The summer of 2009 snuck up on breeder Rhonda Lemmon, who owns Noisy Hollow Acres Tennessee Walkers in Lacombe, AB. She found herself without a show horse. Rhonda looked out into her pasture and a liver chestnut roan sabino mare, Fancy's Midnight Promise, caught her eye.aPromise__horses_all-sm

Promise was grazing next to her pasture mates getting increasingly fatter. Rhonda thought to herself, “Yes, Promise had about 200 lbs to lose and yeah she hadn't been ridden in 7 years since she was started as a 3 year old. Oh heck, why not?” And just like that, Promise became her “new” show horse.

Promise excelled in the show ring in 2009 and 2010. She ended up winning Model Champion, English 3 Gait Championship, Reserve 3 Gait Champion of Champions and Reserve High Point 3 Gait Champion in a just a couple of months.

 

Rhonda took Promise on her first competitive trail ride after only having ridden her on the trail a few times and after 25 miles of hot, humid weather with a 73 horse turn-out she came in second place with a score only half a point off a perfect ride! Ronda comments, “This is what I absolutely love about this breed, you can take a broodmare after 7 years in the field and end up winning.”

Rhonda purchased Promise in 1999 at just two months of age from an Alberta breeder in Delburne. Sired by Mark's Midnight Allen and out of F88's Fancy Free, Promise was trained from start to finish by Rhonda and her husband Dave.

In her very first show as a three year old with a ten year old inexperienced boy, she placed top three in every class. However, the Lemmon’s decided to use her in their breeding program shortly after that.

aPromise_competitive_trail_2009Promise excelled as the premier broodmare, passing her gentle and loving nature along to her offspring. To date, she has raised five foals, all of them enjoying successful careers in the show ring except young Ragtime Promised a Miracle, who Rhonda refers to as “her future star.”

Promise has proven to be exceptionally compatible with the resident stallion, Dude’s Ragtime Man. Promise adds an extra flare to what Ragtime already has.

One of her offspring, Ragtime N' Melody, has been giving her mother a run for the money in the show ring, earning 2009 and 2010 2 Gait Trail Pleasure Champion and 2011 Versatility Champion.

Another offspring, Ragtime N Rockabilly, is performing well in the show ring, even as a youngster. Her owner, Debra, thanks Rhonda and Dave for selling her “the most fantastic horse I have ever owned!”

Rhonda fondly refers to Tennessee Walkers as “Nature’s 4 x 4’s” since they are brave, loyal, loving, devoted and the smoothest ride in the world on the trails. She says, “The willingness in this breed never ceases to amaze me.”

According to Rhonda, Tennessee Walkers are great solutions to people who have injuries or sore joints because they are so smooth. Promise is a testament to the breed’s ability and smoothness, with her natural four beat running walk and rocking chair canter.

What does the future hold for Rhonda and Promise? Rhonda left her open this year for a break from motherhood and plans to lease her for next year’s show season. “IfaPromise-sm that doesn’t work out,” Rhonda says, “she and I will be hitting some serious trails and maybe even try out the Cowboy Trail Challenges. If any horse could do it, Promise could!”

Whatever direction Rhonda decides to take Promise, whether it be in the show ring, on the trail or as a broodmare, the Lemmon’s can expect great things from their premier mare.

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