In 2012 Lynne purchased a show horse sired by Stars Miniatures ’ champion producing stallion “ Gator ” and asked if there were any other Gator offspring on the west coast . Allison Rosauer mentioned that there were in fact two “ Gator ” sons owned by Irene Baldwin who also lived in California . As fate would have it , their first phone call lasted for three hours ! One week later , Irene made the 7-hour drive down to Lynne ’ s farm in Southern California for a day-long visit . “ We just hit it off ,” says Lynne . A fast friendship was forged based on a shared love of the Miniature horse and a keen desire to compete in all aspects of owning , breeding and showing them . Once the partnership was forged , the two arranged meetings whenever time allowed . Luckily , Irene ’ s husband , Billy , takes care of the horses when she comes south to visit Lynne . But even when inclement weather or other life obligations don ’ t permit visits , the pair can get most “ business ” done handily through daily telephone calls and emails .
How does it work having one program at two ranch locations ?
Although perhaps a bit unorthodox , Lynne and Irene have made their partnership work by employing some unusual ways of running their program . First , the pair “ share ” all of the horses but decided from day one not to “ co-own ” horses unless it ’ s one they are showing . A horse is usually either Lynne ’ s horse or Irene ’ s horse . “ It keeps things simpler and cleaner that way ,” explains Irene , “ Especially when it comes to brood mares .” While they always discuss which mares will be bred , the ultimate decision lies with the one who actually owns the mare . And the resulting foal belongs to that mare ’ s owner regardless of which one owns the stallion .
As for the stallions , either one can breed her mares to any of the program ’ s stallions . For example , McCarthy ’ s Kryptonite lives full time at Irene ’ s farm , and all mares bred to him go to Irene ’ s farm . Although Lynne technically owns the prize-winning stallion ,
Irene is his breeding manager , which works out great because Irene has a strong affection for “ Krypto ” as if he were her horse . “ He ’ s my buddy ,” Irene says , “ We have a special understanding .”
The program ’ s many stallions live fulltime at either one farm or the other . For the most part , the brood mares are evenly disbursed between both farms . When breeding season comes , mares travel either north or south to whichever farm has their chosen stallion for that year .
Once the mares are bred and confirmed in foal , they return to their “ home farm ” for foaling out by either Lynne or Irene . Occasionally Irene transports the mares back and forth , but most of the time the pair use a favorite professional hauler ( generally Wilfong Horse Transportation ) to move the horses instead .
Due to Lynne ’ s current property being small , many of her horses live full time at Irene ’ s ranch . Lynne has set a personal goal to buy a larger property within the next two years , hopefully , closer to Irene . Irene says , “ The number of horses I keep is not usually an issue , as it ’ s just as easy for me to feed 30 as it is to feed 20 , I have plenty of space here . I would just love to have her living closer to Billy and me .”
Do you each perform specialized roles in the program ?
The pair each have their particular areas of strength and complement each other accordingly . Irene has 50 + years of experience training and showing horses , so she ’ s the primary trainer and handler ( which is not to say that they don ’ t also utilize services of “ pro ” trainers , as well ). When it comes to purchasing horses , Irene also has a trained eye for horse conformation , quality , and movement , whereas Lynne focuses more on pedigrees , longterm planning , and color genetics . Irene also excels in handling sales which make her a natural as the business end of the program . Lynne handles most of the publicity and marketing , and her legal background gives her an advantage in drafting sales contracts and dealing with all legal matters .