Skip to content

Press Release from Happy Valley Farm



Happy Valley Farm, home to an expansive American Saddlebred show horse breeding and training operation, tragically lost 35 of 36 horses stabled in the main barn when fire erupted on Thursday evening shortly before dark.  Daniel Jenner, one of the farm’s horse trainers, stated that the structure was completely engulfed within 20 minutes.  “We were able to get one horse out of an end stall on the back side of the barn adjacent to the indoor arena.  It was too hot and smoky to get anywhere near the main barn aisle.”

Tragically lost in the blaze were four stallions that were the backbone of the breeding operation.  Included were the prolific homebred stallion, WC Merchant Prince, who won the Three Year Old Fine Harness National Futurity in 1986 and was sire of many great world's champions, including World's Grand Champion Fine Harness and World's Grand Champion Three-Gaited CH A Sweet Treat, CH Marching Orders, and CH Rejoice among many others.  Also perishing were RWC I'm The Prince - sire of twice World's Grand Champion Three-Gaited CH Grande Gil.  The black stallion, WC Harlem's Friendly Conversation, sire of World’s Champions Kalarama's Delightful and With A Friend, and finally a stallion son of I’m The Prince, Magical Me.

Show horses that perished included WC With A Friend, RWC So Persuasive, I Insist, as well as a number of promising prospects including two full brothers to WC Grande Gill, I’m Grande and Grande Prince; a Junior prospect by Harlem’s Friendly Conversation, I’ll Just Say, who was being readied for competition at the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship; Such Magic, daughter of Such Sweet Memories and Little Soul, daughter of In My Soul.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by authorities, but foul play is not suspected.  The colt barn and broodmare barn were not affected by the blaze.  Nearly 25 foals have been born in 2013 and they, together with almost 100 prospects and broodmares, will be the future of Happy Valley.

Marion “Bit” Hutcheson, owner, and the entire Happy Valley staff would like to express their deepest appreciation for your condolences.

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • A Blast From The Past

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you a series of past feature stories on some of the greats of our sport. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. Read More
  • Future Forum: The Up and Coming of Young Trainers

    Enjoy the first in a series on young trainers! Read More
  • Class of 2020 Yearbook

    Saddle Horse Report presents the Class of 2020 Yearbook. We are proud to feature some of the 2020 graduates who are and will be a major force in the show horse industry. We know their talent and perseverance will help carry them on to many successes ahead. Read More
  • New England Morgan Horse Cancelled

    It is with very heavy hearts that the New England Show Committee along with the New England Morgan Horse Association decided to cancel the New England Morgan Horse Show July 20 – 25, 2020. Much of the decision making was taken out of our hands by the state of Massachusetts and the Department of Agriculture... Read More
  • Capital City Classic Coming to Raleigh

    The American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas (ASAC) has sanctioned a new show on the 2020 calendar. The Capital City Classic will be held June 4-6th at the Governor James B. Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina... Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Greater Boston

    Greater Boston has become a Memorial Day tradition in New England. We miss being there this weekend, so let’s take a look back at some of our fond memories from 2010. Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Michigan All-Morgan

    We wish our friends in Michigan well this Memorial Day weekend. While we won’t be able to spend our weekend with them, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from the 2010 Michigan All-Morgan. Read More
  • Foals N Focus – Week 7

    Thank you to all who again submitted heart-warming shots of their 2020 foals for consideration in our ongoing #foalsNfocus contest. This week featured a photo of our first Half-Saddlebred winner, a colt sired by the Dutch Harness Horse, Graaf Kelly out of the American Saddlebred mare, WV Sinfully Irresistible... Read More
  • Ten Years Ago – Madison Classic

    We won’t have a chance to visit with our friends and enjoy Brat Fest this year in Madison. Let’s take a look back at happier times from the 2010 Madison Classic. Read More