Carson Farm is a family farm owned and operated by Donna Ray, Art Lynch and our daughter, Carson. We started breeding and training Arabian horses in the early 1990s. By the mid-nineties, we were taking horses from the racetrack and giving them new careers. By 2000, we imported Dreiskoole, Elite Latvian mare and it was then that Donna realized that riding a Warmblood in dressage took the sport to a whole different level. We bred our Irish Thoroughbred to Non-Stop and our Dutch mare to Olympic Ferro that year and continued to work with the Thoroughbreds from the tracks.
In 2001, we made another big change. Donna’s working dressage student bought a fabulous Latvian mare from Peter Grigorev, in Florida. The student loved the second level horse so much that she decided she needed an FEI schoolmaster. After watching numerous tapes from all over Europe, the student decided she liked horses in Denmark, so that is where Donna went to find a horse in November of 2001. The student gave a call while Donna was in Denmark and said that she had decided to get married and breed horses rather than ride then. Fate is an interesting thing and when you roll with it, you never know where you will end up. So Donna also looked at mares on that trip to Denmark. She and her husband Art imported several mares (one in foal) for themselves as a result of that trip. It was a leap of faith to do this. The technology sector where Donna and Art had always been employed, was down and they were both without daily jobs outside the farm.
Our goal is to produce FEI horses for dressage and jumping. Donna has ridden with top riders from many countries throughout the years, three of which have made a strong positive effect. The late Robert Edwards was her first dressage instructor in Virginia. Our family still cherishes the relationship we have with his widow, Dot Edwards and his grandson, Brian Bracey. Mr. Edwards was a US Cavalry rider. Donna exchanged board for her Arabian, Special KSunn, in exchange for work on the breeding and training farm. Little did she know what an impact on her life working on that farm would have.
In December of 1999 through the summer of 2000, Donna had the privilege of riding with, Viktor Ugryumov, Russian Olympian who now works in conjunction with Hinnemann, Ruth Klimke and others at the elite stable, Pradar in Moscow. Donna’s instructor at the time (who scarred her more than helped her), told Viktor to “just take her money. She won’t learn anything”. And another local USDF Gold Medal instructor told Donna that Viktor would never sell her the horse, Dreiskoole. But that is just the way the work is in any business. Horse nature is so much more pure than human nature, it seems.
Then there was a long, drought without making a strong connection with an instructor. Donna’s friend, Louisa Zai, introduced Donna to Lena Wedenmark in November of 2004. Donna now studies with Lena Wedenmark on a monthly basis. Lena is a gift and has a gift. Lena is the very best instructor as well as rider. She understands the rider and the horse and the dynamics required for making the pair successful. Lena doesn’t talk in mumbo jumbo, nor does she create a veil of mystique around her methods or hide behind lingo and book terms. Lena can get the connection between the rider and horse and doesn’t use a 20-meter circle to do it. She is just phenomenal. Donna actually looks forward to showing in the fall!
We love the quality of the Russian and Danish horses and every element that composes them. Our horses truly have International pedigrees and this is something that we value greatly. Our Elite Russian Hanoverian stallion has classic lines of Hockey, Gunter, Grande, Erno, and Duellant. Polarstern and Welt. Our mares, imported form Denmark, Russia and Latvia, have solid foundations through Lord, Cor de la Bryere, Duellant, Ferdinand, Weingau, Goldfinger, Novator, Hockey, Welt, Orech, Rossixx, Rambo, Laurenz, Caletto III, Telez, Ostrajak, and Diamond.
We have six foals (soon to be eight) out of our mares by our Russian Hanoverian stallion, Otschag. Otschag was another act of fate in which Donna followed her heart. Donna got an email from Tatiana Koslovskaya in Moscow about this wonderful stallion that she wanted to sell. Donna reviewed the video and the pedigree and the horse began his journey to America. This cross is working super, so we plan to continue to repeat it. It takes a long time to birth a foal and take it to the show arena. This is a lifelong project and Donna’s mission in life: breeding top horses and learning to best train the horse in accordance to its individual merits. Art is very supportive and involved daily with all decisions and farm operations. Carson also works daily on the farm and has trained her 13.2 Welsh Cob pony from being only a walk/trot pony with 60 days under saddle to jumping over three feet. Carson is now moving up to the 17 + hand Kirov Trakehner mare, Hlopatunica, who was imported from Denmark.
So now it is 2005 spring and we have a tent inside the barn behind the foaling stalls and Donna and Carson or Art and Carson or sometimes all of us, sleep there in hopes of delivering yet another foal safely into this world. We are a family farm and the foals are our future and our hope.
We hope to breed two mares to Matador for 2006 foals and are working with Frogs Leap Farm. Caroline Thomas of New Priory Stud is supplying semen from Chairman for one of our mares. Carson’s jumping pony, Numbers, will be bred to Donarweiss.