Mike and I were lucky enough to have had an Hucklebey Berry+/ daughter to train, a fantastic mare named Bey Cali+. We managed her for two great riders, first Lisa Kemp and then Sharon Lujan Bey Cali was foaled in 1993 and was bred by Larry and Laurie Ormsby of Grand Junction, Colorado and the story of this fabulous mare—a mare that totally embodied all of the best qualities of her sire— starts with that very US Nationals in Albuquerque in 1991 and the Finals of the Arabian English Pleasure class on the final night of the show.
Laurie Ormsby from Colorado was watching from the stands that night in 1991. “I had been following the career of Hucklebey Berry+\ with the thought of breeding my mare Medonna to him so I decided to go to the Nationals in Albuquerque that year to see him in person. He was so beautiful and captivating to watch! As he was going around the arena that night, he had a presence I had never seen before. There was no doubt in my mind that this cross was going to work for my mare. We were lucky enough to get a chestnut filly marked just like her sire and we named her Bey Cali”.
The fact that Mike and I have such amazing memories of Cali is the reason we decided to log into the recent Arabian Horse Times Facebook Live auction of a Hucklebey Berry+/ breeding donated by Empress Arabians to benefit the AEPA and the AHDF. There was quite a bit of buzz in the Arabian community as a breeding to Hucklebey Berry had not been available for over 15 years.
If you’ve never ridden a horse like Hucklebey Berry+/ you could be forgiven for not quite understanding the frenzy of interest that surrounded this event. It might have seemed that the bidding battle was about bragging rights or nostalgia and those sentiments may have come into play, however as the bids started flying in on the comments of the live feed, it quickly became abundantly clear that the interest was driven by some of the best horsemen in the industry acknowledging the unique qualities of this very special stallion, fondly known in the industry as HBB.
The auction played out against the background of the video of the 1991 Arabian US National English Pleasure National Championship class in Albuquerque, a class that HBB— with trainer Tim Shea in the irons— won unanimously. As Kameron Kicklighter moderated, the viewers were treated to the very unique opportunity to listen to Tim Shea recall his thoughts on that class and of his memories of a horse that he recalls as “life changing” and to Empress Arabians trainer Chad Judy weighing in on how the HBB babies shaped his career.
The fierce bidding battle continued until two very determined breeding programs simply would not stand down—Barbara Chur of Strawberry Banks Farm Jennifer Hagale of Hagale Family Arabians. How did it all end play out? If you don’t know by now, I won’t spoil it for you— treat yourself to watching the video by clicking the link below! It takes a moment or two for the screen set up to get rolling, but just be patient and it will be worth the wait!