Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

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The Kirkpatricks’ recent tragedy showed them how precious their friends are. Their barn, hay and two beloved horses were destroyed in a fire Aug. 5. “So many people called and came by to offer support,” Andrea Kirkpatrick said. “Losing the horses was such a tragedy. They were so special to us. But having so many friends helped.”

The barn caught fire less than two hours after 360 bales of hay was put into it.  Unfortunately, Haven Hills Hope and Fair Winds Queen of Hearts also were inside.

“Hope was the first baby we had raised ourselves,” Keith Kirkpatrick said. “She was very special to us.” Keith had been having a very successful season showing Hope under saddle and Queenie at halter. “Hope and I didn’t do very well at our last show—according to the judge,” Keith said. “But so many people told me how good she looked, including the guy who owned the winning horse, that I left there feeling like I’d won the grand championship.”

The Kirkpatrick's got interested in mountain horses in 1995 when they were still living just across the Kentucky border in Ohio. “Andrea really got involved in studying the bloodlines,” Keith said. “She and Carson Masters used to talk a lot about the bloodlines and what stallions to breed to. He helped us so much. We really miss him.”

They soon relocated to their 55 acre Hope Haven Farm in Crab Orchard, Kentucky.  Keith has an excavation business and Andrea is a medical technologist in Danville.  They currently have 12 horses. Some are brood mares. “We are really particular about the bloodlines,” Andrea said. “We are breeding for the best temperament and gait possible.” They don’t own a stallion. “We’ve been lucky and just had fillies,” Keith said. “We breed our mares to the other good stallions out there.”

This year’s KMSHA International will be bittersweet for the Kirkpatrick's. They had planned to show off Hope and Queenie. “We have a two-year-old gelding and a weanling filly,” Keith said. “They are not replacements. The horses we lost can’t be replaced. But, we will go to the show.” They want to be there to see their friends, too. “We are so grateful to everyone who showed how much they cared after the fire,” Andrea said. “We want everyone to know how much it meant.”