Crescent Moon Ranch

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Here’s the short story of Crescent Moon Ranch. 

After years of searching, Romney and I found an ideal property on the Central Coast an hour north of Santa Barbara. This hidden haven sits at the end of a lane behind coded gates. Perfect weather. Grand main house, pleasant guest house, and a horse facility that includes an Olympic dressage arena. It’s a property of historic significance with immaculate attention to detail. Atop the roof sits a crescent moon weather vane and a colorful crescent moon cloisonne greets guests at the massive “castle doors". CMR matches our monogram as a logo for the ranch. That’s the short story.

The long story has a genesis seeded in the 1950’s when I befriended a snow white Arabian mare from the Draper imports. I would visit this mare each Saturday if only for the privilege of staring into her large luminous eyes and feeling her soft muzzle on my neck. As a child, I longed for a grey filly just like her. Along came a visit to Schado++. I watched with child-like joy as she played with her half-brother, Sihr. Both filly and colt were by Sureyn and out of Davenport mares, tracing in family strain to *Wadduda and *Urfah respectively. Both colt and filly went on to become champions leaving a sizable gene pool for the day. Schado++ was the dam of Farolito++, a simply marvelous stallion, titled at both US and Canadian Nationals, a champion in every sense of the word.


While Arabians danced in my head, as a teenager, I rode Saddlebreds and purchased a 5 year old race horse, hot off the track. Steep learning curve for a kid, but learn I did, which led to the thrill of jumping and showing hunters. This "off the track" black bay gelding became a solid citizen  and hindsight being what it is, I should not have sold him when college-bound.

Life intervened. Years flew by. Marriage. A charming home. And so much more. One weekend I thought it would be fun to revisit my past and there just happened to be a 3-day event at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, so down to the Monterey Peninsula we went, complete with the family dog in tow. A delightful chill that permeated the air, so fresh and clean, as I strolled past the barns and noticed a sign on a stall with a beautiful white Arabian head framed in the doorway. “Raffles Grandson For Sale”. I just had to look further and tried to make contact with a very aloof aloof gelding, a horse of Arabian type with those same luminous eyes I had seen many times before. He looked me over as if to say “What do you want, Lady? Haven’t you ever seen a horse before?” 

I returned a week later, rode him around the hunt field, wrote a check, and never looked back. When that specter of alabaster beauty appeared through a veil of fog, I knew we would be partners forever. “Forever” lasted 22 years. He lived to be 34. Dauntless, we traversed the switchbacks of Northern California, paced Tevis Cup horses, competed at open Hunt Club shows, beat Thoroughbreds, and roamed the green pastures of Filoli. That last year was hard. I had lost my riding pal, but hand-walked him to graze every day. He yearned to hike over familiar trails, so much so that he would attempt to push trail gates open with his nose. Heartbreaking.

After losing my best friend, I remained horseless for over a year, like a widow unable to date out of deference to her spouse. I just couldn’t take another horse seriously until my husband forced me to consider an adorable grey yearling during a trip to Varian Arabians. Backstreet Kid V became ours, but it would be years before he went under saddle. It wasn’t until Alada Psynergy VF was presented at Ventura Farms that a "familiar feeling” returned. Only 2 years old, she gave me “butterflies” when I first saw her stride past me during Sunday brunch. It was that same old feeling I had upon seeing a snow-white Arabian striding through the fog in Pebble Beach 25 years before. I knew “star quality” when I saw it and purchased that 2 year old filly without hesitation. One thing led to another and we found ourselves in the winners circle almost everywhere we went, including US Nationals. Joanne Fox was instrumental in bringing this filly along under saddle as the most beautiful show hunter imaginable. Alada Psynergy would virtually glide around the arena without missing a beat. She had command of the ring, both inside and out. 

Crescent Moon Ranch evolved when I was bequeathed the mare Tapestry VF, a 3/4 sister to Alada Psynergy VF. My dear friend, Gari Dill Marlow left us all to soon after a valiant struggle with cancer. I had found Tapestry for her at Ventura Farms, so she felt it only right that I should have her. And Tapestry has been a godsend. It’s as if Gari’s on my shoulder applauding each foal. Their stories are under each horse’s name. And there you have it. Crescent Moon Ranch. The long and short of it.

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