About as wide as she stands tall, Holly is a cute chestnut mare with a bright flaxen mane. Sired by Tomcat Chex and out of a 6666 bred mare named Cinnamon Knot, Holly faithfully served us as my youth show horse for about 8 years. Together we have traveled thousands of miles across the nation. Holly aka Cowpen Cat never took food for granted and was one of those “easy keepers”. Always greeting us with a soft nicker no matter the time of day, she is easily one of the most affectionate horses that we have around. The spring of 2018 we decided that it was a good time to breed Holly, considering that it was my last year to show as a youth. That August as we were hauling to our last AQHYA World Show, Holly suffered from an awful wreck inside the trailer. As we were watering and fueling up in Tehachapi, Ca. a wasp or bee flew up her nose and stung her.
Minutes later we had a stream of blood running from the trailer and thought that we were going to lose our sweet Holly horse. Being in the middle of the night, we were unable to get a hold of vets local to the area. So we hauled her back to our vet who was waiting for us at their office. Upon examination it was discovered that she crushed her right eye socket and nasal cavity. She would be fine but warned that she could abort her foal due to the trauma. The following months it was quite obvious that she held the foal and was a pretty picture of health! For years, I have been waiting to breed Holly horse to our stud, a son of Topsails Rien Maker. I might be biased, but I knew crossing my two absolute favorite horses couldn’t go wrong. From the moment Holly checked into foal I asked her for a chestnut filly with a big bight flaxen mane and tail, a blaze, a hind sock or two with a combined personality of her parents. Anyone that raises horses knows that you rarely get what you order! On a cold wet snowy day in February of 2019 Holly delivered the tiniest, fuzziest, red, crooked eared filly. She had one hind sock, a blaze and signs of a flaxen mane and tail. She didn’t hit the ground friendly like most of our babies do, it took a week or more for her to come around but I knew that she was perfect. Baby Marilyn was indeed made to order. Seeing her next to her momma was comical with her being so small!
Derived from my two favorite horses I knew she was a great one. She was the runt of that crop of babies and always looked a bit behind. She traveled differently from the others, very watchy, yet bold. Everyone knew Marilyn had the IT factor. As the seasons came and went Marilyn grew prettier and prettier. She was one that had to be in the middle of everything and absolutely despised being left out! She is intelligent has always thought like a human. Once training began she was very competitive against others her age. She would watch and evaluate, then out work them like it was a game. I have not experienced a horse quite like her. Part 1 of our journey to the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity.
By Katie Mason