Category Archives: Mama Tess

Mama Tess’ Lineage!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 | Filed under Mama Tess

Yesterday, I wrote about Aladdin and  his lineage.  I was surprised how many of you enjoyed that post!

Many of you asked about Mama Tess’ lineage.

So, today I’m will show you!


Mama Tess is actually named, HVK Noble Heiress.  (HVK stands for Herbert V. Kohler – yes of the Kohler brand sinks, tubs…)  I went to the Kohler Farms to purchase her in 1992.  If you’d like to know about that experience, I have a podcast here.

Mama Tess’ registration. Her sire, Noble Flaire is known as one of the most successful, if not THE best, Morgan sire of all time. He did not breed to outside mares. If you wanted one of his get, you had to buy one of theirs – from Kohler Farms.

Mama Tess in her heyday! Morgan National Champion Park Harness Mares and Geldings.  Her real name is HVK Noble Heiress.


I forgot to mention in the podcast that Tommy (Kohler’s trainer at the time) brought Noble Flaire out for me!  Oh my Horsegods, that was a treat!  The stallion KNEW he was somebody.  Such elegance and presence… He had ‘it’.  Amazing.


Noble Flaire.

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Noble Flaire, Tess’ sire.


Another of Noble Flaire, arguably the most successful Morgan Horse, ever.


Well, I couldn’t find any photos of Maywine, MT’s dam.  But I did find photos of Vigilmarch, Maywine’s sire – so MT’s Grand sire on her dam’s side.

Vigilmarch. Mama Tess’ grand sire on her dam’s side.

Vigilmarch. I was told that Tess’ face/eye looked like his – and like Maywine’s.


This photo was her first year showing at the Grand Nationals. We qualified in hand, so we showed her in hand. We never, ever even thought she would place but she ended up 4th - which was awesome since we really had only planned on showing her in performance classes.

This photo was her first year showing at the Grand Nationals. We qualified in hand, so we showed her in hand. We never, ever even thought she would place but she ended up 4th – which was awesome since we really had only planned on showing her in performance classes.


Mama Tess had 6 foals.  All did well.  Click here to see them.  (I have her first foal, Flaire’s Gwendolyn, and her last foal, Wrigley.)

Here is a piece on Noble Flaire…  Originally posted here.

The Passing of a Legend . . . Noble Flaire
Monday, August 14, 2006
by Diana Davidson

The passing of Noble Flaire on July 28, 2006, saddened the Morgan industry and the show horse world. Perhaps once in every century there is a horse that revolutionizes its breed. While the breed was founded in 1789 by the stallion that went on to be known as Justin Morgan, there have been few other horses to have such an impact onAmerica’s First breed. Noble Flaire certainly will go down in history as a horse of this magnitude.

Just as Justin Morgan’s good looks, conformation, heart and athletic ability set him ahead of his contemporaries, so too did those of Noble Flaire. From our earliest memories of him making his now famous park harness debut in Northampton with people literally running to watch him show and following him down the track after the class, the legend began. The explosive power and awe-inspiring athleticism that Noble Flaire possessed did indeed set him ahead of his contemporaries.

Noble Flaire radiated the aura of greatness from the very beginning. Foaled on January 28, 1984, at the famed Whitney Stables in Cox’s Creek,Kentucky, the bay stallion by Noble Command and out of Lost River Sanfield was registered by Judy Whitney as Noble Flaire. It was only fitting that the horse with seemingly preordained greatness carry such a name.

Bob and Judy Whitney saw the potential of this colt from early on. True to his nature, Bob Whitney phoned Tom Caisse to come take a look. And the rest, as they say, is history. On September 10, 1984, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. became the owner of Noble Flaire.

The partnership of Noble Flaire, Mr. Kohler, and Tom Caisse would be well chronicled over the next nearly 22 years. They have indeed proven that it takes courage to experience greatness. The loss of Noble Flaire ends an era at Kohler Stables where the two names have become synonymous. “I feel privileged to have been the person who directed this horse’s great career and have lost a special friend,” Tom Caisse related following the passing of Noble Flaire.

Beginning with the foundation stallion Vigilmarch, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. and Kohler Stables embarked with a vision for their breeding program. The purchase of Noble Flaire was the next step. The show ring performances of Noble Flaire are indeed legendary. His every performance was highly anticipated by the Morgan show world, and they were never disappointed. His five trips to the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show produced a total of eight World Championships. His final show ring performance came in 1991 when he wore the roses as the Park Harness World Grand Champion for the third time after also earning the World Champion Stallion title days earlier for the second time.

It seems hard to believe that Noble Flaire’s final show ring performance was 15 years ago, and that many present-day Morgan enthusiasts never had the opportunity to see him show in person. While Noble Flaire days in the show ring may have been done, his place in the show ring was well preserved. Just as he set the standard and raised the bar, his get have paved an even greater legacy for Noble Flaire.

The first foal sired by Noble Flaire was certainly a clear indication of the mark he would make in the breeding shed. The only foal sired in 1987 by Noble Flaire would go on to earn star status in his own right as the celebrated World Champion HVK Courageous Flaire (out of Val’s Christy). The ensuing foal crops in the 1980s would also produce show ring stars and World Champions including HVK Forte (out of Windy Hill Colleen), HVK Make Em Cry (out of HVK Cimarron), HVK Noble Wine (out of HVK Maywine), Issues N Answers (out of B-L Superfection), Marin Affaire (out of Sky Ridge Lil Sister), and Nostradamus (out of Beam’s Victoria).

The promising beginning of Noble Flaire’s breeding career was catapulted to new heights in the 1990s through the Kohler Stables band of stellar broodmares and a few select outside mares. The names HVK Noble Obsession, HVK Noble Heiress, HVK Take The Roses, HVK Noble Wind, HVK Tiz Flaire, HVK Flaire Rose, HVK Grand Entrance, HVK Trafalgar, HVK Stueben, HVK Heartbeat, HVK Man About Town, HVK Winter Rose, HVK Pavarotti, HVK Primary Light, HVK Noble Flame, HVK March Flaire, HVK Crystal Bay, HVK Classic Design, HVK Flash Back, HVK Man Of Distinction, All Flaire’d Up, Relentless Flaire, Carlyle Upper Caisse, Grandiose, Flaire For Music, Favorite Son, and Three Wishes are but a few of the show ring winners from coast to coast sired by Noble Flaire.

The 1990s would also produce a trio of stallions who would proudly carry on their sire’s legacy as Park Harness World Grand Champion. HVK Bell Flaire (1994, 1997, 1999), Queens Vanity Flair (1995 and 1996) and HVK Vibrance (2001 and 2002) carried the torch. In 2002 HVK Bell Flaire (out of HVK Belleek) also became the first Morgan to earn the Triple Crown as he added the Park Saddle World Grand Championship to his trio of Park Harness World Grand Championships and the 1994 World Champion Stallion title.

The genetic strength of Noble Flaire has been passed on from him to his sons and daughters who have in turn done the same. The influence of Noble Flaire in the show ring and the gene pool of the Morgan breed are assured in perpetuity. The legend of Noble Flaire lives on.

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What I’ve learned from my horses since MT left. And, Thank you ALL. :)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 | Filed under Mama Tess

Thank you thank you thank you.

So many of you reached out to me during this very sad time.

Wow.  I had to stand back (quit feeling sorry for myself) and recognize you all.

You really REALLY helped me.

I can tell you first hand, those little heartfelt notes, emails and comments… were ALL so very helpful.

You truly UPLIFTED ME with your kind words and support.  I never, ever expected so much love to come our way.  Even though so many of you were very sad, too, you still took the time out of your busy days to reach out.

I don’t think you will ever know how much that meant to me.

I will remember your kindness and repay it the next time I am able.  You taught me how much a gesture can change a life.


I wanted to speak about this in my recent sad post when I told you about Tess’ passing, but it didn’t seem like the time.

Now seems better.  Maybe this information will give some of you the same peace it brought to me.

I hope that I can articulate this the way I felt it…

When I went to feed the evening that Tess left us all, the most surprising thing happened.  It was as if I had on Kodachrome glasses or something.  Every horse had a brighter hue to them and all of their edges were crisp and glowing.

I was quite surprised by this but wrote it off to the extra moisture in my eyes from crying.  I figured the tears had made things more clear and vivid.

But… as I fed the first horse, Remi, a thought came into my head clear as day.  She looked straight into my eyes and I swear she said, “More time for me now.”

Plain as day.

I kinda shook my head and moved on to Rojo who was the next horse up.  I looked at him and the same thing happened.  His coat was very shiny and his eyes very sharp.  He looked straight into my eyes and I heard, “I would like to try to be closer again.  I’m not saying I’ll let you ride me, but I’d like to eat together with you again.  Maybe walk around and be friends.”

And on and on it went. Every single horse was glowing and electric to me.  My perceptions of them were heightened.  They all looked right into my eyes and gave me a message.

Finn wants to get out and ride more.  BG wants to do stuff together like the clinic we went to recently.  Annie wants me to hang with her and teach her what all the other horses know.  Dodger wants more attention and grooming.  Slick wants to get out more.  Norma wants to feel more special.  Gwen wants to take MT’s place in the barn and wants to have all of MT’s freedoms.  Sam wants to try again to feel human touch – and see if she might like it.

It hasn’t happened like that since the evening Tess left.  In those moments, my senses were very alert and my vision was quite vivid.  It all felt mystical – almost magical – like a dream state of a Dr. Doolittle movie.

For me, I’m taking those messages to heart.  I think that I was so open and tied to MT, that all the angels still in the barn were able to open a channel of communication for a brief time – to comfort me – and to let me know that all the other equines were still here and wanting to be with me, too.

Or, I was so devastated that I made it all up…

But, it seemed very real and lasted for a long time.

And it felt great.  Thank you, MT and your Angel friends…  That was a lovely parting gift.

One of my favorite photos of us... Tess had just given birth to Ava. I was at the barn, in my sweats... loving on her.

One of my favorite photos of us… Tess had just given birth to Ava. I was at the barn, in my sweats… loving on her.



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!