(Medomak Cavalier X Kennebec Opal)
1992 buckskin mare, 15.1,
I'd always wanted a buckskin Morgan. In the spring of 1993,
Grace Stone, the mother of one of my boarders, told me about a buckskin
filly at Kennebec Morgans, where she boarded her horse. I had another
friend who worked at Kennebec, so I asked her about the filly, and her
positive comments echoed Grace's. Though Topaz was not officially for sale and
several breeders had tried (unsuccessfully) to buy her already, I went ahead and inquired any
way. Topaz's breeder, the late Miss Margaret Gardiner, was very careful about the homes
her horses go to and she had just been through some bad experiences in that
regard, so she was being doubly cautious. But as I understand it, my friends
reassured Miss Gardiner that I would do right by Topaz, and so she put a price
on her and we struck a deal. I feel very fortunate to own a Morgan bred by one of the oldest and most respected breeders in all of Morgandom.
Topaz came all the way from Maine to us here in Georgia
that summer. Just a yearling, she hauled and rode quietly all that way by herself, like an old pro. This impressed the
heck out of the friend I'd entrusted to haul her for me, as Topaz had never been trailered before.
She still approaches each new task with that same calm attitude.
Topaz is also a very curious and friendly animal. She is one of the first horses who come up to visit when
people enter the pasture. Her foals have all inherited her tendency towards being
a social butterfly.
Topaz's first offspring (by the palomino stallion
Adiel's Casino Gold)
is the very kind and beautiful palomino gelding Gone Gold. Her second foal (by the palomino stallion
World's Edge Goldoak) is our exquisite palomino mare
Coral Forest. Topaz's third foal is the 2008 bay gelding Edgefield Gemstone
(by Edgefield Sun Gold) owned by friend and fellow artist, Jennifer Scott.
Topaz's pedigree has no modern outcrosses. It is full of great Morgans from a
variety of old families- Devan Hawk, Archie O, Lippitt Ethan Ash,
Gay Dancer, Cornwallis, Gay Mac, Lippitt Miss Nekomia, and multiple crosses to Flyhawk. My
former vet continually
remarked on this mare's textbook correct feet and legs. I believe that particular attribute is a legacy of her ancestors who
were bred to do hard work- day after day- and stay sound doing it.
A pasture accident in 2008 involving a metal sided run in shed (not at our farm) severed
the peroneus tertius in Topaz's right hind leg. You may notice the swelling and
scar in that hock and its overly straight appearance as a result. Despite her now awkward movement,
she has retained the cheerful attitude and love of people that brightens my day, every day.
You can view Topaz's complete pedigree
||The Brown Falcon
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.
More photos of Topaz
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)
visited us. Topaz,
always the social butterfly, tried very hard to get down on the girls' level.
Topaz with her dam Opal in 1992 in the fields at Kennebec. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.
Topaz as a foal with Kennebec Opal, Summer 1992. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.
Topaz with Bonnie Jean Nickerson, then age 4, in 1992. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.
Jim calls this picture "Mule Train". The horses in their new home, October 1997;
Topaz in the lead mule position.
Topaz with Cassidy Evans (now Sutherland) up, November 2000. This was the first time anyone but myself had ridden her; Topaz accepted this with her usual "ho-hum" attitude :-).
Pregnant mama-to-be in a rare Georgia snowstorm, 1/2/02.
Playing in the snow the next day.
Topaz with Susan Marsh from California, January 2002.
Pregnant mare, April 2004, about 2 weeks from foaling Coral.
Blast off! July 2005.
I was up one morning at sunrise and it was foggy out. Very
mystical, and I had to try and capture
some of that feeling. These two pictures are a couple of the shots that I was able to get. September 2005.
Late November, 2005.
Topaz was on a breeding lease from June of 2007 to February of 2009 at Charlene Cook's Edgefield Morgans in Goshen, IN. Here Char was trying to get pictures of her, but Topaz, being a
typical Morgan, would rather help her take the picture! Photo courtesy of Mary Kay Longacre, June 2007.
after arriving home from Indiana, February 2009.
July 2009- Topaz just wanted to eat. She tried to oblige me though. I think the horses know that when I have
the camera, they are supposed to pose or move!
A little Topaz dynasty! Topaz with her daughter Coral and granddaughter Charli, August 2009.
December 2009- I'd always wanted to do a Christmas card with all the horses on it. So when I saw these pet antlers at the Dollar Store, I had to get them. The next step
was taking a picture of each horse wearing the antlers, then creating the Christmas card you see here.
February 13, 2010- We had a rare snowfall, and I was outside early to get pictures of the ponies before it all melted away. I was hoping for some good frisky
shots but no one was very motivated to do anything other than search for bits of grass under the snow.
10/15/10- I was out taking pictures of Topaz today for an ad in TMH (they are
featuring Kennebec Morgans in their November 2010 issue). The blue ribbon
is part of the Georgia Morgan Horse Club Promotional Award we received earlier this year. I was SO surprised! I received a nice plaque, and this ribbon is the horses',
for their part in promoting the breed at the Southern Model Horse Convention, the model horse show we hold here each year in early October.
The purpose of the show is to introduce model horse hobbyists to Morgans. And it works-
several of our regulars now own and/or breed Morgans.
On June 10, 2011, my sister Aimee and her almost-3-year-old daughters Neve and Lucy
Topaz and Neve. I think Topaz was checking for edible parts, and finding none, went back to her nap ;-)
Family portrait: me, Aimee with Lucy, Neve, and Topaz.
October 6, 2012- Topaz making friends with three young attendees of the 25th Annual Southern Model Horse Convention. Emma Huffman, her
friend Tea and another young show attendee groomed, braided and loved on any Morgan that would
volunteer. The hot wire was off for the day.
May 2013- We hosted a Covington-Conyers Cycling Club Board meeting at the Farm. Jim grilled burgers and we all had a picnic dinner. The weather was wonderful.
One family brought their kids, who wanted to see the horses. With a barn full of friendly Morgans, who could resist?
I took these in an effort to get something to enter in the 2014 Rainbow calendar contest. Topaz does not look too bad for 21. The bridle
is one of my best ebay finds ever, an old 60's Victor
sterling silver ferruled western headstall. It looks great on whatever horse I put it on. You just can't beat old sterling bridles. It's hard to find quality
like this nowadays... "they don't make things like they used to".
August 7, 2014- I got Topaz bathed and "braided" for a photo shoot and it clouded up as soon as I was ready to take pictures.
It got so dark that I wasn't able
to get a well lit (sunny) updated full body shot.
May 29, 2016- One of my friends from the online game Howrse was in Jasper GA for a graduation this weekend and she wanted to bring her family to meet our Morgans. I love sharing about the breed, and they are their own best ambassadors, so of course I said yes! I mean, how awkward can it be to meet someone you've never met before, only "talked" to online a few times via a game? No worries at all- we had a great time! Mary Frances and her daughter Phoebe (12) and son Peter (15) were a delight. Those are two of the most kind, polite, caring kids we have ever met.
Mary Frances, ya done good. Jim and I were suitably impressed. Here is Mary Frances, Peter and Phoebe in the pasture with Topaz (whose sleepy, contented
look was the result of a night feasting on new pasture).
January 12, 2019- We just had a lovely visit with Helen Prentice- from England! Helen's Mom lives in Ocala, FL
and Helen is in the States visiting her. It was a relatively short trip (5 hours from Ocala) for her to come and see the
ancestors and relatives of her colt, Pepe. Pepe (registered name Divine
Intervention) is by Coulee Bend Talisman, the gorgeous silver dun
son of Unconventional (aka Connor, who was bred/foaled here). His dam is Helen's own mare, Withecott Celestial Star.
Pepe got his sire and grandsire's silver gene- he is a beautiful bay silver colt.
Before Helen left we wanted to get a few quick snaps of us with now 27-year-old Topaz, who is Pepe's great great grand dam. The
first picture was taken
right as her daughter Coral Forest decided to photobomb us! Jim was laughing so hard that the photo is kinda blurry, but it's cute any way ;-)
June 1, 2019- I try to get updated pictures each year of all my horses. Today was Topaz's turn :-) Topaz scared me earlier this year- in February, she very
quickly dropped weight. This is a mare who has always looked pregnant; she's not metabolic (per testing), but is the quintessential "easy keeper",
staying fat on grass and hay only. But in February, she dropped so much weight her ribs, hips and spine stuck out. She was very furry so I didn't
notice right away but as soon as I did, I started her on 6 pounds of Senior and two big flakes of alfalfa a day. Because she has an old injury
(severed her peroneous tertious in the left hind after kicking through a metal sided run in shed, while on lease) I figured arthritis might be a
contributor and started her on Equioxx. Aloe Vera juice for good measure in case ulcers were the culprit.
Well my vet says "they lose it fast, but put it on slow" and he is right- it took two months to get Topaz back to her previously fat self.
May 12 and 13, 2020- Topaz with her grand daughter Charli and great grand
daughter Ariel (left) and with her daughter Coral and grandson Thunder (right).
Margaret Gardiner, breeder of Topaz, passed away earlier this year. I hope she'd be proud to see
what an amazing contribution Topaz has made to the breed through her many descendants, not just here but around the world.
November 27, 2020- I was in the field taking pictures of Thunder, Topaz's grandson, for his owner Kate Cabot. Topaz looked so pretty I had to take a picture of her, too.
November 2021- Two of our Morgans made it into the newly revised edition of The Horse, a college textbook
for Equine Science courses!
One of the authors, Jessica Peterson, contacted me back in 2018 about getting good pictures of colorfuls for the color section of the book. The Morgan Horse
magazine editor Stephen Kinney had sent her my way, bless you Stephen! I got an email last week that the book was out and today my copy showed up.
I had been told that Kennebec Topaz had made the book; imagine my delight to turn the page and see that Positively Charmed (Charli) did as well!
And there as the grulla example is Natalie Tanaka's MHB Bacchus Blessing!
Yes, three Morgans representing color! In the Morgan breed section who do I
see but Chris Holm's Morgan stallion Devine Cool Hand Luke, working cattle with style! Another Morgan, MLB The Ingenue, bred by Laurie Faust, is
also in the book shown doing carriage driving. Great representation for our
breed! This is the fourth book
our Brookridge Morgans have been in representing color and I am so happy for my little breeding program
and for being able to get the Morgan out there to be seen in print. If you'd like to order the book, it's available here, on Amazon.
It is 620 pages of Everything Horse- breeding, genetics, health and more.
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