04/17/2011 12:06AM

In Memory of Edward P. Evans

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Above:  Summer Colony and her 2010 Smart Strike colt.  

Below:  Edward P. Evans with his homebreds Quality Road (left) and A Little Warm

Above:  Trio of Edward P. Evans' homebred millionaire mares - Summer Colony, Gold Mover and Raging Fever - with trainer Mark Hennig at Belmont Park in 2003.  Jose Sanchez holds Summer Colony, Mark Hennig holds Gold Mover and Saul Castellanos holds Raging Fever.

I think of Edward P. Evans often. It’s not like I knew him well – I may have spoken with him a dozen times. I wish I'd known him better.  But with how much he loved his horses, he was easy to root for.

I was fortunate to visit Mr. Evans’ Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Virginia, last summer. With its rolling landscapes, manicured fields and world-class roster of horses – Raging Fever, Gold Mover, Summer Colony, Kobla, Quiet Dance - the farm rivaled anything in Kentucky.  I felt the presence of Mr. Evans everywhere - every meandering roadway and mist-covered field was a result of his dreams and passions.

On Saturday, April 16, a memorial service for Mr. Evans was held at the farm.

Here are a few photographs from summer 2010 at Mr. Evans’ cherished and magical haven, Spring Hill Farm.

Gygistar (1999), Grade I winning millionaire bred/owned/pensioned at the farm by Mr. Evans

Above and below:  2010 Lemon Drop Kid - Tigi (Dixieland Band) colt

Above: Kobla, the dam of Quality Road, with Lite Light's final foal Mine Light

Above:  Mares in Spring Hill Farm field 

Above and below: Dixie Chimes, dam of Freefourinternet.  Above:  with her 2010 Pleasant Tap colt

Above:  Summer Colony and foal silhouette

Above and below:  Christmas Card, young daughter of great Spring Hill producer Christmas Bonus

Above:  2010 More Than Ready - Quiet Now colt (Quiet Now is a half-sister to Saint Liam)

Above:  Minstrella, bred by Edward P. Evans, was Irish champion 2-year-old filly, and a Group I winner, in 1986.  Among her many successful offspring for Mr. Evans was graded stakes winner Colonial Minstrel ($556,586).  She was a contented 26-year-old pensioner in 2010.  Below, Minstrella with Diana Baker.

Above:  Resident pony does its best dinosaur-face impression :)

Above:  Popular Grade I winning millionaire Raging Fever, and her 2010 Smart Strike colt (below)

Above:  Multiple stakes winning homebred Storm Minstrel

Above and below:  Quiet Dance, the dam of Saint Liam

Above and below: Bianco d'Oro, gorgeous! pensioned Miswaki stallion - rescued through the efforts of Diana Baker.  He occasionally helps out with teasing duties.

Above:  Summer Colony's Smart Strike colt steps out

Above:  County Seat, young half-sister to millionaire/Grade I winner Gygistar, with her 2010 Harlan's Holiday colt

Above: Dixie Union - Fever's Gone filly.  Fever's Gone is a daughter of Raging Fever

Above and below:  Kobla, the dam of Quality Road

Above:  A full brother to Quality Road - 2010 colt by Elusive Quality - Kobla

Above and below:  Beloved old pensioners and best buddies Music Bell (bay) and Minstrella (grey).  Music Bell, b. 1986, is the dam of 3 stakes winners (2 graded).  Minstrella (b. 1984) was an Irish champion 2-year-old and produced five horses to earn over $100,000 (top earner G2 winner Colonial Minstrel - $556,586)

Above:  Seeking Atlantis, a young broodmare by Seeking the Gold - Atlantic Ocean.  Atlantic Ocean, a multiple graded stakes winner, sold for a world record $1.9 at the 2002 Barretts March sale

Above:  Summer Colony and her Smart Strike colt

Above:  Handsome young stallion and graded stakes winner Nite Light (Thunder Gulch - Lite Light)

Above:  Broodmares check out a new field at Spring Hill Farm

Above:  Light Green, young broodmare by Pleasantly Perfect - Green Light, by Sheikh Albadou.  Light Green, an Evans' homebred, won the Fall Aspen S. at Belmont

Above and below:  Summer Colony with her 2010 Smart Strike colt

Above:  Lemon Drop Kid - Christmas Card colt.  Christmas Card is a young daughter of Evans' great mare Christmas Bonus

Above:  The popular and lovely Gold Mover, who earned over $1.5 million and won ten stakes as an Edward P. Evans homebred

Above:  Millionaire/multiple graded stakes winner Gold Mover with her 2010 Indian Charlie colt, and the 2010 Indian Charlie - Gold Mover (below)

Above:  Grade I winner Christmas Kid enjoying a roll

Above:  Trio of pensioned geldings enjoying the summer grass - Gygistar, Rigoletto and Palameade

Above and below:  They don't come handsomer than pensioner Rigoletto (1993, by Nureyev - Aria)

Above:  Rigoletto, 17 in 2010, with his loving human Diana Baker.  Were it not for Diana taking him in, it is unlikely that Rigoletto would be living a horse's dream life.  His every need is met and he could not be more loved.

Above:  2010 Marital Spook foal, a half-sibling to Yonaguska, with her nurse mare

Above:  Gold Mover and her Indian Charlie colt

Above and below:  Millionaire/Grade I winner Gygistar, a contented pensioner at the farm

Above:  Mine Light, 2007 ch. m. by Thunder Gulch - Lite Light.  This beauty was Lite Light's final foal

Above:  Quiet Dance, Saint Liam's dam, on the move

Above:  Tigi with her 2010 Lemon Drop Kid foal

Above:  2010 Divorce Settlement and 2010 Disastrous Storm foals.  Divorce Settlement is out of Evans' foundation mare Homewrecker, and Disastrous Storm is a daughter of another great Evans' mare, Dismasted

Above:  Edward P. Evans' mares Mambo Bell, Christmas Kid, Rough Waters and Storm Minstrel

Above:  Quiet Now, born in 2005, is a half-sister of Saint Liam 

Above: 2010 Not for Love - Play all Day filly

Above:  Half-brother to Freefourinternet (Pleasant Tap - Dixie Chimes)

Above:  Quiet Now, half-sister to Saint Liam, enjoying her life at Spring Hill

Above:  Field of 2010 Spring Hill Farm yearlings. The name of Edward P. Evans and Spring Hill Farm will be carried on through these young horses, who are now two years old.

 

With special thanks to Chris and Diana Baker.

Karen M. Attanasio More than 1 year ago
Today I was very fortunate and lucky to have purchased a australian stock saddle with pad from the estate sale of the late Mr. Evans. I am humbled that he may of used this saddle at one time to exercise those beautiful Thoroughbreds of his. But what truly has me feeling very fortunate, and after reading about Mr. Evans, is I also bid on, and won, a set of 20 or so halter name tags of many of his stallions that I believe, be bred and raised on Spring Hill Farms. I am trying to do some research to find out about all the names I have, but some of them do not come up on an internet search. If someone could contact me via my email, to help with this task, if they so wish, I would be very honored. Also photos of these great animals would be a true treat. Many thank you and my sincere condolences to your loss.
Marlene More than 1 year ago
Dear Karen, I was also at the Evan's Estate Auction and purchased several of the bridle tag lots. I have been doing my own research to find out more about the lovely broodmares that wore the tags as well as their progeny. I have been successful in locating most but alas, have run into roadblocks on others that are older. I have had a lot of luck through yahoo and google searching the mare and sire such as ( Grand Prayer 03/07/09 / Malibu Moon) who is a dark bay or brown filly named Miss Malibu. Most times I can locate a name but, if not, I can at least get the hip # on Keeneland horses and find the purchaser and price paid for the horse. I also use the Keeneland Sales Result page and search all the sales, not just the Edward P. Evan's Dispersal Sale from September 2011. I look at the sire's pedigree and search his progeny for a match with the mare and the date is the foal's birthdate. Best of luck with your research. It's lovely and a little sad to find out about the horses but, be prepared to not find them or find that they have passed on. (as I have found with two of my tags so far). Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you. Sincerely, Marlene
fred More than 1 year ago
Hello, Maybe a lil late, but me and my wife worked and lived at Spring Hill for 18 years and loved the horses too, Go to youtube type in horsesorconcerts and see several videos of the horses, and we have win pics of all the horses over the years Fred
Marlene Gallahan More than 1 year ago
Dear Fred, Thanks for the info, I'll check out youtube for the videos. Would love to see pics of some of the horses that I have acquired halters and halter tags for. I cherish these things and felt compelled to bid on them in order to keep them here in Virginia as they are a significant part of Virginia horseracing and breeding history. Would love to talk more with you about some of these great horses. Sincerely, Marlene Gallahan
Michele More than 1 year ago
It should not be forgotten that there are so many dedicated employees at Spring Hill Farm that care for the farm and raise these horses. They know the farm and the horses intimately and love them as if they were their own. They are the people that should be honored for their hard work and success of these horses. Mr. Evans' untimely passing will be felt for a very long time by these people. His presence is missed.
judy and russ berube More than 1 year ago
Dear Barbara: Another beautiful set of photos and verse. Ms. Baker indicated a dispersal in the future. What will happen to all of these gorgeous horses, yearlings and foals. Will they be sold at auction? Will the pensioned ones find farms to live out their days happily? So sad that Mr. Evans passed too soon. Judy and Russ
Luisa Hyatt More than 1 year ago
I was able to experience the magic of Spring Hill Farm this past week. To be there in the presence of the horses, meet the crew who maintains and oversees the farm, explore and breathe in the surroundings and to witness the birth of foals was truly a gift. I hold all of you close to me and wish the best for the future of the farm and all the inhabitants. Thank you to all of you who told me stories of my Uncle Ned and shared your smiles and tears with myself and my daughter. These photos are incredible and I hope to meet you one day, Barbara. >
Linda More than 1 year ago
Mr. Evans' untimely passing was truly devastating to the sport. Spring Hill Farm and its equine residents are testimony to his passion for the horse. He was a symbol of all that is good about horse racing. Thank you for honoring him with this pictorial remembrance.
Patricia Bewley More than 1 year ago
thanks for a wonderful treat, just stunning. Best of luck to you Diana and your family.
Diana Baker More than 1 year ago
I can't begin to express how much all of your kind comments mean to us here at Sprin Hill. The past few months have been extremely difficult and the months to come will be just as tough with the dispersal coming down the pike. I can't even imagine it right now. @Lakeway - Minidar is here and doing well. She had a very handsome Tale of the Cat colt this year. He looks just like A Little Warm. She will be pensioned once this foal is weaned and will join Minstrella and Music Bell. I have some nice photos of Minidar and her foal (not nearly as nice as Barbara's!)
Lakeway More than 1 year ago
Hi Diana, I'm trying this for the third time - so hopefully third time is a charm... Thanks so much for the information on Minidar. It's so hard to see the last of the Alydar ladies being pensioned, but unfortunately it's that time. If possible, I'd be very interested in the photos of Minidar and her foal. If so, just let me know what I need to do. Would you know what's going to happen to Minidar and the other pensionsed mares? Was also wondering how A Little Warm is doing? Thanks, Lakeway (Cayle)
Jane Wade More than 1 year ago
Beautiful photo's once again Barbara! What a wonderful job you have taking pictures of some of the most beautiful horses in the world! And doing something you love and are so good at!
Lin More than 1 year ago
Barbara: What an extraordinary tribute to an extraordinary man. There is not one photo that does not reflect Edward Evans' love for his farm and his horses. Thanks go out to Chris and Diana Baker, for reassuring us they will care for the pensioners and that all the horses will be well cared for. Your photos here are a reminder of how much the sport and the fans lost when Mr. Evans passed away. Thank you for sharing your day at Spring Hill Farm.
Patricia Lenihan More than 1 year ago
Dear Ms. Livingston, your photos are breathtaking. This is equine art in its highest form. Congratulations to you for capturing the soul of Spring Hill Farm. Surely the genius of Mr. Evans will be carried on in the bloodlines of his incredible horses. As Diana Baker said, "his fingerprint is everywhere". For that the Thoroughbred industry is lucky indeed.