stars their first time out together.
November 2016 Update: Jeanette earned her silver medal on Welkin and he returned back to Friendship Farm in September of 2015. He is now retired from the show ring but still going great and I still love riding him. He is now schooling all the movements from the Grand Prix and helps me practice them for my competition horse. He's remains a hot, forward horse but has mellowed a bit and is still my very favorite ride.
23 year old, 16.2 hand dark bay Thoroughbred gelding owned by Maureen Wurzel
O'Reilly is a very talented show hunter who has competed up and down the east coast and Canada. Maureen brought him from a barely broken 3 year old who was in a dressage barn and has taken him to successes in both the Adult Hunters and the Amateur-Owner Hunters. He was leased to a Canadian mother /daughter pair who enjoyed and successfully showed him in Canada and at the Wellington Equestrian Festival in FL in 2009. He is now back at Yet Again Farm and loving the relaxed life and lots of turnout. Maureen can still knock out a letter-perfect trip on the handsome "machine".
May 2013 Update: "O" is now embarking on a new phase of his life, learning to be an event horse! He lopes around the cross country courses with surprising bravery for schooling days, and Maureen is threatening to do an actual horse trials sometime soon.
October 2014 Update: "O" now truly has the life of Reilly, with just the occasional hack and hours spent peacefully grazing.
November 2016 Update: "O" and Presto are the retired seniors now but still can be seen kicking up their heels in the pasture.
MADELINE (THE DIVINE MISS "M")
Patrick gets a surprise Christmas present in '02
Patrick's last show with Madeline at the Big E in '07. She
grew up to be a beauty!
20 year old, 12.3 hand gray Welsh pony mare owned by Patrick Wurzel
She's the only girl of our herd and what a lady she has grown up to be! Madeline was purchased as a Christmas surprise gift for Patrick when he was 8. She was a school pony at 4 years old, which gives you an idea of her excellent mind. She was safe as can be for Patrick in his early years of riding and taught him to really ride, as she took perfect care of her young charge while giving nothing away. Since Patrick had outgrown her, and the Wurzel family did not want to give her up, she has been leased. She did come back to the farm and had an adorable foal, Lucy, who is now 3 years old.
November 2014 Update: Madeline has continued to be leased to little girls for a year or two at a time. She has been a star for each, teaching them how to ride and being the safest of show hunter ponies. She has won all over the place along the way! She is a favorite of the moms too, and they follow her career with the next child closely. Maureen always goes to see her whenever she is showing in our area.
January 2015 Update: Madeline has returned home after teaching another little girl with patience and talent. She is loving getting her turnout time out with her old bud, Presto, and we'll see what the future holds for her.
November 2016 Update: Madeline is back out teaching another little girl and her even littler sister how to ride and show. She is still the sweetest, most patient pony with her young "weeblers".
21 year old, 17.2 hand chestnut Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Amy Bresky
Walt is a big guy for sure but always the gentleman. He has the most elegant light movement and you feel like a princess every time you sit on him. He was purchased in FL in 2012 and I had the great priviledge of riding him for about 2 years. He was trained to Grand Prix, and I had my first real experiences with one tempi changes on him. We competed briefly at Intermediaire II until neck problems and EPM retired him from competition and dressage. These days, Walt has found a perfect match in my friend, Beth Stevens, who comes to ride and love on him regularly. While picking up the connection is not really possible, they do it all from hacking, to flying changes and even a little jumping. He is still a breathtaking sight, sweeping across the ground.
SPOT ON (SPROUT)
6 year old, 15.0 hand Appaloosa/Friesian cross gelding owned by Amy Bresky
Sprout is the latest addition to the Bresky herd, arriving in December 2016. Yes, you read that right...a Friesian dad and a Foundation Appaloosa mom and he was bred on purpose. It turns out that it is a very fun combination. I saw him on a Facebook post and it stated he had a really good brain. That has turned out to be absolutely true and the person I purchased him from gave him a great, varied start. Since he has been with me, he has gotten to go to FL for 5 weeks, done lots of trail riding and working on the basics. Hopefully, he will be a future guest horse and low level eventer.
IM A MISTER COOL (DUKE) January 28, 1991 - January 14, 2010
Photos by Barry Kaplan
18 year old, 15.1 hand chestnut Quarter Horse gelding owned by Amy Bresky
Dukie never quite found his "career", so he has specialized in being cute. Bred as a halter horse and purchased at auction as a 2 year old by a teenage farm employee, he came to Amy's MA farm to board in exchange for labor. When the teen headed to college, Amy was attached, so he stayed and became a Bresky horse. At that time, it was determined that he had HYPP, a Quarter Horse genetic disease, and has been a real success story in that it has been controlled with diet, exercise and drugs. Unfortunately, in 2009 he developed an inoperable mass behind his eye and nasal cavity. While we cannot make it better, we are doing our best to make him as comfortable as possible for as long as we can. He lives at Friendship Farm year-round where he can sometimes be seen grazing outside the fence all over the farm.
January 2010 Update: Sadly, the day did come when we had to let Dukie go. He left this world with lots of his favorite people around him and a legion of fans who will never forget him. It was a gift that he felt quite good on his last day and we got to see the sparkle in his eye again.
Photos by Barry Kaplan
25 year old, 16.0 hand bay Quarter Horse cross gelding owned by Karen Mackey and Amy Bresky
Simon is perfect... it's not boasting, just the reality. Purchased 11 years ago from a close friend, Simon has had many roles in the past including eventing but is now retired, He was the perfect quiet guest horse, building confidence for whoever is on his back. While he used to travel back and forth between north and south, he is now a permanent Southern Pines resident. His legs are getting a little challenging but he is still a great turnout companion and nickers eagerly at mealtimes.
January 15, 2015: Sadly, Simon's legs would no longer support him well and it was time to say good-bye. He was the definition of the ideal gentleman his entire life. Now he's out grazing with Dukie.