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a g e n t a n d a d v o c at e f o r t h e a r a b i a n h o r s e


by Kristi Hopp

On the Cover:

2012 Scottsdale Arabian Breeders Finals Junior Champion Filly BEYOND EDEN (Eden C

x

Pattrones Honey) photo by kelly campbell

Connections of Padrons Psyche (*Padron x Kilika) celebrate after his 1991 U.S. National Reserve Champion Stallion win. STEVE IS THIRD FROM RIGHT.

In the early days of Padrons Psyche’s rise to fame, his name was synonymous with that of the Lengacher family, a fixture in the Arabian horse world, due largely to a young man whose passion for animals and love of Arabian horses planted the seed. Steve Lengacher grew up far from lush green pastures and grand horse barns … in fact, the struggle to overcome challenges growing up formed the basis for his determination to succeed. Soon after he turned 18, Steve was invited to work for Anheuser-Busch farms, home to the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, which opened its doors to troubled teens in hopes of providing guidance toward a better future. It was grunt work — mucking stalls, feeding, watering, and tending to the farm animals and horses, but the daily chores and the solitude of the back pastures where he cared for the sheep and cows are what Steve enjoyed most. He preferred to ride horseback to do those chores, opting for a Half-Arabian gelding instead of the farm tractor. Steve loved his job at the farm, but continued to struggle to make ends meet. He found himself living in his car at one point, and eventually lost that as well. That was when fate intervened, in the form of the Lengacher family. The same day the bank repossessed Steve’s car, he received a telephone call and was told,

“please come pick the car up,” and that its balance due had been paid in full. That was the beginning of the then late-teenaged boy’s relationship with the Lengachers, who eventually made him part of their family.

Birth of Four Star Arabians

Steve shared his passion for Arabian horses with his new family, and eventually Larry Lengacher was bitten by the bug. Having been building multimillion dollar homes, the Lengachers were ready for a change in lifestyle when Steve introduced them to their first Arabian horse. With knowledge, resources, and financing from their home and land development company, the foundation of Four Star Arabians was laid. The creation of the farm became a family adventure and even inspired the name: Larry’s four sons, Norman, Neal, Nick, and (the by then adopted) Steve. The name also reflected the association with the already established family business of Star Builders and Star Realty.

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2013 World Gold Champion Yearling Filly Minwah (Kahil Al Shaqab x

LC Primavera), owned

by AlJassimya Farm, Qatar. Minwah’s dam was a La Cabreah-bred mare under the guidance of Steve Lengacher.

1991 Scottsdale Junior Champion Filly SF Hidden Jewel (Front Page SF x Brandie Alexandra), purchased by Four Star Arabians in partnership, and marketed to Charlie and Shirley Watts. Also pictured, center, is handler Bob Boggs. 3 ▪ LENGACHER ▪ WORLD


BELOW: PADRONS PSYCHE (*pADRON x

KILIKa) WAS PURCHASED BY FOUR

STAR ARABIANS AS A TWO-YEAR-OLD AND BECAME THE FOUNDATION OF THE LENGACHER FAMILY BREEDING PROGRAM AT FOUR STAR. INSET: Steve Lengacher WITH PADRONS PSYCHE.

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ROCCO PHOTO

The international sire *Shael Dream Desert (Ansata Shaamis x Elettra) was acquired by Freeland farms under the breeding direction of Steve Lengacher as an excellent cross for Freeland farm mares.

Jeff Sloan, ALONG WITH STEVE Lengacher, ASSISTED in the ACQUISITION OF international sire *Shael Dream Desert for Freeland Farms.

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Whether it was beginner’s luck, or Steve’s intuition, the first purchase for this new venture was a son of National Champion Arn-Ett Perlane, a handsome, typey, black stallion, Perlanes Premier (x Bint Mierka). Perlanes Premier was the first step, and in 1991 Four Star Arabians found its stride. In partnership, they were able to purchase SF Hidden Jewel (Fan Tastik x Brandie Alexander), who was later crowned Scottsdale Junior Champion Filly. Soon after the Scottsdale triumph, the filly was sold to Halsdon Arabians of Great Britain, owned by Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts and his wife, Shirley. The construction business provided unique opportunities for the family to meet people from many walks of life. With such a successful entry and impact on the Arabian horse industry, Steve gathered knowledge of the who’s who in the business and the influential horses and bloodlines of that time. He learned of the breeding successes being created at Midwest Training Centre, and soon made arrangements to meet members of the Boggs family. Steve soon formed a great friendship with Bob Boggs, a connection they still share today. Steve recalls the first time he met Bob Boggs; “I spent hours looking at all the magazines, dreaming about having my own Arabian horses. Obviously Bob and David Boggs, Michael Byatt, and so many others were like celebrities to me. Bobby made me feel welcome and we soon became very good friends, and later that friendship brought to me the introduction to Padrons Psyche,” he says. As the story goes, Bob phoned Steve to tell him about a special two-year-old colt who had recently come to Midwest. Who could have known then that the colt, the young Padrons Psyche (*Padron x Kilika), would become an Arabian horse legend? With some negotiation, and in partnership with Lyle Bertsch, the Lengachers became the proud new owners of the colt. Soon


Tuscany Bey (Bey Shah x

MA Mars Magic), one

of the valuable mares added to the Freeland farm mare collection under the breeding direction of Steve Lengacher.

“Psyche” took off like wildfire, and was crowned U.S. National Reserve Champion Stallion in 1991. Four Star Arabians was officially on the map, and when he came home to Four Star in Indiana, Steve turned to launching Psyche’s breeding career. “It may have seemed a little amateurish but I went around with a few select pictures of Psyche, trying to convince people to breed to him. I offered a few breedings at no charge to some top mares. This is how the first great ones started to appear. As those first foal crops hit the ground, people caught on to the fact that this was not just another chestnut colt but indeed an extraordinary breeding stallion. Trust me, it was anything but easy in the beginning, but I believed that the proof was in the pudding. It was both tiresome and a labor of joy all at once,” says Steve. Today, Padrons Psyche’s impact on the breed places him in the company of the breed’s greatest sires.

Introducing the World to the Arabian Horse

After those first days of introducing Larry Lengacher to the Arabian horse, Steve found himself inspiring everyone around him to appreciate these magnificent horses. “I simply just started to walk into people’s offices and share with them pictures of the beautiful Arabian horse, talking about what the horse had done in my personal life and all the wonderful experiences that accompany a lifestyle with the Arabian horse. Once they had a chance to see the beauty themselves, it was the horses that did the rest,” says Steve. One of those encounters led to the creation of a second major

farm in Steve’s journey. When the Four Star Arabians family encountered some financial challenges, Steve approached business associates Joe and Cathy Zehr about forming a partnership with Four Star Arabians in the ownership of Psyche. This marked the beginning of the Zehrs’ farm La Cabreah. Steve served as a mentor to the Zehrs, assisting in such decisions as purchasing a package of great mares from Wayne Newton’s Aramus Arabians. These mares proved to be excellent crosses with Psyche, especially the daughters of Bluesprucetanzeer (El Hazeer x Blue Spruce Tango) and *GG Samir (Jacio x Alhaja). Recently, one of the products of those matings, LC Primavera (Padrons Psyche x WN Samana by *GG Samir), produced the 2013 World Gold Champion Yearling Filly Minwah (by Kahil Al Shaqab). Another broodmare extraordinaire from the La Cabreah breeding program was LC Psychesheiress (Padrons Psyche x Jamaara FA), dam of the 2004 U.S. National Reserve Champion Yearling Filly and 2004 Scottsdale Junior Champion Filly RHR Ggisele (by Echo Magnifficoo), and Scottsdale Top Ten Stallion, Las Vegas World Cup Silver Supreme Champion Stallion/Colt ATH and Canadian National Top Ten Two-Year-Old Colt RHR Heir Of Marwan (by *Marwan Al Shaqab). In the early days promoting Padrons Psyche, Steve was looking for the perfect photo setting for advertising. He was enamored by the beauty of a golf course, but golfers were less than impressed with the idea of a horse tromping around on their turf, so he settled instead on the the gates to the Freeland estate. Steve would later be introduced to Richard Freeland, and as he

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TOP AND RIGHT:

2004 U.S. National Champion Senior Mare Tai Emerald Bay (Padrons Psyche x Tanzeersvalentine) was added to the Freeland Farm mare collection under the breeding direction of Steve Lengacher.

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*Danna Fly NVC (Don El Chall x Butterfly PAR), 2004 Canadian National Reserve Champion Junior Mare and twice U.S. National Top Ten Junior Mare, WAS IMPORTED FROM BRAZIL BY RICHARD FREELAND. 8 ▪ LENGACHER ▪ WORLD


1995 Canadian National Reserve Champion Futurity Colt and 1996 AND 1997 Canadian National Reserve Champion Stallion FS Ritz (Padrons Psyche x WA-Miss Shasty), bred by THE LENGACHERS OF Four star Arabians.

One of the first mares acquired for the Four Star Arabians’ breeding program, WA-Miss Shasty (*Celaddinn x Shasty). She is the dam of champion stallion FS Ritz.

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1998 Canadian National Reserve Champion Stallion Psymadre (Padrons Psyche x

Tomorrows Dream by

*Aladdinn). The Cokers of Rock Ridge Arabians in Scottsale leased Tomorrows Dream from Steve Lengacher to produce Psymadre.

always did, shared his love and passion for the Arabian horse. It should come as no surprise that soon thereafter, Freeland Farms was created. Steve soon became the breeding program director, helping to establish the superb breeding program at Freeland Farms. Using his breedings to Padrons Psyche as a starting point, Steve started with crosses of daughters and granddaughters. The twotime U.S. National Reserve Champion Mare Bay Oaks Psyignet (Magnum Psyche [by Padrons Psyche] x Kishaj) would become a “treasured queen” of the Freeland Farms’ pastures. Other greats would include her daughter Dena Kay FF (by *Marwan Al Shaqab); Brazilian import *Danna Fly NVC (Don El Chall x Butterfly Par); Priceless LL (Padrons Psyche x Tomorrows Dream), full sister to superstar Psymadre; Psyches Premira (Padrons Psyche x WN Panzamira); and Tai

Emerald Bay (Padrons Psyche x Tanzeers Valentine), just to name a few. With a great broodmare band, it was time to select the right stallion to cross with the Psyche line. Steve received a phone call from fellow Arabian enthusiast Jeff Sloan of Aria International. “Jeff told me about this stallion with some amazing young offspring and that I should take a look at him. When I saw this stallion, *Shael Dream Desert, I felt the same way I did with Psyche. It was just a gut feeling,” Steve recalls. This international sensation was added to the breeding program at Freeland Farms and made valuable contributions to that program. In all, Steve spent 11 years at Freeland Farms, building a legacy that remains today. It was an open house in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, that brought Steve 10 ▪ LENGACHER ▪ WORLD

together with Troy and Paula Walker. The Walkers are native Albertans, from the tightknit community of Red Deer. Invited to the Pomeroy Arabian Open House in 2009, they too fell in love with the magic of the Arabian horse. Steve and the Walkers were introduced and the connection was immediate. Having purchased a few nice Arabians, the Walkers were looking for a superstar to launch their own breeding program and that of their new farm, Arabian Heights. The dream was realized at the 2012 Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas, when the virtually unknown two-year-old filly Beyond Eden (Eden C x Pattrones Honey) burst onto the scene. Steve was attending the show and hearing of Beyond Eden, made his way back to the stalls. A few phone calls later and the Walkers owned their star. Due in large part to their relationship with Steve, the Walkers


have enjoyed success in the showring, but most of all, they are living the dream of the day-to-day hands-on ownership. “Getting to know Steve has truly been a gift to us,” say Troy and Paula Walker. “We so appreciate him, not just for his knowledge and expertise in the Arabian horse, but who he is himself. His humility, character, and integrity are such rare qualities to find in people these days, but Steve exhibits them all. He has one of the kindest hearts of anyone you will ever meet. “After knowing Steve for a few years and working together with him, it was our common goal to find some great horses, ones that would put us on the map. We looked at a lot of exceptional, beautiful horses over the years but were just waiting for ‘the one.’ Because we totally trust him and his judgment, we told Steve we were just waiting for his call to say, ‘Troy and Paula, you gotta buy this one.’ “That day came when we were at home in Canada and we got the call from Steve, who was at the Vegas show and had just seen Beyond Eden for the first time. She wasn’t even there to be shown herself but had attracted quite the crowd. I just remember how excited Steve was describing her to us over the phone and he kept saying over and over, ‘She’s a good one.’ “Steve is like family to us and we so appreciate and love him. He knows how to see and pick a great one. We are thrilled to have

Steve Lengacher join our Arabian Heights team. He has a keen eye when it comes to a beautiful horse and has been in the Arabian horse business for almost 40 years. Steve’s love and understanding of the Arabian horse, along with his honesty and integrity is truly inspiring. If you haven’t met him already, then you need to.” One of the newest introductions Steve has made to the Arabian horse is Greg Van Wyk. Now the proud owner of three mares, one of whom connects directly to the mare Steve discovered for Freeland Farms, Bay Oaks Psyignet. The other two mares are owned in partnerships: Durar AA (*Gazal Al Shaqab x Dafina AA) owned with Arabian Heights; and OFW Jewelee (Padrons Psyche x Hafati Julianna), dam of OFW Wan And Only, owned in partnership with Michael Byatt, Arabian Heights, and K. Thorland. Under Steve’s guidance, Greg is enthusiastically building a small breeding program, one that is certainly destined for success. “Steve Lengacher has become a great friend in a very short time,” says Greg. “He’s an inspiration in his quiet strength and knowledge, integrity, and honesty. His commitment and skill are clearly reflected in his achievements and his lifelong involvement with the Arabian horse. We congratulate you, Steve, and I look to the future with zeal and excitement, celebrating the Arabian horse and our friendship, in synchrony, with great anticipation.” Steve is highly regarded among his peers, one of whom,

JBK Mystic Fawn (Padrons Psyche x Tanzeers Supreme), 1996 U.S. National and Canadian National Champion Mare, purchased as part of the Four Star Arabians’ mare collection.

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A Q&A WITH STEVE LENGACHER What would be your first bit of advice for newcomers to the Arabian horse? Walk slowly into the process and educate yourselves. Learn the positives, but also beware of the red flags. Do you currently have new enthusiasts ready to start their journey with the Arabian horse? Yes, for sure! What cautions do you give to newcomers to the Arabian horse business? First and foremost, do it because you love it and want it for a lifestyle and enjoyment factor. Do it for the love of the Arabian horse. The financial gains or losses should not influence your decisions. It is not about what you can gain financially but rather what you can gain through your experience with the Arabian horse. What is the best piece of advice that you have received about the Arabian horse business? Buy the best you can buy; better to own one great mare than five average mares. Start learning for yourself and associate yourself with trusted experts. What is the best piece of advice that you have received about the Arabian horse in general? The Arabian horse is a living, breathing piece of art. Never take it for granted. Embrace what the Arabian horse can bring to your life. What Arabian “personality” influenced you the most? For sure, Gene LaCroix. The legendary days of Lasma and the 1980s were a magical time for the Arabian breed. What up-and-coming talent in the industry most impresses you? Well, for sure, my nephew Travis Rice and all his international talents and relationships. Also I would like to see more talent like that of young Austin Boggs. We need more up-and-coming superstars that will carry this breed to the next level.

Do you feel people breed only for what the market dictates? I believe we still have true breeders in the U.S. who focus on what they believe is their ideal of the Arabian horse and what fits their breeding program. Still, there are many who follow the “flavor of the month,” breeding to the popular stallion or bloodlines for that given day, as opposed to studying pedigrees and breed characteristics that best fit their program. What advice would you give to current horse show management inside the U.S.? There is a distinct need to make our shows more entertaining and exciting for exhibitors and spectators. After all, we are celebrating the amazing Arabian horse, one of class and style. What is the most important aspect of marketing an Arabian horse? Education! In one word, what has kept the Arabian breed alive today? Love! In one word, what has damaged the industry the most? Dishonesty. Besides the triumph of Padrons Psyche, what is your fondest memory of the Arabian horse? The Arabian horse has given to me so many priceless memories and experiences; there is no one event or horse, but rather, it’s a feeling. It’s a sense of peace, therapy, and an escape. What is the number-one thing you would like to improve in our industry? Providing a more welcoming environment for newcomers and everyone involved. Also, that we all work together as breeders, owners, trainers, agents, and Arabian horse lovers. And that we embrace the beauty of every Arabian horse; they all have wonderful traits.

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2005 Canadian National Reserve Champion Junior Stallion, 2009 Las Vegas Arabian Breeders World Cup Champion Stallion, and three-time U.S. National Top Ten winner ML Mostly Padron by Padrons Psyche, one of the winning offspring of Four Star Arabians’ top-producing mare HS Mostly. Doug Leadley, says, “I was born and raised in the Arabian horse business, having experiences like watching Gene LaCroix win his first National Championship at age 16 in Springfield, Illinois, in 1965, and I have witnessed dozens of horsemen/ agents come and go. Over those decades I have also watched the breed morph from North America to worldwide markets. Steve Lengacher is one of the horsemen who has prevailed because of his knowledge and ethical practices. Over the years I have admired Steve’s ability to discover champion

show horses, along with the breeding animals that have shaped the breed into what the standard is today. “While Steve should be very proud of his horse accomplishments, it is his ability to introduce the Arabian horse to new people that impresses me the most. Steve’s ability to objectively navigate and educate his clients has made Steve one of the industry’s most trusted agents.” No stranger to the Arabian horse industry, and a master at marketing Arabian horses, is Steve’s talented nephew Travis 13 ▪ LENGACHER ▪ WORLD

FS Mystique Lady (Padrons Psyche x HS Mostly), 1999 U.S and Canadian National Champion Mare, bred by Four Star Arabians.


2005 U.S. National Reserve Champion Mare and 2001 Canadian National Reserve Champion Futurity Mare Bay Oaks Psyignet (Magnum Psyche x Kishaj), and her 2008 colt cc Psyignify by Justify. Psyignet is now owned by new breeder Dr. Greg Van Wyk under the guidance of Steve Lengacher.

Rice. Currently working at Al Rayyan Stud in Qatar, Travis was a staple at Midwest Training Centre for years, and grew up learning from his uncle. Travis says fondly, “Steve Lengacher is a man who has had an everlasting vision of this great breed of horse we are all in love with. He has played a wonderful role in the betterment of the breed, and his ability to bring new major players to the industry has enhanced the breed’s quality. Let’s face it, doing what he did with Psyche changed the face of the breed past, present, and future.” Jeff Sloan sums up Steve’s gifts perfectly: “Steve is a great ambassador for the Arabian breed because he is so authentic in his passion for the Arabian horse. Steve is one of those guys who is a ‘lifer.’ When he introduces the Arabian horse to a potential new enthusiast, he’s very effective at igniting interest because his

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Dr. Greg Van Wyk with the Israeli import *Durar AA (*Gazal Al Shaqab x Dafina AA), left, and Paula and Troy Walker of Arabian Heights in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, right, are pictured with 2012 Arabian Breeder Finals Gold Champion Junior Filly Beyond Eden (Eden C

x

Pattrones Honey). All are newcomers to the

breed, brought together by Steve Lengacher

enthusiasm and passion for the breed is so clearly genuine. I’ve enjoyed working closely with Steve on endeavors of mutual interest. The *Shael Dream Desert acquisition is one such achievement, but there are no doubt many more to come for us together.” There are countless stories of Steve’s contributions to the Arabian breed. “The Arabian horse has allowed me to experience and meet people beyond my imagination,” he says. “Without them I might still be mucking stalls or living in my car.” Grateful for the opportunities he has had in the industry, Steve has fond memories of meeting and forming friendships with celebrities, including Charlie and Shirley Watts, Patrick Swayze, and Wayne Newton. Traveling the world and experiencing some of the top shows and horses have been highlights of his unique journey.

Steve is also focused on the betterment of the breed. For many, ownership of Arabian horses is indeed a business, not just a hobby. As in any business there are positive aspects along with negatives. “When Psyche won his National Reserve Championship back in 1991 the Coliseum was packed. You actually needed tickets to find a seat. Sadly, I feel those days are something of the past,” says Steve. “The negatives have scared some people away. It’s imperative to continue to introduce new people to the breed and once we have them, it is our duty, as ambassadors, to take care of them, making sure they have nothing less than a lifetime of great experiences and memories. The focus should always be on the horse itself. “It is my perpetual goal always to strive for the horse and give back what the horse has given me.”

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I would like to extend a special thank you to Dr Greg Van Wyk for his support of this project and of my ongoing vision for the Arabian horse.� — Steve Lengacher

239-560-0559 steve@arabianheights.com stevelengacher52@gmail.com

Steve Lengacher  

Agent and advocate for the Arabian horse, by Kristi Hopp