(Medomak Cavalier X Kennebec Opal)
1992 buckskin mare, 15.1, 100% Foundation


I'd always wanted a buckskin Morgan. In the spring of 1993, Grace Stone, the mother of one of my boarders, told me about a buckskin filly at Kennebec Morgans, where she boarded her horse. I had another friend who worked at Kennebec, so I asked her about the filly, and her positive comments echoed Grace's. Though Topaz was not officially for sale and several breeders had tried (unsuccessfully) to buy her already, I went ahead and inquired any way. Topaz's breeder, the late Miss Margaret Gardiner, was very careful about the homes her horses go to and she had just been through some bad experiences in that regard, so she was being doubly cautious. But as I understand it, my friends reassured Miss Gardiner that I would do right by Topaz, and so she put a price on her and we struck a deal. I feel very fortunate to own a Morgan bred by one of the oldest and most respected breeders in all of Morgandom.

Topaz came all the way from Maine to us here in Georgia that summer. Just a yearling, she hauled and rode quietly all that way by herself, like an old pro. This impressed the heck out of the friend I'd entrusted to haul her for me, as Topaz had never been trailered before. She still approaches each new task with that same calm attitude.

Topaz is also a very curious and friendly animal. She is one of the first horses who come up to visit when people  enter the pasture. Her foals have all inherited her tendency towards being a social butterfly.

Topaz's first offspring (by the palomino stallion Adiel's Casino Gold) is the very kind and beautiful palomino gelding Gone Gold. Her second foal (by the palomino stallion World's Edge Goldoak) is our exquisite palomino mare Coral Forest. Topaz's third foal is the 2008 bay gelding Edgefield Gemstone (by Edgefield Sun Gold) owned by friend and fellow artist, Jennifer Scott.

Topaz's pedigree has no modern outcrosses. It is full of great Morgans from a variety of old families- Devan Hawk, Archie O, Lippitt Ethan Ash, Gay Dancer, Cornwallis, Gay Mac, Lippitt Miss Nekomia, and multiple crosses to Flyhawk. My former vet continually remarked on this mare's textbook correct feet and legs. I believe that particular attribute is a legacy of her ancestors who were bred to do hard work- day after day- and stay sound doing it.

A pasture accident in 2008 involving a metal sided run in shed (not at our farm) severed the peroneus tertius in Topaz's right hind leg. You may notice the swelling and scar in that hock and its overly straight appearance as a result. Despite her now awkward movement, she has retained the cheerful attitude and love of people that brightens my day, every day.

Medomak Cavalier

Dyberry Lyndon Gay Cavalier
Dyberry Nekomiss
Main-Line Fallisa The Brown Falcon

Kennebec Opal

Californio Tio Lalo
Kennebec Lucille Little Hawk
Kennebec Ethel

You can view Topaz's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.

More photos of Topaz
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)

Topaz with her dam Opal in 1992 in the fields at Kennebec. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.

Topaz as a foal with Kennebec Opal, Summer 1992. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.

Topaz with Bonnie Jean Nickerson, then age 4, in 1992. Photo courtesy Mary Fournier.

Jim calls this picture "Mule Train". The horses in their new home, October 1997; Topaz in the lead mule position.

Topaz with Cassidy Evans (now Sutherland) up, November 2000. This was the first time anyone but myself had ridden her; Topaz accepted this with her usual "ho-hum" attitude :-).

Pregnant mama-to-be in a rare Georgia snowstorm, 1/2/02.

Playing in the snow the next day.

Topaz with Susan Marsh from California, January 2002.

Pregnant mare, April 2004, about 2 weeks from foaling Coral.

Blast off! July 2005.

I was up one morning at sunrise and it was foggy out. Very mystical, and I had to try and capture some of that feeling. These two pictures are a couple of the shots that I was able to get. September 2005.

October 2005.

Late November, 2005.

Topaz was on a breeding lease from June of 2007 to February of 2009 at Charlene Cook's Edgefield Morgans in Goshen, IN. Here Char was trying to get pictures of her, but Topaz, being a typical Morgan, would rather help her take the picture! Photo courtesy of Mary Kay Longacre, June 2007.

Topaz shortly after arriving home from Indiana, February 2009.

July 2009- Topaz just wanted to eat. She tried to oblige me though. I think the horses know that when I have the camera, they are supposed to pose or move!

A little Topaz dynasty! Topaz with her daughter Coral and granddaughter Charli, August 2009.

October 2009.

December 2009- I'd always wanted to do a Christmas card with all the horses on it. So when I saw these pet antlers at the Dollar Store, I had to get them. The next step was taking a picture of each horse wearing the antlers, then creating the Christmas card you see here.

February 13, 2010- We had a rare snowfall, and I was outside early to get pictures of the ponies before it all melted away. I was hoping for some good frisky shots but no one was very motivated to do anything other than search for bits of grass under the snow.

10/15/10- I was out taking pictures of Topaz today for an ad in TMH (they are featuring Kennebec Morgans in their November 2010 issue). The blue ribbon is part of the Georgia Morgan Horse Club Promotional Award we received earlier this year. I was SO surprised! I received a nice plaque, and this ribbon is the horses', for their part in promoting the breed at the Southern Model Horse Convention, the model horse show we hold here each year in early October. The purpose of the show is to introduce model horse hobbyists to Morgans. And it works- several of our regulars now own and/or breed Morgans.

On June 10, 2011, my sister Aimee and her almost-3-year-old daughters Neve and Lucy
(from Ohio) visited us. Topaz, always the social butterfly, tried very hard to get down on the girls' level.

Topaz and Neve. I think Topaz was checking for edible parts, and finding none, went back to her nap ;-)

Family portrait: me, Aimee with Lucy, Neve, and Topaz.

October 6, 2012- Topaz making friends with three young attendees of the 25th Annual Southern Model Horse Convention. Emma Huffman, her friend Tea and another young show attendee groomed, braided and loved on any Morgan that would volunteer. The hot wire was off for the day.

May 2013- We hosted a Covington-Conyers Cycling Club Board meeting at the Farm. Jim grilled burgers and we all had a picnic dinner. The weather was wonderful. One family brought their kids, who wanted to see the horses. With a barn full of friendly Morgans, who could resist?

I took these in an effort to get something to enter in the 2014 Rainbow calendar contest. Topaz does not look too bad for 21. The bridle is one of my best ebay finds ever, an old 60's Victor sterling silver ferruled western headstall. It looks great on whatever horse I put it on. You just can't beat old sterling bridles. It's hard to find quality like this nowadays... "they don't make things like they used to".

August 7, 2014- I got Topaz bathed and "braided" for a photo shoot and it clouded up as soon as I was ready to take pictures. It got so dark that I wasn't able to get a well lit (sunny) updated full body shot.

May 29, 2016- One of my friends from the online game Howrse was in Jasper GA for a graduation this weekend and she wanted to bring her family to meet our Morgans. I love sharing about the breed, and they are their own best ambassadors, so of course I said yes! I mean, how awkward can it be to meet someone you've never met before, only "talked" to online a few times via a game? No worries at all- we had a great time! Mary Frances and her daughter Phoebe (12) and son Peter (15) were a delight. Those are two of the most kind, polite, caring kids we have ever met. Mary Frances, ya done good. Jim and I were suitably impressed. Here is Mary Frances, Peter and Phoebe in the pasture with Topaz (whose sleepy, contented look was the result of a night feasting on new pasture).

January 12, 2019- We just had a lovely visit with Helen Prentice- from England! Helen's Mom lives in Ocala, FL and Helen is in the States visiting her. It was a relatively short trip (5 hours from Ocala) for her to come and see the ancestors and relatives of her colt, Pepe. Pepe (registered name Divine Intervention) is by Coulee Bend Talisman, the gorgeous silver dun son of Unconventional (aka Connor, who was bred/foaled here). His dam is Helen's own mare, Withecott Celestial Star. Pepe got his sire and grandsire's silver gene- he is a beautiful bay silver colt.

Before Helen left we wanted to get a few quick snaps of us with now 27-year-old Topaz, who is Pepe's great great grand dam. The first picture was taken right as her daughter Coral Forest decided to photobomb us! Jim was laughing so hard that the photo is kinda blurry, but it's cute any way ;-)

June 1, 2019- I try to get updated pictures each year of all my horses. Today was Topaz's turn :-) Topaz scared me earlier this year- in February, she very quickly dropped weight. This is a mare who has always looked pregnant; she's not metabolic (per testing), but is the quintessential "easy keeper", staying fat on grass and hay only. But in February, she dropped so much weight her ribs, hips and spine stuck out. She was very furry so I didn't notice right away but as soon as I did, I started her on 6 pounds of Senior and two big flakes of alfalfa a day. Because she has an old injury (severed her peroneous tertious in the left hind after kicking through a metal sided run in shed, while on lease) I figured arthritis might be a contributor and started her on Equioxx. Aloe Vera juice for good measure in case ulcers were the culprit. Well my vet says "they lose it fast, but put it on slow" and he is right- it took two months to get Topaz back to her previously fat self.

May 12 and 13, 2020- Topaz with her grand daughter Charli and great grand daughter Ariel (left) and with her daughter Coral and grandson Thunder (right). Margaret Gardiner, breeder of Topaz, passed away earlier this year. I hope she'd be proud to see what an amazing contribution Topaz has made to the breed through her many descendants, not just here but around the world.

November 27, 2020- I was in the field taking pictures of Thunder, Topaz's grandson, for his owner Kate Cabot. Topaz looked so pretty I had to take a picture of her, too.

November 2021- Two of our Morgans made it into the newly revised edition of The Horse, a college textbook for Equine Science courses! One of the authors, Jessica Peterson, contacted me back in 2018 about getting good pictures of colorfuls for the color section of the book. The Morgan Horse magazine editor Stephen Kinney had sent her my way, bless you Stephen! I got an email last week that the book was out and today my copy showed up. I had been told that Kennebec Topaz had made the book; imagine my delight to turn the page and see that Positively Charmed (Charli) did as well! And there as the grulla example is Natalie Tanaka's MHB Bacchus Blessing!
Yes, three Morgans representing color! In the Morgan breed section who do I see but Chris Holm's Morgan stallion Devine Cool Hand Luke, working cattle with style! Another Morgan, MLB The Ingenue, bred by Laurie Faust, is also in the book shown doing carriage driving. Great representation for our breed! This is the fourth book our Brookridge Morgans have been in representing color and I am so happy for my little breeding program and for being able to get the Morgan out there to be seen in print. If you'd like to order the book, it's available here, on Amazon. It is 620 pages of Everything Horse- breeding, genetics, health and more.

January 19, 2024-was down this AM and could not get up; she has an old injury to her right hind leg (this happened while off our farm back in 2008) that limits her ability to use that hock. I thought it was the end for her but with vet assistance we were able to get her up. About 10 days later she laid down in the muddiest spot in the field and was struggling to get up. Again, I thought it was the end but I had the idea to shove some hay up under her butt for traction and right before the vet rolled in she managed to get up. Now I hold my breath every time I see her lying down, but if she is on dry, grassy footing she seems able to cope. Here she is contentedly grazing on the day of that first event, with Papi photobombing. The two kept each other going, as Papi was recovering from his choke, and Topaz was in heat :-)

March 9, 2024- Topaz tonight after another de-shedding session- still looking pretty motheaten! The scar/swelling on the front of her right hind hock is the old injury from getting caught in a metal sided run-in shed while off our farm; the left hind hock has a similar injury from compensation over the years, and that fetlock has dropped as a result. God love her, she keeps hanging in there. I've been spending a lot of time grooming her lately- not that you could tell it by looking at her!

March 11, 2024- Papi and Topaz enjoying a warm spring morning.

March 28, 2024- More of the old folks' club.

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Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

To learn more about color in the Morgan breed, visit the Morgan Colors website.

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Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
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