Made in the USA With Barbara and Bridget Hay - Horses Galore
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Posted by Mary Phelps
Barbara Hay would fuel her passion for horses by riding for others, starting young horses at a local breeding farm in New Jersey. She would bring her baby daughter Bridget with her, creating her own young horse rider before she even knew what hit her. By riding for others, Barbara was able to get her first Oldenburg yearling, a filly in trade for riding for the breeder and good friend Illona English. "That filly was the mare who started it all for us," said the now 40-year-old Bridget Hay.
Photo: Stepping up his game, Fairleigh (by Freestyle -Wyoming, Weltstern-Welt As) in 2019 ready to compete in the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix 2021 Championships. ©SusanJStickle
Breeding Their Own Pipeline
"We ultimately started to breed our own Oldenburgs as dressage horses about 20 years ago," added Bridget, " simply because we could never afford to buy or import a warmblood. It was never something we could do."
One of the many foals out of "Ming" Wyoming was a colt Faolan (by Freestyle-Wyoming, Weltstern-Welt As) who Bridget competed all the way to Grand Prix, finishing third in the Developing Grand Prix in 2019. His half-sister Fauna, also by Freestyle, followed in Faolan's footsteps, as well as Faolan's full brother, Fairleigh now competing in the Developing Grand Prix.
This is just a part of the "Pipeline"; the dream of the mother-daughter duo to breed and develop their own US Bred horses. With the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships as a target goal. Barbara and Bridget have made the journey to Lamplight almost every year, all with horses they have bred and developed.
"Both of our foundation broodmares did not cost us any money. The fact we owned our family farm, is what allowed us to afford to do this because we didn't have to pay board. Breeding these mares and making my horses and now my own pipeline was the only way to afford to be able to do this.
Olympian Guidance From A USA Dressage Olympian Program
With so many great young horses coming along, Bridget has made her mark in US Dressage. On many levels, US Dressage has grown under the guidance of Olympic Veterans with a well-organized group supporting and developing dressage in the USA from the Dressage-4-Kids organization to the Emerging and Elite Dressage Athletes program. The Young Horse and Developing Horse program, spearheaded by a devoted and passionate Christine Traurig (USA 2000 Olympics), gave Bridget the boost and education she has needed to thrive.
She trains with 2021 Olympic Team Silver Medalist Adrienne Lyle, and more recently 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Alison Brock. Charlotte Bredahl (Barcelona 1992) is part of the well-oiled program supporting American riders as they develop their horses and skills.
And It's Off To Lamplight
For 2021 Bridget has Shanahan ( by Sir Gregory - Lieto by Weltbekannt) solidly in the 6-year-old rankings list with a confirmed invitation. Once again Shanahan's dam, Lieto (by Weltbekannt & out of a Landadel mare) was another "gift". "Lieto was given to me as a broodmare, as she had an injury and couldn't be ridden. She is sound now and can be ridden a bit too."
Lieto had another filly, Bedilia (by Bon Coer) Bridget hopes will join Shanahan on the journey to Wayne, Illinois for the Markel/USEF National 5-Year-Old Young Horse Division.
Most recently Bridget earned an additional invitation for 10-year-old Farleigh, Faolan's younger full brother (by Freestyle -Wyoming, Weltstern-Welt As). She is preparing him for his first big road trip to Lamplight, with the encouragement of Alison Brock, who gave Bridget her last lesson before Alison had her baby. "He is honestly more of my pet than any than else. I hunter paced him a lot which is all I had planned to do with him this year." After sending a video recently to Ali Brock she got a call. "Ok Bridget, fess up! How many horses do you have up there?"
And They Keep on Coming On
Faolan now has a lifetime breeding license with both the Oldenburg GOV and NA. In 2021, Faolan will be headed to Dressage at Devon for his first CDI Grand Prix tour.
"We only ever have one or two foals a year. Sometimes I skip a year depending on certain factors. Now I have the best pipeline of horses I've ever had. I have every age and level now that I'm developing. I have a super 2-year-old colt by Negro that I'm very excited about, and an awesome yearling colt by my good friend Alice Tarjan's stallion, Harvest. I'm really looking forward to both of those boys.
Farleigh was "Ming's" last foal. The mare who started it all lived a full life and had the foals to prove her worth. She is buried in a place of honor on The Hay's farm Rainbow Ridge, in New Jersey watching over her herd.