There is a magical time of day when the dark of night gives way to the warm glow of dawn. The sun peeks over the horizon, and a new day emerges full of promise and possibilities.
We never know how each new day will unfold. Even if you should miss your wake up call and oversleep, if you keep an open mind, stay positive and remain spontaneous, things can still work out very nicely... just ask Elizabeth and Jack Milam of Regency Cove Arabians.
"Jack and I got started with Arabian horses in a fairly unusual way. We come from the world of American Kennel Club dog shows. We are active breeders and exhibitors of top quality Bulldogs and I am also an AKC and international judge. In October of 2011, we were in Atlanta, Georgia attending the French Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Show. While we were at the show, we realized the Golden Retriever Club of America was holding their Nationals in Atlanta as well. Best of Breed competition was scheduled for Saturday morning. We decided we would attend the show to see the dogs and visit with our dog's breeder, who had to travel to the show from Brazil.
"However, our plans for Saturday changed when we had an alarm clock malfunction and ended up oversleeping. We missed the Golden Retriever classes and then had nothing to do. Jack took 'Hollywood' our French Bulldog for a walk. About 20 minutes later, he came back and asked if I wanted to go to an Arabian horse farm for an open house. Jack had run into our friend, professional dog handler Perry Payson outside walking his dogs. Perry asked Jack if we had plans and invited us to the open house. We knew Perry had Arabians and we often discussed his horses. My answer was easy - "Absolutely!" We quickly scribbled directions on a napkin and away we went!
"When we arrived at Belvedere Farm, it was amazing, unlike anything we had ever seen. We were standing in the buffet line waiting for lunch and were greeted by a gentleman wearing a Belvedere Farm vest. We admitted we were party crashing the lovely event, but this gracious gentleman just laughed and welcomed us with warm southern hospitality and charm. He introduced himself as Mickey. We soon found out that he was in fact Mickey Womble, owner of Belvedere Farm. We sat down and watched the people filter in for the presentation. A fellow with a seemingly endless flow of knowledge sat at a table to our right. After lunch, Perry, Jack and I edged our way to the arena rail to get a closer look and found ourselves standing next to the gentleman we had been seated near. Perry introduced him as his good friend Greg Hazlewood. After the last horse was shown, a stunning chestnut stallion, we lingered a while and talked about the horses. Out of the blue, Greg casually mentioned, "You know, Perry has a really nice colt. He would make an excellent starter horse for you."
"Our first reaction was, "Starter for what? We just came here for something to do!" We had three Quarter Horses on our ranch in Oklahoma, we figured that was a good number for us. We thanked our host, Mickey Womble, said good bye to all the nice people, drove back to Atlanta and headed home. It had been a fun day, but we had our plans and they did not involve Arabian horses - or so we thought. Two weeks later, Jack informed me that I was now the proud owner of a 'starter Arabian horse' - GS Sovereign (Stival x GR Reychel by Psyches Rey). About a month later, we purchased the yearling filly Aijzaah RCA (Ajman Moniscione x TR Aleksandraah by Mishaah).
"Greg Hazlewood encouraged us to take GS Sovereign and Aijzaah RCA to the Scottsdale show. We had never attended an Arabian horse show and were excited to see what it was all about. Our introduction to the show and the breed - was totally unbelievable. Greg showed our colt GS Sovereign and was named unanimous Scottsdale Junior Champion Gelding! Greg also showed our filly, Aijzaah RCA and they went Top Ten in her class. Who does that? Who goes to their first Arabian horse show and wins the unanimous Junior Championship... I guess we do! Of course, we were having fun watching other classes too. We watched the International halter classes and saw Mickey's beautiful chestnut stallion, Apalo, the horse we had seen at his farm, win his class. After the class, we stopped by to congratulate Mickey and we ended up celebrating all our wins. We had a great time hanging out and talking about the horses including Apalo. Then, Mickey asked us if we might be interested in becoming partners in Apalo. That was a pretty big jump, from 'starter horse' to World Class Stallion. Jack and I discussed it and finally agreed, 'Let's do it!'
"The Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas was the next show for Apalo. We were now partners with Mickey and very excited to share this experience with him. Apalo looked absolutely fantastic. We were very proud when he was named the ABWC Silver Supreme Junior Stallion. Soon after the show, we had the chance to purchase full rights to Apalo. Less than one year ago, we had no thought of owning an Arabian horse. Today, we are the proud owners of Apalo, the 2012 Scottsdale International Champion Stallion, Breeders World Cup Silver Supreme Champion Junior Stallion and Region III Champion Stallion. Little did we know when we accepted our friend Perry's invitation to the Belvedere Farms open house, it would open up a whole new world for us. We are loving it!"
2012 U.S NATIONALS - APALO & GREG HAZLEWOOD:
Apalo is heading for the US National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma this coming October with Greg Hazlewood at his lead. "I'll be presenting Apalo in the class for Four & Five-Year-Old Junior Stallions. I am so proud to be showing him. Apalo is an incredible individual; he is extremely pretty and very typey. He has a beautiful neck that is well set and a great shoulder. His back is so short-backed and well coupled, he has great tail carriage and overall, he is a beautifully balanced and refined stallion. He's also a great mover!
"Apalo may be a new face to some people because he was shown very lightly, this will be his first time to be shown at the U.S. Nationals. I am confident Apalo will do well, his quality is undeniable. His scores for type, head and movement were among the highest scores awarded to a stallion at the Breeders World Cup.
"Jack, Elizabeth and I have two goals for Apalo going into the ring in Tulsa; to win the national championship title and to showcase him to as many breeders as possible. I think Apalo is a breath of fresh air for the breed. Everyone wants to breed a pretty horse, but Apalo is so much more than just another pretty face. He has the pedigree, qualities, and we believe the ability, to cross well with mares of different bloodlines. We're very excited to see the results when he is crossed on the daughters of popular sires like Gazal and Marwan. We also believe English style mares could be a fantastic cross and that Apalo will be able to add type without sacrificing movement. Apalo is a beautiful horse and it's going to be fun showing him for Jack and Elizabeth. But we're looking at the big picture; in the breeding classes it's about ensuring the future of the Arabian horse."
APALO'S POWERFUL PEDIGREE:
In addition to his exceptional type and superior conformation, Apalo has a powerful pedigree. Apalo's sire is Justify, a sire of national champions. Justify is by multi-national and international champion and leading sire Magnum Psyche. Justify's dam, S Justadream, by Justafire DGL, is a 10 time national champion - she holds the record as the purebred Arabian mare with the most national championship titles in halter! She also has numerous lines to national and international champions.
Apalo's dam is the spectacular mare Gloria Apal, a Breeders World Cup Champion and dam of the international sensation, Gloria FM. Gloria Apal is sired by leading European sire, Psytadel, a son of leading sire Padrons Psyche and out of the influential aristocratic mare, Bint Bey Shah. Gloria Apal is out of SA Misha Apal, a mare that is recognized for her exceptional offspring. Apalo is a breeder's dream.
Elizabeth and Jack Milam have added a few more horses to their growing herd and now have several mares in foal to Apalo with babies due next spring. They purchased an embryo right to the beautiful Angelina Showlee (Showkayce x SC Zimpatique by Shah Azim), owned by Carol Steppe, their ET foal is due in 2013. Martini Thyme TRA (Pyro Thyme SA x Martina Van Ryad by Ryad El Jamaal) is also in foal to Apalo for 2013. This is a magical time for Elizabeth and Jack Milam and their young stallion Apalo. Just as the sun rises over the horizon to signal the start of a new day, Apalo, named after the Greek sun god, is also on the rise as a new and emerging stallion full of possibilities and the promise of a bright future.
"Apalo's first foals were born in 2012. By any measure, I've never seen a more incredible group of foals than these. Apalo has passed along his beautiful type no matter what the mare might be. I invite everyone to Belvedere Farm to see our Apalo babies at the Belvedere Farms Open House on October 6 or at any other time - visitors are always welcome!" -Mickey Womble, owner Belvedere Farms