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Having gone through the loss of both my parents and a very serious brain operation, John my husband, felt relieved when I said we were never going to keep another entire or stand a stallion at stud. To just enjoy our few remaining mares and their female babies seemed idyllic. Why do the best made plans go wrong.

With so much new time on our hands and nothing to keep us at home, no stallion to worry about, we enjoyed many holidays and visits to other studs. One open Day held in 2005 at AV Arabians in particular was a first visit for us and we looked forwards to going back to Sussex, a county we both had lived in before moving to Devon.

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Caroline Reeves the owner, put on a wonderful day, many people were there and we saw all her beautiful exceptionally well bred horses. A chestnut mare stood out for us, she was by Balaton had movement and pizzazz, a huge eye and something about her that reminded us of our first bred stallion Zacaria. Her quality stood out. She came into the sand school with her colt foal at foot. He had her quality, her pizzazz and her movement. He never once put his little tail down; straight up like a flag he made sure we could see him. He was not listed as being for sale.

We realised the wonderful breeding of the mare, Metelica 8 and had no idea who the colt was by.

On driving home we stopped the car, John turned to me and said how much he liked the chestnut colt out of Metelica, I agreed he was a really good colt and with my judges hat on agreed he was a very good colt.

The car magically turned around and headed back to Carolineís, we found Caroline and eventually with a plea from us to buy the colt with no name, we all agreed he should come to Devon.

Montoya was named after a racing car driver, he carried the AV prefix which I didnít like but to have such a good colt made me realise that the stud who bred him needed to be recognised and acknowledged for breeding such a good animal and I compromised within my soul!

Montoya was a sharp boy, easy to do but still quite sharp, we liked the challenge and he soon loved our regime and flourished.

To show him as a yearling and to send him away was not an option for us. We really loved this chap and had made leaps and bounds with his education from us, all beating a path to becoming ultimately a riding horse for me!

So we asked an almost unknown (then) Amanda Holloway to have a go at showing for us. Amanda came over nearly every weekend and played with the colt in the school and formed a good bond. His in-hand showing career has been deliberately kept to a minimum. We didnít want to sour a lovely lively fun chap.

Amanda had some fun. She could run and Montoya could trot. His show results were wonderful. The best thing was that at the end of the year he would still go out in his paddock and play, he had never soured and he loved life.

We wanted to keep it this way. Part of us wanted the bit of glory from the European shows, but to see our happy horse playing in his paddock at home means more to us than any rosette.

We know he is a good horse and other people do too.

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Montoya proved very fertile!! We covered our first mare here and after one covering, his first, she was in-foal. Well, he has never looked back since, his nickname here is Golden Balls!!

We did the freezing of his semen and it did freeze well. But due to such high costs for the mare owners we feel going back to nature is the way for us. We feel also if a stallion can handle covering naturally he learns so much about how to behave when a mare is in season or not and what is a mare! I want to ride my horse around my lanes and if I meet another horse I will now know he can tell if itís breeding time or riding time. He knows and knows how to behave in company.

I have deliberately missed talking about the famous sire line of Montoya. Without doubt a most beautiful stallion called WH Justice. Originally we had no idea who Justice was, I am embarrassed to say I even went on line to ask!! Of course he has now been bred many times and there many big show winners out there by him. We notice they all have the pizzazz and flamboyance but we do feel Montoya has a very strong back end, very strong over the loins and has the powerful Russian movement inherited from his dam. This we feel gives him the edge. I am trying not to be too biased here!!

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Montoya is Reserve Junior British National Champion, among his other Championship titles.

In his first year he obtained three Reserve Championships, one Championship and one Supreme Championship plus a credible 2nd at Towerlands International Show. He won a gold medal there for gaining over 90 points.

As a three year old, he was shown again at Towerlands International show where he became the highest placed British Bred 3 year old colt winning another Gold Medal.

  Padron Psyche
Magnum Psyche  
      A Fancy Miracle
WH Justice
El Sher-Mann
Vona Sher-Renea  

Montoya will be shown in-hand occasionally at Malvern and maybe Towerlands. Ryan Jones took him for us in 2008 as Amanda had had a serious accident. Ryan did a wonderful job with Montoya and we hope he will show him in-hand again for us in the future.

Montoyaís future is definitely already going towards his ridden career.
We love to have visitors use him; it is the highest form of a compliment anyone can show a stallion. We love to look after visiting mares; both John and myself took an early retirement so we could enjoy our true hobby more.

We aim to cover only one or two mares and maybe have offspring to sell in 2010. We are not showing youngsters again, our enjoyment will come from seeing others show the Montoya babies.

Do call in and meet our man. He changed lives back to the shackles of owning a stallion, but he also has given us such pleasure.


Sue Bundy
Higher Picks Farm
South molton, Devon
Telephone: 01769 550 475