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From  The Chronicle of the Horse Article March 13, 2009

3-Year-Old Hunter Breeding
"FOX WITH THREE SOX"

by Coree Reuter of COTH

“He’s a cool horse and unique,” said Emily Anne Belin, owner and trainer of Magic Hill Farm LLC in Douglassville, Pa. “He loves to stand in the ring and look pretty. He’s quirky in the barn, though. He loves only certain treats, playing with his flattened Jollyball and being curried and groomed, but he hates baths!”

The Thoroughbred gelding, fondly known as Ziggy, was destined for the race track before owner Marcia Heylin purchased him in the spring of 2007. His breeder and Heylin’s dear friend, Robert Narvell, had passed away suddenly and since Heylin had always taken a special interest in the colt, she deci ded to buy him and show him to honor Narvell’s memory.

“Ziggy hadn’t been handled much before he came to us,” said Belin. “He came right out of a field and was barely halter broken so we took things really slow. We treated his 2-year-old year like his yearling year, and now his 3-year-old year like he’s 2. Even though he was mature looking physically, we gave him plenty of time to catch up and mature mentally as well.

“Marcia Heylin has been an exceptional owner to work with, as she understands why we wanted to take our time with Ziggy,” Belin added. “At any time if I said he was getting tired or needed a break, she was all for it. She is supportive of the horse’s needs and well being coming first.”

The slow approach definitely benefited the fancy bay, who has accumulated 10 best young horse and seven reserve best young horse titles in 2008, including wins at Wyndsor Farm (Pa.), Warrenton (Va.) and Upperville (Va.). Last year, he was the 2-year-old champion at Devon (Pa.) and in Zone 2.   

“It was nice winning the 3-year-old Thoroughbred class at Warrenton this year; it’s one of my favorite horse shows,” said Belin. “It was a big class, although there are not many Thoroughbreds doing hunter breeding anymore. He’s a textbook example of the classic Thoroughbred hunter.”  

 

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