MY FIRST PODCAST! “How I met Mama Tess!”

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 | Filed under Podcasts

(Please excuse if this posts twice today.  We are working out the kinks!)

Today is the day!

I have been getting ready to podcast for a few months now… and TODAY IS THE DAY!

For my first podcast, I decided to tell you the story of how I met Mama Tess.  Well, she was only 2, so she wasn’t a ‘mama’ yet…

Anyway, this story is about my impulsive trip to Kohler Morgan Horse Farm in Kohler, Wisconsin.

That was where I first saw her…

I’ve attached a few reference photos below the podcast bar, so you can see a few images to help picture the story.

I hope you enjoy this!!   AND, PLEASE LET ME KNOW if you have any comments or questions.

Thanks for coming along for a podcast!  (I have not included any music or effects because I know if I started that, I would never get the first one done!  So, I’m leaving it raw.)

So click on this MP3 file and listen to the story of my meeting Mama Tess!


I forgot to mention in the podcast that Tommy 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.

4925NobleFlair1_93New Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.44.26 PM NobleFlaire


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.


This is Mama Tess when she won her Grand Nationals Park Harness Mares and Geldings Championship. She was an amazing show horse but an even better mare. I so loved her. She was the best girl for me.  24 years we had together…

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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16 comments have been posted...

  1. Amy M

    Loved the podcast! You have a very soothing voice. How did you decide on calling her Tess? (Good change from Picnic, in my opinion!)

  2. dawndi Post author

    Thank you! (Also, my neighbor’s horse coliced and I gave her some of my Say Whoa! Her horse recovered
    and she purchased more! Her name is Jen Westoby.

  3. Reba

    Hi Dawn, It seems like I have come to know MaMa Tess through all your posts, she actually felt like a member of my family too. Now I know the rest of the story about her. I love your pod cast. You have a really nice voice. I think you need to do more pod casts in the future. Thank You for sharing your story about MaMa Tess, it was really beautiful. Reba

  4. Judie Pepin

    I really enjoyed your first pod cast and to be about Mama Tess, extra joy! I remember visiting the University of Vermont campus in Spring time when the Morgan mares and foals were venturing out.. What a delightful day. Growing up and living in New England we loved the story of the Morgan. My cousin named her son Justin and her daughter Morgan !
    Anyway; loved the podcast and I thought 11-15 minutes would be perfect time as I must listen to it at home.
    Thank you for this about your Mama Tess

  5. Delrene

    Great first podcast. You have a really nice speaking voice and it was good to attach a voice to a face ( so to speak) Having seen a few of your photos and shared experiences at the R Lazy S Ranch.
    Great to remember beautiful MT. Such royalty. Some how I know if she had just been a rescue she would have been still perfect in all our eyes. Looking forward to more. As an aside I have listened to Serial on NPR it is riveting – That was my introduction to what a pod cast was.
    I like that there was no background music, but that is just me.

  6. Renee

    Good idea – a podcast! I’m a bit hard of hearing and my comprehension is less than stellar, but I very easily followed, understood and thoroughly enjoyed your new venture. You speak like you write – beautifully and with that touch of humor. For me, it was good not to have music as a background and to have pictures to enhance the narrative. Thanks, Dawn, for your dedication to this blog even in times of overload, calamity and, yes, tragedy. This reader (and now listener) appreciates it.

  7. Helen Fleming

    Nice going, Dawn…thoroughly enjoyed the story of your first encounter with Mama Tess. Your speech is clear, distinct and it was a pleasure to listen. Music isn’t necessary and can sometimes be a distraction. The photos of his majesty HVK Noble Flaire and the stunning Noble Heiress are an added bonus. Thank you and I hope you continue with the podcasts.

  8. dawndi Post author

    Thank you!! Yes, my issue is that I tend to be drawn to ALL animals! I’d need a zoo if Hubby didn’t make me stop! ;)

  9. dawndi Post author

    Thank you for taking the time to respond! Greatly appreciated! And, I sideline as a voice talent so your comments were
    taken to heart.

  10. Mary Lu Kennedy

    I loved the Podcast! I hope that you do more.
    I also thought it was neat that you knew when you first saw Mama Tess that she was the one. I have always known nearly instantly when it is the right horse or dog and I see folks making trip after trip trying to make a decision and I really can’t understand this. Why don’t they know? My first mini who is now 16 was the first one that I looked at but I knew that he would go home with me. I probably saw a couple of hundred looking for my second mini but I found her photo on the internet and bought her from the best friend of my first mini’s breeder. We have had 13 happy years.
    Wishing you much success with the Podcast. I loved it!

  11. Darlene Emme

    Love it. A wonderful voice,deep and full! Not a lot of fill words…. Great. Nice to attach a voice to a face.Of course it made me sad again at M T’s passing.No music? Fine with me.Just a human voice with feeling and truth IS music! Thank you.Keep them coming. How exciting! Now to tell the stories of the Bucket Fund horses. Weeping allowed!.Story telling,an ancient craft hardly used anymore.Plain,simple and pure heartfelt woven tapestry of words! Good for you!

  12. Helen J

    A neat story. It came across very clear, I appreciated no background music as sometimes that blurs the speech part out. The accompanying pics were nice to see and helped pull the story together in my mind. Looking forward to the next one.


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