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Amelia A meliaB A PLACE OF HER OWN B Y N A N C Y R YA N


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going to own a horse, I might as vents that change well start out with the best.” the course of our lives “God love her, nobody could often come with no warning. Such have predicted where this would was the case for Beverly Halquist. She lead Beverly, her family, Sue and found herself seated with friends at myself, or most importantly, a wine tasting in Scottsdale one fine Amelia B!” says Rory. autumn evening in 2003. The event “Maybe I bought her because at Los Cedros was a fundraiser for a no one bought me a horse when charitable women’s group to which I was a little girl,” Beverly says. she and her friends belonged — the Whatever the reason, “My friends Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak. As thought I was crazy and wanted to the ladies sipped their wine samples, know how I would be able to keep they watched a tableside horse her.” No matter. Beverly would presentation. That was expected. worry about this later. And in What wasn’t — the overwhelming Owner Beverly Halquist of Lazy B Arabians, the end, it would be Beverly, not impression that one of the horses, LLC, Cave Creek, Arizona, and her mare her friends, who would have the a yearling filly, made on Beverly. Amelia B. last laugh. Amelia B (Magnum Psyche x Just talking to her, it’s evident Amety B) trotted out of the barn Beverly Halquist is a practical woman. Knowing with Greg Knowles, who had just weeks earlier shown her to a National she needed someone to help her care for Amelia Championship. Beverly vividly recalls how the afternoon sun seemed to find its reflection in every one of her copper hairs and flaxen mane and tail. B, she recruited Rory and Suzanne, and started looking for a farm. “I couldn’t keep her at the “Amelia B was so golden in the sunshine that day with her almost seal-like golf course,” she laughs. “But if Rory hadn’t hair coat,” she says of the filly with her three white stockings and “look at me” attitude. Beverly’s heart raced and she instantly needed to inquire more come, I probably wouldn’t be doing this. I trust him entirely. I couldn’t be happier with the job about this delicate creature, which changed her life forever. the O’Neills have done over the last four years.” “Beverly had never owned a horse in her life. Not even considered Next came the task of finding some real feeding one a carrot or trail riding,” says Rory O’Neill, who with his estate for the newly formed Lazy B and O’Neill wife Suzanne, respected amateur horsewoman in her own right, manages Arabians. The perfect spot was located on five Beverly’s Lazy B Arabians, LLC in picturesque Cave Creek, Arizona. With lush acres with the Sonora Desert as a backdrop, the sun setting on her ladies event and completely enthralled in Amelia B’s just 10 minutes from the show grounds at aura, Beverly sought out the trainer in charge of this ‘angel’ to ask if there West World. was any possibility Amelia B may be available for purchase. Greg Knowles “This was a boarding place before,” said, “This filly just won the United States National Championship. explains Beverly. “I took down the old mare Ma’am, she is very expensive.” motel and built a new barn, with the help of Undeterred, Beverly walked back to her table where her friends had my sons Chip, Mark, and Eric, who own a been anxiously waiting to hear what the trainer had said. “So I asked them construction business.” They keep an office to go in on her with me. One said her husband’s estate wouldn’t allow it, on the property (Triquist Inc., and Halquist the other said her money was tied up. So I decided to just buy her myself.” Construction), as does Chip’s wife Alicen, Beverly then walked back into the gorgeous stables and informed Greg, a somatic therapist, who sees clients in the “I’ll be back on Monday to bring you a check! I told my friends if I was

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Ror y O’Neill of O’Neill Arabians LLC, and Amelia B.

JAVAN PHOTO

tranquil setting of the Arabian horse farm. Beverly and her family did a huge renovation throughout the entire property. Today, the amenities include an equine treadmill, hot walker, round pen, a lush landscaped presentation arena with cocktail lounge, breeding stocks, stallion collecting phantom, and a new 22-stall show barn. The show barn is positioned to have a year-round breeze flowing through, with a fly system and a high-pressured water fogging system throughout the barn and a window to the outside for each horse in residence. This barn is comfortable in any weather. The Lazy B also boasts a newly renovated 10-stall training barn that can be converted to a six-stall mare barn with double-sized stalls to accommodate mares with foals at side. This barn is also enhanced with a high pressure misting system, timed fly spray system and windows for each resident. The three-stall foaling barn is situated in Beverly’s backyard. “Bev’s sons didn’t

like the look of the metal mare motel in her backyard, with numerous family gatherings and celebrations that now take place on the farm. The decision was made to design and construct a first-class foaling barn with 16´ x 24´ open air stalls that welcomes visitors who may be seeing their first Arabian foal,” says Rory. “I like having the foaling stalls right outside my window, so I can see them when they’re born,” adds Beverly, smiling. “Plus, with Amelia B at home, I have more visitors, and I love to show my newborn foals to my friends and large extended family.” Rory and Suzanne operate O’Neill Arabians, LLC at this location also — a full-service show and breeding facility, with an emphasis on marketing, sales, and an added interest in amateur activities. In addition to managing

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Dan Bergren and *Dakar El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Sonoma Lady), who is standing at O’Neill Arabians for the 2010 breeding season.

Ror y and Suzanne O’Neill.

Beverly’s horses, Suzanne and Rory have more than two dozen client horses in training, and they show and market world-class Arabians all over the world. Their list of exports is extensive: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Wales. They also assist amateur horse enthusiasts reach their individual goals Mark Halquist adds, “Rory is a patient and capable instructor when it comes to teaching an amateur or youth how to perform and compete in halter.” “Rory is so skilled as an instructor,” Dan Bergren, noted halter trainer, adds. “He can take these total neophytes, and through his unique terminology and coaching and keen eye for what makes each amateur click, Rory will have them humming like experienced showmen. We have worked together the last five Scottsdales. He and I tour in the late summer all over the Midwest on my turf and we select five to eight sale and show horses to send out to him to prepare for the annual Scottsdale season. Each year he has my clients’ horses superbly trained, fit and hair-coated as well as anyone in the business. We run the

Scottsdale sale together and school as a team. Each year I’ve won a major class due to his preparation and attention to detail.” “Sue and I could not have made it this far in our business without Dan Bergren, Bev Halquist, the clients, and the Arabian horse!” Rory adds. The O’Neills also stand a trio of stallions at Lazy B: U.S. National Champion Stallion *Dakar El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Sonoma Lady by KJ Jordgee Boy); U.S. and Canadian National Top Ten Futurity Colt RA Karwan (*Marwan Al Shaqab x Karalisa by Fame VF); and U.S. National Top Ten FGA Santiago Bey (JK Amadeus x FGA Cameo Bey by HA Huckster). Once settled in, the team got busy managing the breeding of Amelia B and the marketing of her progeny. Beverly has had a huge learning curve, and besides learning hands-on with Suzanne, Rory, Dr. Greg Byrne, DVM, farrier Sara Ferguson, and Purina Horse Feed representative Gina Mozzella Fresquez, she’s been studying. “I read a lot of books, but it’s been fun,” she says. “From the beginning Bev decided to allow Amelia B to have two foals a year,” Rory says. “With the help of Dr. Greg Byrne of Equine Veterinary Services of Scottsdale, Arizona, two embryos from Amelia B are collected each year and sent to Royal Vista Equine in Fort Collins, Colorado. Then the pregnant surrogates are shipped to Scottsdale to foal out at the Lazy B. “To date, Amelia B has paid for herself and many of the farm improvements,” says Rory.

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Amelia B is a Magnum Psyche daughter and U.S. National Champion in halter in her own right, but Rory likes to put another perspective on it. “Magnum Psyche has over 1,000 foals, but only one U.S. National Champion Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly — and that’s Amelia B.” She was owned by River Valley Farm in Bath, Ohio, when she won her National title, and twice earned reserve championships at Canadian Nationals. “We decided to bring Amelia B out of retirement for one last show and we couldn’t have selected a finer venue than the Las Vegas World Cup to exhibit Amelia B for the last time in the showring,” Rory remembers. “She placed Top Five Senior Mare in the championship class. Numerous trainers, breeders and owners were amazed by how truly ‘classic’ Amelia B is. We were thrilled with the admiration and support, to say the least,” Rory beams with enthusiasm. Amelia B has had ten foals, most through successful embryo transfers, and so far five are champions, making her an AHW “Aristocrat” in her own right. “The year 2007 was a high water mark for Beverly and Amelia B,” Rory continues.

Amelia B

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Amelia B.

Amelia B winning U.S. National Champion Yearling Filly with Greg Knowles.

“We had only two foals and Eccentric Valentino (by DA Valentino) sold at six months of age. The other was Amelia B’s stunning chestnut *Marwan daughter, Azalea LBA, a U.S. Top Ten Yearling Filly who is being retained to one day take her mother’s place.” “Amelia B is the first Arabian mare in U.S. history to have two yearlings win their respective Regional Sweepstakes titles and achieve U.S. National Top Ten Arabian halter titles in same year.” “Not a bad breeding season,” Beverly laughs. “Two foals, two big winners; one we decided to keep and one we sold to help further our development of the farm. “In 2008 we sold both colts Amelia B gave us; one sold at two months and went on to become a Regional Champion yearling, and the other sold and became 2009 Brazilian National Champion Junior Colt!” On January 3 of this year, surrogate mare “Ethel” presented a stunning chestnut filly sired by multi-National Champion DA Valentino. “WOW! can only describe how terrific this filly

is,” says Rory. “We have had a nonstop parade of visitors to view her, so we plan on naming her Vanity Fair LBA.” Azteq LBA (by *Gazal Al Shaqab), a 2006 bay stallion, was sold and exported to Australia. He was recently named 2010 Australian National Champion Stallion. The 2008 bay colt Mazarati LBA (by Mazkarade), was sold and exported as a yearling to Brazil, where he was the 2009 Brazilian National Champion Junior Colt. Roger and Stephanie McMahon of Running Horse Ranch in Cashmere, Washington, saw the 2010 filly when they visited during Scottsdale, and the next morning, Rory received a phone call. They asked, “Would Beverly consider selling her three week old filly?” Rory explained how Beverly would only keep one of her two Amelia B daughters and the other would be for sale. Beverly reminded Rory, “I’m not building a herd!” Twenty-four hours later, the newest filly of Amelia B had a new owner! Another 2010 foal is due in April, this one by *Jullyen El Jamaal. For 2011, Amelia B has an embryo already checked in foal to DA Valentino, and she will be bred via embryo transfer to *Dakar El Jamaal. She will carry a foal by Ryad El Jamaal. Daughter Azalea LBA will be bred to WH Justice for a Scottsdale Signature Stallion Auction foal. It’s no wonder Amelia B is such an outstanding broodmare. She is the daughter of Roger and Stephanie McMahon’s extraordinary Arabian Horse World “Aristocrat Mare” Amety B, sired by U.S. National Champion Stallion Eternety, who is out of a Bask El Amigo daughter. Amety B is the dam of seven champions to date, each one at least a Regional Champion

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The Halquist family poses with Amelia B, from left, Albin, Albin “Chip” Halquist III, Alicen Halquist, Alsa, Eric Halquist, Beverly Halquist, and Mark Halquist.

The O’Neills would like to acknowledge the suppor t of many who contribute to the success of the Lazy B enterprise. “Our farrier Sara Ferguson has helped us beyond words with her craftsmanship and attention

Dr. Amy Voliva and

to detail,” says Ror y. “She keeps

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straight and narrow. “Dr. Greg Byrne and his staff at Equine Veterinar y Ser vices, PLC, of Scottsdale, handle all the wellness prevention, injuries, stallion collections, breeding and embr yo flushing on the Lazy B. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty. “Purina Mills Horse Feed representative Gina Mozzella Fresquez has kept us updated on the newest products, and makes my job easier. We feed

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Top right: Breeders of Amelia B Stephanie and Roger McMahon of Running Horse Ranch, Cashmere, Washington.

Top left: Amelia B’s dam Amety B (Eternety x Amiga-B), owned by Roger and Stephanie McMahan. Bottom: The 2010 filly Vanity Fair LBA (DA Valentino x Amelia B), who was purchased by the McMahons during Scottsdale.

or National Top Ten or better. Amety B produced three U.S. National Champion Yearling Fillies for the McMahons: 2002 Champion Amelia B; 2006 Champion Goddess Of Marwan (by *Marwan Al Shaqab); and 2008 Champion Princess Of Marwan (by *Marwan Al Shaqab). “Amety B is our foundation mare,” explains Stephanie, “and defines who we are as breeders. She has been shockingly consistent for us; I am always in a state of surprise and awe for what she has done as a mare — not just with her consistency with one stallion, but with multiple stallions.” Yet exactly how these mares have become such outstanding broodmares is still a bit of a mystery to Stephanie. “Who can ever tell how it will turn out? You buy a mare and/or you have a show mare and you expect that because they are beautiful individuals, they are going to produce beautiful babies. But it doesn’t always turn out that way. And Amety B wasn’t that great a show mare, yet she has a rare gift as a broodmare. Amelia B seems to be cut from the same cloth.” Stephanie, Roger, Rory, and Beverly agree that both Amety B and daughter Amelia B pass on nearly identical qualities to their foals, regardless of what stallion they are bred to. “They have a certain dynamic attitude and charisma and they trot with a purpose. The snort and blow and high tail carriage in every foal embodies Arabian type,” says Stephanie. “They are always saying, ‘look at me.’ Each new foal possesses the large, beautiful, dark eye and the distinguishing Arabian chiseled face, the

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“As a young filly Amelia B looked stunning and promising,” says German trainer Frank Spönle. “She embodies all the qualities of a champion. Ever y year when I go to Scottsdale, Ror y O’Neill’s farm is a must for me to visit. There stands the beautiful Amelia B. She is an amazing mare with incredible show qualities. I always thought she could do incredibly well in Europe and I always hoped one day I would be able to show her overseas.”

extra length of the throat and long poll on top of their refined necks. You could pick one out in a pasture full of foals every time.” “Amelia B passes on a unique and consistent quality to her foals,” adds Rory. “They have a certain look in their eyes and they all share her demeanor.” “I think Rory loves Amelia as much as I do,” observes Beverly. “I’ve turned down large offers from overseas buyers and wouldn’t think of parting with her.” Beverly couldn’t conceive of Amelia B being part of a big herd, “I mean, who would give her carrots? And her daughter?” The O’Neills and Beverly have taken a unique approach to managing the promotion and sale of their precious mare’s offspring. “We’ve created a brand, ‘Amelia B,’ that delivers consistent quality — like you would do with a stallion,” explains Rory. The McMahons take a similar approach with Amety B. Says Stephanie, “We’re thankful for the embryo program, but for the mares, it is such a long journey to prove what they can do and even to discover what they can do.” It’s a challenge to be sure, but with mares like these, creating their own distinct dam line, it’s a challenge clearly within reach. “Who could have predicted how a charitable function would evolve into such a tremendous experience for all of us?” says Beverly. “Amelia B has enriched the lives of everyone who has come in contact with her.” And the best part may be that Beverly’s friends can’t call her crazy anymore.

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Amelia B — A Place of Her Own