Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

Jan/Feb 2007

Cover Story

 

Living the Dream at Long Horn Valley Farm

 

PARIS, Ky.- Sharon Sipes remembers her childhood dreams. “As a child home was Lexington, Ky.   I grew up appreciating the beautiful farms of the blue grass and loving the horses. I used to dream about those beautiful farms.”

 

It comes as no surprise to find that now, as an adult, Sharon, along with partner Henry Elam, decided not only to live their dreams but to build them in beautiful Paris, Ky.  Paris is a community where the tradition of fine-blooded horses and beautiful farms runs deep.

 

In 2006 Henry and Sharon bought the 60 acre farm they call Long Horn Valley Farm.

 

They built a home and are now completing a custom designed equestrian facility both to satisfy Henry’s passion for horses and Sharon’s desire for beauty and enjoyment in her daily life.

 

As a trained photographer working out of Cincinnati, Ohio, Sharon’s professional interests

span children’s portrait work through art photography.  She hopes, in the future, to further expand her photographic career to include more on location horse photography and ad design for equestrians.

 

When it comes to being picture perfect, Sharon knows what suits her eye. Now as she

looks at the dream under construction in Paris, she sees a “beautiful facility, built for the purpose of enjoying the Mountain Horse breed.  A boutique operation where every customer knows that his horse will get attention every day, and a place where I can walk out my back-door and just appreciate the beauty of seeing the horses and the farm.”

 

One of the things that Henry and Sharon do enjoy every day is the sight of Hit the Big

Time, the reigning KMSHA Classic Pleasure Grand Champion, showing off in his paddock, mane and tail floating in the breeze.  The five-year-old stallion was purchased in 2006 by Sharon and Henry from an amateur rider in Irvine, Ky., who had shown the horse with great success.

 

It wasn’t really a huge surprise when Big Time won the hard fought Grand Championship,

because, says Sharon, “I know he’s a great horse. I feel like he’s one of the best horses out there. His personality is wonderful; his ground manners are wonderful; and, he’s a wonderful ride to boot.  When I first saw him, I thought he’s the most amazing horse I’ve ever seen how could you ever want anything else?”

 

Although Sharon’s involvement in the Mountain Horse world is relatively recent, trainer

Henry Elam has been associated with Mountain Horses for more than 20 years. He has worked in all aspects of the industry from training through breeding to farrier work, at stables small to large.  Large, says Sharon, is something they both want to avoid.  “Our business plan is to stay small and stay focused.  We intend to keep our business small and personal and give our customers the attention that they deserve and pay for when they pay a training bill.”

 

With eight horses presently in training, Sharon says that Henry now has the time to indulge his passion for horses by having a manageable number on which to concentrate.  “Henry has the time to focus on the horses he has, and focus on the customers.  When you get more than 10 or 12 horses in a barn, I think that ability to work each horse as much as he needs to be worked disappears,” said Sharon, “and I say this from the point of view of having been a customer in a large barn.  I know what that means in terms of how much your horse actually can get worked”.

 

A brief look at Henry’s professional accomplishments shows that he has the knowledge to

put quality entries in the ring.  In 2005 he won five World Grand Champion titles in a single show.  In 2006, in tough competition, he won the Classic Pleasure Grand Championship with Hit The Big Time and was reserve in the Park Grand Championship with Southern Comfort, owned by Dr. George and Patty Gilpin of Nicholasville, Ky.

 

To stay on top you have to stay in the barn.  Close on Henry’s heels, whenever he visits,

you’ll find Henry’s son, Dalton Chase Elam, 6, who already seems to have horses in his blood.  “He works right beside us at the farm,” says Sharon, “and whenever he’s with us, you can tell that he just loves being with the horses.”

 

Also loving Long Horn Valley are the members of the broodmare band, the prospects,

another young stallion in the wings, plus a new Harlequin Great Dane puppy.  “We both love animals, all animals,” says Sharon, who now has the room and the inclination to expand the menagerie.

 

Henry and Sharon expect to have a Grand Opening at Long Horn Valley in May.  There

people will see a 9,000 square foot barn with 24 stalls, based on the look of the traditional Thoroughbred farms, as well as a smaller seven-stall barn for visiting mares.

“We’re always open to visitors and we enjoy having people stop by,” said Sharon.  Next

to arrive at the farm will be some long horn cattle because Henry, an admirer of the Old West, always dreamed of having long horns around.

 

Sharon says she is ready for the cattle to arrive. “Henry and I met in the Mountain Horse

industry, and we’re building this place together with a common vision,” said Sipes.  “We really are building our dreams, and the next part of that dream includes our plans for a spring wedding this year.”

 

 

Owners: 

 

Henry Elam and Sharon Sipes

Paris, Kentucky

859-362-7655