Since Eric Lamaze and Hickstead won the individual gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, Hickstead’s semen has been available for North AmericanaTelfords_-_July_2_2011sm_-_702 breeders. Many breeders balked at the price tag, which was $5500 for one dose, but Sharon and Bruce Telford at Woodlawn Farms jumped at the chance.

“I had been watching Hickstead from the time that Eric first showed him at Spruce Meadows, and had called Torrey Pines Stables yearly asking when they would have him available for stud. I was very excited when that day came,” says Sharon.

In the few years that Hickstead’s semen was available, less than 100 foals were sired by him, and only a handful of them were bred in North America.

“There were not many foals born here in North America, only 6, I believe in the two years that he was available here for breeding. This surprised me, if you are raising jumping horses why not breed to the best there is. Most people had said they didn't know what the foals he would put on the ground would be like, but there has to be somebody to go first, and I am so thankful that I was in that group,” says Sharon.

aTelfords_-_Fort_Knox_smSharon and Bruce had two foals by Hickstead: Fort Knox WF and Gallup WF. Sharon comments, “His foals are remarkable, absolutely stunning and I have great hopes for them both.” Eric Lamaze bought Fort Knox WF and Gallup WF was sold to Gallup WF Syndicate.

Woodlawn Farms breeds European Warmbloods including Hanoverian and Dutch, as well as Canadian Warmbloods for the discipline of jumping. They are located 45 minutes east of Edmonton on a 200 acre farm outside of Tofield.

When Sharon and Bruce began breeding in 2001, they bred Quarter Horses because Bruce competed in cutting, Warmbloods because their daughter did show jumping and Paints because Sharon likes colour. Now, however, they focus strictly on Warmbloods.

“I like to be on the cutting edge of the breeding program,” says Sharon. “I had followed Beezie Madden and Judgement and when Iron Spring Farm had him available for stud I bred my favourite Dutch mare to him and had a filly that was in his first foal crop. I had bred to his father Consul a couple of times until Judgement himself was available. Again very, very nice foals.”

Woodlawn Farms is home to 30 horses but in the past they have had over 60. They name their foals after places and add WF for Woodlawn Farms to beaTelfords_-_July_2_2011sm_-_637 able to track their careers.

“When breeding a mare we research the [sire’s] pedigrees and also look at action shots and their conformation,” says Sharon. “How do they use their back end, do they have any characteristics that we want to improve on, and then try and match it with one of our mares.”

“Last year I bred two mares to Flexible, Rich Fellers amazing chestnut mount. That was also his first year to the general public. This year we have a Tinka's Boy foal coming. This will be the first one bred in Canada.”

aTelfords_-_June_12_2011sm_-_8158This year, three new foals will be born at Woodlawn Farms. The most they have had in one year is 11 foals. “Foaling season is very exciting. It is like Christmas in springtime. You don't know what you’re getting until the surprise arrives,” says Sharon.