Welcome to the official web site of Sweet Spirits Stables, LLC.

We have experienced no greater thrill in sports than watching our thoroughbreds taking command of the field at the top of the stretch and hitting the wire first. The feeling is palpable.

In the spirit of the thoroughbred, we have expanded upon words from the poem in the movie Dreamer. Feel free to be a critic and/or send us a note with your lines.

Get into the game!

You are a great champion.

You were born to be a great champion.

When you were born, a breeze from heaven
Passed between your ears.
When you were born,
The past and hope were joined.
When you were born,
We rejoiced.

When you grew, you played.
When you played, you ran unfettered.
When you ran we heard
Percussion.

You are a great champion.

When we saddled you, you were on your toes.
When we saddled you, you grew bigger.
When we saddled you the crowds looked on.

You are a great champion.

When you ran, the ground shook, and time stopped.
When you ran the angels noticed and the sky opened.
When you ran you blazed a trail of desire.
When you ran, we ran.
When you ran
We lived through you.

When you ran your rivals gave way.
When you ran mere mortals parted.
Parted the way to victory,
Parted the way to the winner’s circle
Where we met you and felt your breath in our face;
Where we put a blanket of flowers
Across your withers.

You will retire as our great champion.

And our promise is:
When you age
We will take care of you.
In the spring
We will meet you in green pastures,
And in the winter
We will put a blanket on you
And be forever grateful.

Mid-Atlantic Cooporation

Her name is Made From Scratch.  An apt name for a blue-collar Thoroughbred that raced mostly in the claiming ranks and earned a little over forty-five thousand dollars in fifty starts—a bit under one thousand dollars a race.  We acquired her in her 14th year and became her ninth owners. By then she was well settled into her new profession as a broodmare.  By the age of fourteen she had produced five foals. Red Velvet Cake her third foal, ignoring the blue-collar results of her dam, managed to almost triple her Dam’s earnings and won the Tri-State Futurity in 2003.

Made From Scratch was in foal to the sire Civilisation on a summer cover or mating when we purchased her in December 2006 in West Virginia. We moved her to Country Life Farm north of Baltimore in January 2007.

In the late winter months, Made From Scratch, getting long in the belly and short on patience paced the fences looking longingly over the foals in the next pasture born to others. She has strong maternal instincts and given the chance she would steal a foal. Toward the end of May Made From Scratch delivered a beautifully conformed filly with a star and a stripe, face markings that resembled the filly’s fraternal grand dam, Toussaud.  We were delighted.

A few weeks after giving birth, Made From Scratch was sent to the stallion No Armistice also residing at Country Life Farm.  A Thoroughbred mating is sometimes not pretty. Most stallions show up like they are going to war.  The scene can be frightening to a maiden mare, and disconcerting to even the experienced mare. In order to prevent the mare from injuring the stallion during mating, one of the mare’s front legs is held off the ground. Kicking with the hind legs is near impossible with a front leg corralled in this manner. Made From Scratch, no stranger to the breeding shed, presented her left front foot to the mare manger and was successfully covered. No Armistice was picked as a sire because we were looking to line-breed to Discovery, a stallion that appears a few times in the pedigree of No Armistice and once in the of the pedigree of Made From Scratch.  Only later did we learn that the mating was rated as an A++ nick.  Only 13% of Thoroughbred progeny earn “A” rankings (A to A++) while 37% of stakes winners rate as A’s”.

On Mother’s Day 2007 another well-conformed filly was produced.  Both of the fillies will raced for us.   

From observation it appears Made From Scratch gets pregnant just by looking at a stallion and gives birth quickly without drama. She was born to breed and her parenting skills are instinctual and correct; she allows her foals room to explore and play but a well-timed nicker or silent communication known only to mare and foal will reel her progeny back to her.  She is protective and patient and will tolerate endless stall visits by proud owners anxious to bond with the newly foaled–just do not get between her and her carrots. 

The gestation period for a mare is eleven months. By rule all Thoroughbreds have an official, but artificial, birthday on January 1.  In order to produce a commercial product –  a larger horse for sales or to produce early runners for age restricted races — winter covers are favored over late spring or early summer covers.

We left Made From Scratch open in her sixteenth year.   On April fools day, 2009 she was again led to the breeding shed, back to No Armistice where once again she willing presented her leg to the mare manager and was pronounced in foal two weeks later.  Her pregnancy was normal and as if anticipating the record snowstorms of 2010 she waited until all was clear before dropping down to deliver a very large, good looking colt on February 23, 2010.   The afternoon of February 27 the colt died. On the exterior the little guy looked perfect and for hours after birth appeared perfect. However, his gut was not properly developed. He was brought to term because Made From Scratch provided nourishment and filtered waste for him. Asking his flawed system to take over the plumbing did him in.

Country Life Farm manager Josh Pons employing years of equine experience made the decision to leave the body of the foal with Made From Scratch for the night. That evening calls were placed to New Bolton and the Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Virginia announcing the availability of a potential nurse mare.   The next morning Made From Scratch was found standing over her foal’s body, aware of the lifeless figure but protecting it from whatever other threats the weak face in nature.  She was led from the foaling barn to her a non-pregnant buddy to have some pasture time.

On the morning of March 3 a call was received from EMC to Country Life Farm requesting the availability of a nurse mare. The mare Far Above owned by Jim Jackson of Middleburg, Va. died of colic leaving an orphaned foal by Flatter. Again Country Life Farm jumped into action.  More animal husbandry — the milk production of Made From Scratch was immediately assessed, hormones delivered and arrangements were made to deliver Made From Scratch to a newly orphaned foal.

The substitute mare in unfamiliar surrounds was nervous but accepted the orphaned colt so quickly that phased steps used to protect the foal from an unwilling substitute mare were abandoned. As soon as Made From Scratch’s milk production returned to normal levels and the colt no longer needed supplemental hand feeding the two were vanned back to Country Life Farm.  The orphaned Virginia foal and the Maryland mare romped together at Country Life Farm also aptly named.

Mid-Atlantic Cooporation

Her name is Made From Scratch.  An apt name for a blue-collar Thoroughbred that raced mostly in the claiming ranks and earned a little over forty-five thousand dollars in fifty starts—a bit under one thousand dollars a race.  We acquired her in her 14th year and became her ninth owners. By then she was well settled into her new profession as a broodmare.  By the age of fourteen she had produced five foals. Red Velvet Cake her third foal, ignoring the blue-collar results of her dam, managed to almost triple her Dam’s earnings and won the Tri-State Futurity in 2003.

Made From Scratch was in foal to the sire Civilisation on a summer cover or mating when we purchased her in December 2006 in West Virginia. We moved her to Country Life Farm north of Baltimore in January 2007.

In the late winter months, Made From Scratch, getting long in the belly and short on patience paced the fences looking longingly over the foals in the next pasture born to others. She has strong maternal instincts and given the chance she would steal a foal. Toward the end of May Made From Scratch delivered a beautifully conformed filly with a star and a stripe, face markings that resembled the filly’s fraternal grand dam, Toussaud.  We were delighted.

A few weeks after giving birth, Made From Scratch was sent to the stallion No Armistice also residing at Country Life Farm.  A Thoroughbred mating is sometimes not pretty. Most stallions show up like they are going to war.  The scene can be frightening to a maiden mare, and disconcerting to even the experienced mare. In order to prevent the mare from injuring the stallion during mating, one of the mare’s front legs is held off the ground. Kicking with the hind legs is near impossible with a front leg corralled in this manner. Made From Scratch, no stranger to the breeding shed, presented her left front foot to the mare manger and was successfully covered. No Armistice was picked as a sire because we were looking to line-breed to Discovery, a stallion that appears a few times in the pedigree of No Armistice and once in the of the pedigree of Made From Scratch.  Only later did we learn that the mating was rated as an A++ nick.  Only 13% of Thoroughbred progeny earn “A” rankings (A to A++) while 37% of stakes winners rate as A’s”.

On Mother’s Day 2007 another well-conformed filly was produced.  Both of the fillies will raced for us.   

From observation it appears Made From Scratch gets pregnant just by looking at a stallion and gives birth quickly without drama. She was born to breed and her parenting skills are instinctual and correct; she allows her foals room to explore and play but a well-timed nicker or silent communication known only to mare and foal will reel her progeny back to her.  She is protective and patient and will tolerate endless stall visits by proud owners anxious to bond with the newly foaled–just do not get between her and her carrots. 

The gestation period for a mare is eleven months. By rule all Thoroughbreds have an official, but artificial, birthday on January 1.  In order to produce a commercial product –  a larger horse for sales or to produce early runners for age restricted races — winter covers are favored over late spring or early summer covers.

We left Made From Scratch open in her sixteenth year.   On April fools day, 2009 she was again led to the breeding shed, back to No Armistice where once again she willing presented her leg to the mare manager and was pronounced in foal two weeks later.  Her pregnancy was normal and as if anticipating the record snowstorms of 2010 she waited until all was clear before dropping down to deliver a very large, good looking colt on February 23, 2010.   The afternoon of February 27 the colt died. On the exterior the little guy looked perfect and for hours after birth appeared perfect. However, his gut was not properly developed. He was brought to term because Made From Scratch provided nourishment and filtered waste for him. Asking his flawed system to take over the plumbing did him in.

Country Life Farm manager Josh Pons employing years of equine experience made the decision to leave the body of the foal with Made From Scratch for the night. That evening calls were placed to New Bolton and the Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Virginia announcing the availability of a potential nurse mare.   The next morning Made From Scratch was found standing over her foal’s body, aware of the lifeless figure but protecting it from whatever other threats the weak face in nature.  She was led from the foaling barn to her a non-pregnant buddy to have some pasture time.

On the morning of March 3 a call was received from EMC to Country Life Farm requesting the availability of a nurse mare. The mare Far Above owned by Jim Jackson of Middleburg, Va. died of colic leaving an orphaned foal by Flatter. Again Country Life Farm jumped into action.  More animal husbandry — the milk production of Made From Scratch was immediately assessed, hormones delivered and arrangements were made to deliver Made From Scratch to a newly orphaned foal.

The substitute mare in unfamiliar surrounds was nervous but accepted the orphaned colt so quickly that phased steps used to protect the foal from an unwilling substitute mare were abandoned. As soon as Made From Scratch’s milk production returned to normal levels and the colt no longer needed supplemental hand feeding the two were vanned back to Country Life Farm.  The orphaned Virginia foal and the Maryland mare romped together at Country Life Farm also aptly named.

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