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Don Spear passes away

A 2017 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, Don Spear passed away this morning (Thursday, January 25) at the age of 74.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he grew up on a farm in nearby Brimfield and was first exposed to Morgans but fell in love with American Saddlebreds. Spear bred his first American Saddlebred mare in 1965.  That would be the first of many world class American Saddlebreds, Morgans and show dogs he would breed, show and sell over the years.

In partnership with Joan Lurie at Willowbank, Spear became really invested in the breeding world. In 1984, Lurie took her first weanling to the World’s Championship Horse Show, winning with Spear’s Kaladar. In ‘86 she won the Weanling Breeders’ Stake with his See The Sights and the Yearling Breeders’ Stake with his Unattached. Both went on to be great gaited horses. 

Selling his part ownership in Willowbank, Spear and Scheidt would establish their own breeding operation, Stonecroft Farm, in 1987, raising show ring greats in the American Saddlebred and Morgan worlds. Some of the other top horses bred by Spear and Scheidt include World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited CH Boucheron and world’s champion of champions Revival, Stonecroft I’m Radiant, Stonecroft Ringleader and What’s My Line, and world’s champions CH Amusing, Stonecroft Serengetti and Stonecroft Sincerely among others.

Currently three homebred stallions are representing Stonecroft in the breeding shed. World’s champion I’m First is their Saddlebred headliner while World Champion Park Saddle Stonecroft Trilogy and world champion producer Stonecroft Masquerade continue to make an impact in the Morgan world.

Saddle Horse Report will update this as arrangements become available and an in-depth tribute will run in an upcoming issue.


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