January 19, 2020

IRemember when my good friend, Vicki Brilley Livasy did the cute graphics of Fred playing for the Green Bay Packers? Well, hopefully we won't need Fred today as the Packers face the San Francisco 49ners. To say the least I am a bit nervous as they killed us the last time we played them. Green Bay and San Francisco have been two of the more successful teams in NFL history. They played each other 6 times in post season play and tonight will be the 7th time. In 1995 in the NFC Playoffs, the score was Packers 27--Niners 17. In 1996 NFC Playoffs the score was Packers 35, niners 14. In 1997 NFL Championship game the score was Packers 23, niners 10. In 1998 NFC Wildcard game the score was 49ners 30, Packers 27. In 2001 NFC Wildcard the Packers defeated the niners 25 to 15. Then in 2012 NFC Divisional playouff, the 49ners beat the Packers 45 to 31. I think it is our turn but as I said earlier, I am a bit nervous. On draft day in 2005 Aaron Rodgers was asked if he was disappointed that he was passed over by San Francisco and his response was "Not as disappointed as the 49ners will be that they didn't draft me" Now is the time and the place to make that quote come true. GO PACK!!!!!

January 14, 2020

I am by myself today and have had some time to think about many things. Looking out my office window at the beautiful snow cover, I think about how Ellis Quarter Horses came about. In my lifetime, I have bought 3 stallions and they all contributed to the improvement of our place. First of all, when I was teaching in Montana, before I met Mike, I bought Bar Fly Bailey who at that time was a AAA race horse. That was when I still rode horses and and I made him an AQHA Champion with his points being in racing, western pleasure and halter. When I moved back to Wisconsin and met and married Mike Ellis, we bought 15 acres of bare land and proceeded to build Ellis Quarter Horses. I was breeding Bar Fly and selling the colts to generate income. Kay Moody Daniels from New Mexico contacted us and wanted to buy him. We sold him for the whopping sum of $15,000 and with the money bought 15 acres of land. The next stallion I bought was Royal Tailwind. I fell in love with him as a baby and my father gave us the $3500 to buy him. He injured his leg and the scar prevented him from showing. When his first 3 foals arrived, Warren Ploeger from Iowa came to visit and was so impressed with the fillies, he offered to buy him. That was a great deal for us as we were able to pay my dad back and also in the deal got 8 free breeding a year with $5.00 a day mare care. With the money, we bought more land and added an indoor arena to the existing 36 X 81 building. I spent my summers hauling mares back and forth between Neenah, Wisconsin and Schaller, Iowa as that was before shipped semen. One day on my way back from Warrens, I stopped at Homer Danielson's place in Iowa. Homer had been with Warren when he bought Royal. Well, I fell in love with a baby colt by Impressive. Looking back, I think the thing that drew me to the colt was that he was out of a Mr Tailwind mare. Well, this was not a cheap colt as the stud fee on Impressive was $10,000 at that time. Mike and I didn't have a lot of money but I convinced him that the colt was a good investment and he agreed to talk to my father about lending us the funds to buy him. I still remember the night we took dad out to eat and Mike being a great politician convinced him that this horse would make money for us. The price on Impressivist as we named him was $40,000. Well, it all turned out good as I was able to sell two young fillies within a few months and pay my father back. Impressivist was a very photogenic horse and Dick Waltenberry is my neighbor and he took awesome pictures of him. We ran monthly ads in the Quarter Horse Journal and bred over 100 mares a year to him for two consecutive years. That was also before shipped semen. The foals were winning the futurities and we made many friends that I still have contact with to this day. A few years later we were approached and asked if we would sell the stallion and after much thought, decided it would be the best thing for us to do. We sold him for a lot of money and Lanis Noble who bought him became one of my best friends. With the funds from the sale, we continued to improve our place and also bought more land. Those were the days when horses brought good money and were easy to sell. I think about someone trying to do what we did back then and I think only in a rare instance can it be done. Times have really changed. I do wish the horse business could be like it was but as I get older, I realize that in my opinion it will never be.

January 14, 2020

I have had quite a morning. I told you about Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool) tearing her meniscus about 6 weeks ago. I truly thought I would lose her but with the expert therapy of Dr Sarah Peters, she is making a remarkable recovery. Of course, she is not enjoying her "stall rest" but the way she is improving, it won't be long and she and her companion, Gabriel the donkey will be able to go outside during the day. What I failed to tell you, was that I started having trouble with Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee) also. She was fine. In fact the picture I posted on August 19, 2019 is of her getting her feet trimmed and she never needed shoes. Well, I decided to turn her outside this fall with Janie (Kids Classic Gal) and noticed after a couple of months that she was getting more and more lame. We brought her in the barn and it was a very sad sight. She progressed to laying out flat and had trouble getting up. We had xrays done of her feet and there is no founder or navicular. She is just getting old and has a lot of arthritis in her ankles. Well, today the best team of "caregivers" I know showed up to help her. Dr Sarah Peters of Forward Equine LLC, Dr Katherine Fox of Equine Unlimited, my wonderful farrier, Scott Bruecker, and Piper, Dr Peter's veterinary assistant came. After 3 hours of xrays and trying different shoes and pads, Bonnie seems to be much more comfortable. I can only hope that she continues to improve and I am thinking I need to embryo her this year instead of letting her carry a foal. I guess, that of the three "old girls" here at Ellis Quarter Horses (Rebecca is 20, Bonnie 19 and I am not going to tell you my age,), I may be in the best shape of the group.

January 13, 2020

Remember when I asked you to vote for this awesome picture of my veterinarian Dr Katherine Fox and her horse, Jewel? Well, the photograph was taken by her daughter Bailee Fox and it won the "Kelly Herd Photography Contest" by over 100 votes. Let me tell you a bit about Bailee Fox. She is a sophomore at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, majoring in New Studio Practice. She is focusing on photography and videography. Now let me tell you how this particular picture came about. Bailee and Kathy came home late one afternoon and Bailee needed a picture for her portfolio. They walked out in the pasture to take the picture. Just as they were getting ready , it started to snow which gave the picture such a beautiful angelic look. The prize for winning the contest is a custom made necklace by Kelly Herd. I am anxious to see the finished product as we all know the quality of his jewelry. I will certainly post pictures of the necklace so that all of you can see it as soon as it arrives.

January 12, 2020

It's a good thing Wilma (Classically Kool) is close to 16.3 tall or I don't think she would be able to walk through the 12 inches of snow that the "most accurate weathermen" predicted for last night. For the last two days, the Packers have been requesting 700 people to show up at 6 AM today and they were paying them $12.00 an hour to shovel the seats in Lambeau Field. I sure wonder what those 700 people did this morning. I bet they were tailgating instead.

January 9, 2020

Guess who has papers? The little soon to be German Fraulein Betty now has a pretty neat name. Marko Kaiser and Judith Kaiser chose her name and I really like it. "My Secret Luv" is a yearling NN filly by Fred (Classically) out of Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee).

January 8, 2020

I have had quite a bit of time to think about my breeding program lately. After breaking my leg last January, I concentrated on breeding the two old mares, Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool) and Bonnie (CJ Misss Cool Tardee) Well, neither of them got in foal. I intend to try again this year but think I almost have to breed Wilma (Classically Kool) She is now 5 years old and is my "pride and joy" I bred Fred (Classically) to Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool), a half brother-sister cross hoping I would raise an individual that will be a great producer as she is concentrating the blood of Miss Bunny Tardee, the dam of both parents. Wilma stands close to 16.3 and is NN and of course is a spoiled brat. Now the fun part is finding a "boyfriend" for her. I will keep you posted as to what stallion I choose for her. This is a picture Leah Gloudemans took of her on Monday.

January 7, 2020

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was taken many years ago by Dick Waltenberry. He and Barb Waltenberry came over to take "baby pictures" of Impressivist foals. This cute black filly, owned by Bob Baumann was there so her dam could be rebred to Impressivist. Dick just happened to snap the picture at the "right time" The Waltenberry's don't live far from me and back them, we had them take all the pictures that we used in advertising, including the fantastic 3/4 front shot of Impressivist. Times have really changed and now Dick is still on the road all the time, mostly doing videos of reining events. Who, knows, perhaps this picture started that change in his photography. ☺️☺️☺️☺️ As many of you know, Barb recently had surgery and is now doing quite well. She is pretty doggone tough and you aren't going to keep her down long. I imagine Dick is still brewing his "home brew beer" He even brought us some years ago. I didn't want to tell me, but I was not a fan. I don't see the Waltenberry's much anymore. With the digital age, Dick recommended what kind of camera and lens I buy so I am now able to take my own pictures. Those were good times and I wish we could get together more often. After a photo shoot, Mike and I would meet Dick and Barb for dinner and of course, Dick would have to have his old fashions. Another great memory for me and I still have all of the photos to remind me of the time.

January 1, 2020

My post from December 2019 about the "caps from Wayne Halvorson" reminded me of another cap that I have. My good friend, Jim Duncan sent me a Wisconsin Quarter Horse Association hat that he had from probably 20 years ago. These were caps that were given to the stallion owner who entered their stallion in the stallion service auction and also to the person who bought the breeding. How it worked, was we held an auction of the stallions the day after the Wisconsin Quarter Horse Association Awards banquet. People could bid at the auction or on the phone and believe me, it was a very busy event. Impressivist topped the auction a few times and brought nearly double his stud fee. You ask why would anyone pay more than a stud fee? Well, the only foals eligible to compete were a foal picked by the stallion owner and the foal born out the person who bought the stud fee's mare. Iowa had an even more fair auction, in my opinion. Both the stallion owner and the mare owner had to name their mare by January 1. These futurities would pay big money with the Iowa one exceeding $15,000 to win it. Our Wisconsin futurity was held in August during our state show and the numbers that showed were tremendous. I remember that it was usually cold that time of the year and we would have winter blankets and hoods on the babies. I also remember that Jim McKillips would sometimes bring mares with foals at their side and show the babies while leaving the mares in the stalls, There were usually about 50 babies in the classes and it would take forever to judge them. The yearling classes were almost as big. I think we had a 3 judge system. It was a great time and many top breeders from all over the country would be there. Some of the people who showed and did exceptionally well were Fred Benker, Gene Wilson, Randy Alderson, Shawn Wacker, Gary Helland, Rick Skelly, Jim McKillips, Russ Smith, and John Lawrence. I am sure I am forgetting a lot of people. Back then my goal in breeding was to win that futurity and finally in 1989 one of our babies did. I still have the buckle and dug it out and took a picture of it for you. I am excited to see some of our present day futurities bringing back people to show but it will never be like it was "back then" in my opinion.

January 1, 2020

Big day today for the Wisconsin Badgers football team and all of Wisconsin. The Badgers are playing in the Rose Bowl Game against the Oregon Ducks. This will be the 106th anniversary of the Rose Bowl Game, which is called the "Granddaddy of bowl games" since it is the oldest. The first Tournament of Roses parade was in 1902 and they added a football game to help fund the parade. Roy Rogers rode Trigger in the parade and at the 123rd parade, 100 palomino horses led the Roy Rogers float. Wisconsin has been in 8 Rose Bowl games, winning 3 of them. A memorable one was in 2012 when Russell Wilson was our quarterback and time ran out before they could get off the final play which could have tied the game. When I was a little girl, the Rose Bowl parade was one of the highlights of my year. I could't wait to watch it and my parents would sometimes let me have a friend over and we would watch it together. Now, there are over 100 floats in the parade and they are covered with roses and flowers but I couldn't care less about the floats. What I wanted to see was the horses and believe me, there were lots of them. Back then, I was not "into quarter horses yet" so I was enamored by the awesome trappings on the horses. Well, times have changed and I am now a big Badger fan, so I will probably skip the parade because I will be taking care of horses but I will be glued to the television when the game starts. The Badgers are underdogs, but here's hoping for a great victory today.

TMike's brother Robert Michael Ellis and Elke Ellis granddaughte, Makenna Ellis is a cheerleader for the Wisconsin Badgers. What an exciting experience for her to be able to attend and cheer at the Rose Bowl;. Now we just need to win the game.

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Michael and Sandra Ellis 1752 Co Rd GG
Neenah, WI  54956
Tel: (920) 722-0182
Fax: (920) 236-8842
Email: ellisqh@athenet.net


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