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AHHS John and Maybelle Costello National Breeder Award: Kathryn and Carl Nichols




Carl and Kathryn purchased their first Hackney pony in the early 1990s. It was a pleasure driving pony that they would show for a couple seasons. Following those seasons they would make a decision that then seemed like a small one, but today is one that made all the difference. That decision was to breed her.  Later that year she foaled a little bay mare that they would name Portrait Of A Lady.

It was then that the idea of breeding Hackneys began to take hold. Fencing soon followed. Barns and run-in sheds were built and Crystal Creek Farm was on its way to becoming a reality.  

One of their first breeding stallions that the Nichols stood at their farm was Crystal Creek’s Commander. Both Carl and Kathryn had much success showing this incredible stallion. Around the time they were showing Commander they purchased Dun-Haven Phenomenal from Lee and Beverly Dunn. Carl and Kathryn decided to show this pony to promote him.  

Dun-Haven Phenomenal was a showring star. He started his show ring career in 2007 at Asheville Lions Club Horse Show. He’d go on to light up the crowd at Lexington Junior League and win the Limit Harness Pony Class. All just a preview to the big dance.  

Dun-Haven Phenomenal was World’s Champion Harness Pony Stallion/Gelding and Reserve World’s Grand Champion Harness Pony that year and again in 2008. In 2009 he would repeat his Stallion/Gelding world’s title, but this year Dun-Haven Phenomenal would add the prestigious title of World’s Grand Champion Harness Pony to his record.  

Carl and Kathryn love the breeding business and have enjoyed a lot of success with their ponies. Crystal Creek Farm is a strong supporter of the American Hackney Horse Society National Breeders Futurity and also Limited Breeders Stakes programs. They have shown many young ponies under the direction of their farm trainer, Eduardo Lopez. 

Today Crystal Creek Farm is home to approximately 80 ponies where Crystal Creek’s Extreme shares the breeding duties along with Dun-Haven Phenomenal. They are very proud to watch any pony from their breeding program hit the ring and begin building their own successful story.  

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