Once we were sure that we were going to move further out into the country and build our farm, I decided to give myself a gift. Always dreaming of breeding and raising my own horse, I thought this would be the perfect time. It was almost springtime and I just finished showing our mare Blondie at the Pin Oak Charity horse show. Hours of winter evenings were spent thumbing through Saddlebred journals that were filled with advertisements for Stallions standing at stud around our nation. Carefully studying pedigrees and body types only confirmed my original choice. My favorite was a former World Champion 5 gaited stallion named Heir to Champagne.
I phoned the barn manager where this stallion was standing to get some information. She advised me of the costs, which, when added up, were substantially more than I thought they would be. There was the stud fee, the cost of same day air transport and the collection fee. Using a stallion that was located out of state meant that we were going to either have to ship the mare to the stallion or do artificial insemination. We chose to transport the semen here and have the vet inseminate her.
My next step was to take our mare to the vet to get a fertility check up and to have an ultrasound performed to see how close she was to ovulation that month. The next day I left Blondie at the vet’s office with the intention of picking her up that evening after work.
During the day, I received a call verifying that the mare was in perfect health, but that she was going to ovulate in only a few days! Very excited and yet panicked, I called the barn manager again. She calmed my nerves and told me how to express mail the check to them. She would fax me a copy of the Breeding contract the next morning, and before we ended the call I gave her all of my vet’s information. I was elated! Another piece of my dream was going to come true.
Barely able to sleep, I envisioned the beautiful foal we would have the next year. I got out of bed and started to get ready for work early and tried to think if I had forgotten to call anyone of our many friends to inform them of the great news. I could not stop smiling.
Getting to work and trying to concentrate was difficult to say the least. Every project I worked on was interrupted by my day dreaming. I knew the contract was going to be faxed to me and was anxiously waiting for it. About mid-morning, most of the workforce had arrived but the office was still a bit quiet. A woman was walking through the isles on our floor from the business station towards me. I could see her over the half back cubical wall that surrounded my desk. Keeping my fingers crossed, our eyes met when she was still about 100 feet away.
“Juuuuuulieeeeeeeeee” Her voice sung out nice and loud as she started to smirk. Skipping and waiving the paper around the top of her head as if she were imitating a helicopter. “I have your stuuuuuuuuuddddd contraaaaact!”
I bit my lip and tried to sink down in my chair to disappear. Almost everyone around me stood up in their cubical to see what was going on. A roar of laughter rang out over the floor and I realized I had to stand and face my tormentor. “Give me that.” I said as she approached. I started to laugh.
Just as I was about to sit back down, another woman stood up. She was a passive meek looking lady in her mid sixties. I do not remember ever seeing her. Looking straight at me and in a whinny voice she said, “I want a stud contract!” Not sure how to reply, I just sunk back down into my chair and hid in my cubicle the rest of the day.