His legacy lives on...
Our hearts are breaking into a million pieces...
Goodbye my golden boy, we will never forget you. Godspeed.
Good as Gold 4/8/2006 to 8/25/2010
Goodtimes x Alino Queen DH (Michellino)
16.2 1/2 2006 Licensed Buckskin Oldenburg Stallion
Somewhere in time’s own space,
My beautiful homebred buckskin Oldenburg stallion Good as Gold, who was born in my arms 4 years ago, had to be humanely euthanized today due to a traumatic pasture injury to his neck. There are no words to express how I feel, and how much my dreams and hopes and my life has revolved around Aladdin since he was borne. It was obvious from the moment he was born that he that special “something” and was destined for greatness.
For the many people that loved and cared for him (especially Ursula, Mike, Dr. Jane, Dr. Cindy, Thomas, Helmut, my sister Karin and my husband Rob, Carlos, as well as Dee, Susanne, and Hilltop Farm), our hearts are breaking together. Laddie was a beautiful, kind, sometimes precocious stallion who always tried his hardest under saddle for Ursula, and was doing phenomenally well for his Advanced stallion performance test in dressage which was to happen in just 6 weeks, in October of this year. We had our GHF/OLD NA shirts made, our hotel reservations made, and we were unbelievable excited, as a very small breeders, to have bred this super horse that had made such amazing things happen in his very short life and to see him earn his lifetime breeding approval.
Laddie/Aladdin was an unbelievably gorgeous foal, who earned an 8.7 for movement, made premium status, and tied for the highest movement score of any horse of any age that year in the entire inspection tour of the Oldenburg NA. He was smart, precocious, and beautiful, and took our breath away when he moved. His achievements in his short 4 year old life included multiple ribbons at Dressage at Devon, his premium foal status, and the request to keep him a stallion prospect by the OLD NA jury. One of the proudest moments in my life was when Dr Christian Schacht told me at the foal inspection to keep him a stallion and bring him back at 3, which I successfully did. On that occasion, Dr Schacht came up into the stands to shake my hand and thank me after Good as Gold was named Reserve Champion Sporthorse stallion as a 3 year old at Hilltop Farm just behind a seasoned, much older, Grand Prix horse. He also received his Certified breeding license at that time. The highlights of his and my life continued at the Bent Jensen clinic this June, when Bent told me that “there was not a thing to change about him, and that he had “super gaits.” Good as Gold did so well and got so much praise that Ursula had to ask me if I got the comments on tape J Bent actually planned on riding him at the next clinic which is an honor, as from what I understand he rarely rides youngsters. Laddie did everything well, and when his semen was frozen as a three year old by Select Breeders, it was of excellent quality and so far has a 100% conception rate. With bittersweet emotions I will proudly look on as his foals make their mark on the world.
This sudden, earth shattering news leaves us with a lot of good memories and pride in what our small breeding program produced (1-2 foals a year), and an incalculable amount of sadness. We have only to look at his first foal Goldiana (born a month ago) to see what unbelievable improvement he can make on an older fashioned German mare. With all of our funds going to the training and stallion test, we were unable to breed more than one mare to him for ourselves for next year, although his dam is back in foal with a full sibling and his half sister will produce a super foal next year. Clients are expecting foals as well, and we pray that they will keep in touch with us, and that Laddie will live vicariously through them.
To us, Good as Gold set the standard to the type of foal we have been striving to breed. He was the epitome, to me, of the modern sporthorse, with the bonus of a golden coat .Super type, long legs, beautiful front end, uphill movement, excellent pedigree, super conformation and three excellent gaits, along with excellent scope over the jumps and very good trainability. My strong belief in my horse led me to collect and freeze 100 doses of semen for the USA and the EU last fall when finances were super tight, and I will be forever grateful that I did that, even having to refinance my house to do so.
Good as Gold was to leave his mark on the world, I was sure of it. Now that this amazing horse has had his life cut short, it is going to fall onto his foals and full siblings to do so, and his full brother Fantastic Times, a stunning palomino KWPN foalbook foal born this year to Alino Queen who was born an “old soul” and has comforted me tremendously. He has some pretty big hoofprints to fill. I visit with him every day, and every day, without fail, when he is resting in his stall, he lays his head on my feet as if to keep me with him (or to show his loyalty? I am not sure).
There were so many amazing things happening in Laddie’s life and for us as his breeders. His dam is now a Graded mare, and a Licensed stallion mother, who produced many premium foals including last year’s First Premium KWPN colt Epic Times that tied with the amazing mare Rabiola’s foal at the ISF Keuring. Good as Gold’s Dam sire Michellino is now being given accolades for siring the number three dressage horse in the world, Mistral Hojris, who is currently ranked above Salinero. Good as Gold’s test foal is an amazingly gorgeous, typey filly, who reminds us every day of her sire, and we cannot wait to meet his foals next year. The Hilltop Inspection this Saturday for Goldiana (his first foal) may be unbearable for me, as many people have anxiously awaited his first foal, and will want to ask me how her sire is doing. It is still so raw.
We are trying to focus on his upcoming foals, and the ones we plan to conceive, as our hearts are breaking and we look down a very long, sad road of acceptance of this terrible injury and it’s outcome.
We are even more inspired now to make sure he is bred to some amazing mares to continue making his mark on the world, and anyone interested in carrying on his golden legacy should get in touch with us at www.GoldhopeFarm.com and to see the photos and recent video from June at the Bent Jensen clinic to see how fantastic he was.
This is our tribute to Good as Gold in the Chronicle of the Horse and the Oldenburg NA/ISR Breeders Guide
The anniversary of the loss of Laddie, the horse of our dreams...
by Lauren Efford on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:29pm
The Hurricane this week actually was a blessing in disguise for me in a way…we were so busy getting everything ready and “battening down the hatches” and living “like the Amish” without electricity and water that I could not concentrate on the fact that it was a year ago this week that we lost Laddie (Good as Gold). For the last month or two I have been dreading this day, and I have been wondering how I would handle it. I was afraid of that day.
A blessing in disguise?
We have survived. The death of Laddie, and the hurrican. I would like to honor him by sharing his story with our friends and fans, and those of you that are not familiar with Laddie’s life, and his death. It is exactly a week since I had the most amazing emails, phone calls, and letters and flowers in support of me in my darkest hour when we lost him. Your support was also a blessing in disguise. I cried, hard, with every supportive email and message, and it helped. I am surprised that my tears did not kill my keyboard.
It meant the world to me, knowing how many of you shared him with me, and how much support I had. When I had to take his first foal, Sassy, to the OLD NA inspection less than a week after he died, I did not know how I could handle it (everyone’s support and questions and comments). I told Ursula, Laddie’s trainer, that I could not possibly go, as in my grief I could not even talk about him. She told me that she would “hold me up by my bootstraps” and that she had my back. She did. I am eternally grateful for that. In almost every photo, we are there, both in our Goldhope Farm OLD/NA shirts, and back to back, practically touching. In Laddie’s memory, Ekhart mentioned that we should change Sassy’s registered name toi “Golden Legacy” in honor of his sire, and…we did. When I see Ursula for the first time since Laddie died last year, it will be to rejoice in his life and his foals.Of course, Ursula will be handling them for me.
When a door closes another opens…
This year the saga continues. I have had the most amazing “miracle” foal by Laddie, my forever, new heart horse, Gold and Pearls aka “Pearl”. Hope’s Laddie foal was fetal sexed to be a colt. Twice. Pearl was born at 10 months of gestation…way before we expected, with no sign of impending foaling. No bag, no milk, no signs from Hope that she was about to deliver us “Laddie’s greatest gift…Another blessing that my brother in law Carlos, our vet, happened to be haying the horses that night when Hope started to deliver Pearl.
Pearl is a keeper filly, not only special in movement, looks, conformation and athletic ability, but she is an old sould. She also has 2 dilute genes. She will have a buckskin foal for us no matter what stallion we breed her to. She will carry on his legacy for me, and makes me excited for the future. I am already looking at stallions for her!
Update, Everything Laddie did was in a big way! All of his foals this year are dilute. Every one. Everyone is special, and I consider them gifts from above. For 2012, Every mare that purchased a breeding this year is in foal…and he will have 9 foals in 2012, and I cannot wait to see what he will do next time. His frozen semen is amazing, and I am thankful every day something made me freeze him the week after he received his certified breeding license. I am thankful.
Thank you all for sharing! Love, Lauren
not mourn my passing, for if you could only see