Sires and Dams




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On the Fence No More



     My name is Greg Freeman, and I am pleased to announce the launch of Sires and Dams, the latest digital resource from Greg Freeman Media. For over thirty years, I have owned Belgian draft horses, including a champion stallion, and I have closely followed other breeds. Along the way, I have observed many changes taking place in the world of horse breeding.

     A global economic downturn, for example, drastically affected Thoroughbred horse breeding activity in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky (USA) for a season, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic - for a period of time, at least - changed the way everything from races to stallion previews were conducted, but horse people are resilient. American racing has witnessed yet two more Triple Crown-winning racehorses in American Pharoah and Justify! International investment and globalization through alliances such as the European Union have made the horse breeding world a bit smaller and perhaps much more connected. And the internet has revolutionized the way farms, bloodstock agents and buyers of all breeds do business. Horse farms now make liberal use of social media and internet video. Likewise, equine journalism and publishing have changed with the times as well.

     With twenty-first century relevance,
Sires and Dams will explore world class breeders, remarkable stallions and outstanding broodmares - both living and deceased - from around the world.  The days of pessimistically straddling the fence between the ethos of the past and the startling modernity of the future need not continue. As I seek to foster engagement through Sires and Dams, I will share the passions felt among breeders in these exciting times, while reflecting on illustrious histories and embracing the changes that come with a promising tomorrow!
     This inaugural edition of Sires and Dams is all the more unique not because of its newness but because it is so personal to me and is a natural outlet, reflecting my desire to explore and share the best to be found in horse breeding.  A love for horses is among my greatest passions. Horses have brought me much pleasure, and they have connected me with dear friends.

     When I first conceived the idea for Sires and Dams, I began to think of all sorts of interesting people whom I would like to interview, stallions and mares I would like to cover and breeds that I would enjoy highlighting. My intention had been to launch the publication in February 2017 when I first interviewed Justin Zayat of American Pharoah fame and Marion Richmond of Australia's Simeon Stud. I reasoned that I could come up with filler to accommodate two features.

     In spite of my plans, life happened. Publication of
Sires and Dams, whichever way it might occur (in print or online), would be delayed, and some major events would alter my course and preoccupy my time. My father's health began to decline, and I lost him in late 2019, and I lost Mom this past May. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of 2020 seemed like a blur, but it was in 2020 that some events forced me to take a second look at what my inaugural edition might include, content-wise.

     For one thing, my conversation with Justin Zayat focused on the arrival of American Pharoah's first foals, and the crux of the interview questions seem irrelevant now that the Triple Crown winner has offspring winning races. At a later time, I might revisit the interview and use excerpts for future articles.  I admire Justin and feel that he has a promising future in Thoroughbred racing, and have no desire to slight him in any way.
Greg Freeman

     Another occurrence in 2020 that would have much bearing on the content of this first issue was my purchase of shares in Authentic, who went on to win the Haskell Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup Classic before being honored with Eclipse Awards for Champion 3-Yearold Male and Horse-of-the-Year.  He was retired immediately following the Breeders' Cup and relocated to Spendthrift Farm where, as of February 11, 2021, the son of Into Mischief had already begun covering mares. Having literal ownership, albeit quite small, in a horse of Authentic's caliber and being able to follow his journey, not as a casual observer, but as an insider, has proven exciting and eye opening. I would be remiss if I were to publish Sires and Dams without acknowledging Authentic in some way.

    
And, lastly, I have been working on a short story, off and on, for years now. Focused on a jet set young man, my story uncovers the proverbial tragedies and triumphs of a fictional horse breeding family. My principal character, Nigel Goodall, has charisma, enthusiasm and brilliant ideas about horses. Only recently did I finally add the finishing touches to the story and include it herewith. Since I plan to create a series of Goodall stories, it remains to be seen how Nigel will fare. Will he grow and mature into a responsible, successful horseman? There are bound to be some twists and turns, but I think he can get there. There is a Phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes lesson in the making in my first Nigel Goodall story that is poignant, but strangely relatable. As we all can reflect on adversities of our own pasts, and how we grew wiser because of those experiences, may we approach the Nigel Goodalls of the world with patience, empathy and words of sincere encouragement.

     If the pandemic has taught me anything, it has driven home the fact that life is fleeting, and we are given one lifetime to make the world better than we found it. I am a history lover, but I am also a realist at my worst and an optimist at my best. It is impossible to delve into the lives and careers of great horses without delving into the lives and careers of horse people. Yes, there is much to learn from the past, but there is also much to learn from each other as we look ahead. No longer straddling the fence, I am firmly planted on the other side and the grass might even be a bit greener. I am looking forward to forging more great relationships and seeing where this road leads. God willing, it will be a long, exciting journey.

                                                                                                                                           Greg Freeman


Author:  Greg Freeman.  Published September 25, 2021.
Greg Freeman

Sires and Dams publisher Greg Freeman and his Belgian draft mare, Cowden's Coleddie Sasha
© 2021 Greg Freeman Media
All rights reserved.


     In addition to being a life-long horse lover, Greg Freeman is an author, editor, recording artist, songwriter and amateur visual artist, as well as an avid gardener and daffodil hybridist, judge and exhibitor.  His nonfiction writing on a number of subjects has appeared in magazines, encyclopedias and books of academic and scholarly interest, as well as Southern Edition, Freeman's digital publication devoted to the American South.  Published academic/encyclopedic contributions by Freeman include a chapter in Nadine Farghaly's edited volume, Gender and the Modern Sherlock Holmes: Essays on Film and Television Adaptations Since 2009 (2015), as well as multiple entries in: Race in American Film: Voices and Visions That Shaped A Nation (2017), edited by Dr. Daniel Bernardi and Michael Green; The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia (2018), edited by Dr. Mark Doyle; and Music around the World: A Global Encyclopedia (2020), edited by Drs. Andrew R. Martin and Matthew Mihalka.  In 2015, Freeman released a country music radio single, "Sunlight and Shadows, garnering international airplay, and his gospel music has received national exposure through television, radio and commercial recordings. His gospel EP, Blessing and Blessing, featuring guest vocalists Babbie Mason, a Grammy-nominated artist, and Gospel Music Hall of Famer Calvin Newton, released in December 2018. An owner of Belgian draft horses since 1987, Freeman's horse interests expanded into the world of Thoroughbred racing and breeding with the purchase of shares in Authentic in 2020. Authentic subsequently won the Haskell Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic before retiring to stud at Spendthrift Farm, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. He won the coveted Eclipse Awards for Three-Year-Old Male of the Year and Horse of the Year.

    
Sires and Dams is an online resource geared toward the serious breeder. Feel free to share links to this publication via electronic mail, social media or other websites. No content may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher, except as permitted for Fair Use by copyright laws. To contact the publisher, send communications to Greg Freeman Media, 509 Old Wagon Road, Walhalla, South Carolina 29691 USA or siresanddams@outlook.com.




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