LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen December  11, 2018

BRIGHT OUTLOOK FOR SPRING HILL FARMS

There are certainly Louisiana breeding farms bigger than Spring Hill Farms, and many smaller, but it would be harder to find a more compelling success story!

If breeding the past two winners of the $700,000 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) were not enough, they bred Hip number 589, Moonocracy, a colt by Apollitical Blood out of the Dash Ta Fame Mare Full Moon Dasher. He was the sale topper on August 4 at the 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale!

Let’s learn more about what makes this operation tick!

David Dunn of Spring Hill Farms

David Dunn is the owner of Spring Hill Farms in Kaplan, Louisiana, a 38-acre property. He operates a surveying and mapping company and has been around horses his entire life. In 2011, he began breeding Quarter Horses. With a hard-working team in place, he is building quite an impressive résumé and a rare accomplishment in breeding the past two fastest qualifiers and eventual winners of the $700,000 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) at Delta Downs.

In 2017, Dashnunder Afullmoon was purchased for $44,500 by Rogelio Marquez, Jr. and $11,500 was an astute buy from Jose Estrada Quarter Horses for this year’s winner, Eysa Jess Jumpn. who delivered a standout performance on July 7.

“Dashnunder Afullmoon was a standout,” recalled Dunn. “You couldn’t find a flaw with her. “Eysa Jess Jumpn is a small filly with a huge heart. We are thrilled that we bred back-to-back Lee Berwick Futurity champions.”

Both fillies were sired by Heza Fast Dash, and Dunn gives high marks to the veteran Louisiana stud.

“I don’t think there is a better stallion in Louisiana, or maybe anywhere in the country,” he stated.

Of course, Dashnunder Afullmoon vaulted into national prominence this year when Marquez sent her to Ruidoso Downs for the lucrative Derby offerings. She set the fastest time for the $1.8 million All American Derby (G1) and has earned $589,132 in nine career starts.

The future is bright for Eysa Jess Jumpn, who has already earned $372,800. She is eligible for the LQHBA Million this December at Evangeline Downs.

Erin Chrisman oversees the breeding transfers for Spring Hill Farms and has tremendous pride in each of the horses bred at Spring Hill Farms.

The sale price on Eysa Jess Jumpn surprised her, but certainly not her prowess on the racetrack.

“We felt she was a little overlooked in the sale,” said Chrisman of her $11,500 sale price. “But what a Cinderella story it was to see her win the Lee Berwick!”

Chrisman grew up in Nebraska on a cattle ranch, recalling the days when she and her sister would ride their horses to the local grocery store. A riding accident in college derailed her career in the saddle, but ignited her interest in equine reproduction. She majored in biology and completed an internship in equine reproduction and equine ICSI under Dr. Rick Beck, DVM in Southern California.

“David and I believe in pedigree and conformation,” stated Chrisman. “We do not cut corners as all aspects of daily care is so important. But beyond that, the thing about this industry is that you have to be able to take a blow.”

Dunn, who describes Chrisman as “the talker of the bunch,” agrees.

“There are way more lows than highs in this business,” he acknowledged. “You have to cope with them as best as you can, but it’s been a great eighteen months for us.”

Yearling Sale Success

Many of the top horsemen in the region visited Spring Hill Farms to preview Dunn’s yearlings, but he was not amenable to offers prior to the sale.

“We are breeders and want to grow Spring Hill Farms,” explained Dunn. “The LQHBA Yearling Sale gave me that opportunity.”

Dunn also consigned yearlings at the Ruidoso Select Sale and Heritage Place Sale.

He believes that having a strong broodmare band is essential and currently has both Lee Berwick Futurity champion dams, Full Moon Dasher and Jess Jumpn as well as stakes winning mares Black Rosalita, Bipty Dash and Louisiana Blue Dream on the farm.

In addition to breeding, reproduction services and foaling, Spring Hill Farms offers boarding and sale prepping.

Dunn gives substantial credit to his entire team, which in addition to Chrisman, includes Mr. Purves, Mrs. Dorothy Lege, Alex Clark, Stephen Mire, Dale Romero, Freddy Meaux and Simon Sundy.

Louisiana Proud

Dunn is a Louisiana native and proud supporter of Louisiana breeding and racing. “The breeder’s incentives in Louisiana are the best in the country,” said Dunn. “I don’t think there is a better stallion than Heza Fast Dash and we intend to keep breeding good babies and maybe one year, sweep all the futurities.”

Breeding back-to-back Lee Berwick Futurity champions is an extraordinary accomplishment and vaulted the Kaplan Louisiana entity into a whole new level of recognition.

“We congratulate Spring Hill Farms on their outstanding breeding success in Louisiana,” said Tony Patterson, LQHBA executive director. “It was very exciting to see the interest in Moonacracy, the sale topper at our 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale and we look forward to following him in 2019.”

There’s much more on the horizon for Spring Hill Farms, but neither Dunn or Chrisman have lost their appreciation for the sweet moments along the way. On their Facebook page, they posted a picture of a beautiful filly by Mr Jess Perry out of the multiple graded stakes winner, Black Rosalita. The chestnut weanling posed professionally for her first photo. Knowing the success of Spring Hill Farms, it’s very likely that many more will follow!

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.

Photo courtesy: Mark Herron, TRACK Magazine