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THE STORY OF THE PHARA ARABIAN
END OF AN ERA
In 1969, Tom Patti passed away. With a farm mortgage, no life insurance and a 12-year-old son to raise, Annette knew she had to get busy. "Golden Reflection was just a baby at the time, but Golden Pharao was already making a name for himself as a sire," she says. "We advertised both stallions, and the following year outside breeding poured in. Fortunately, I was able to handle the horses, and always did my own training, which, incidentally, is something that I couldn't do in today's world."
Polly Knoll, who had always admired Annette's resourcefulness, determination and abilities, remembers those dark days. "She was truly tested after the death of her husband," she affirms. "She always handled the horses, including many stallions, with the grace of a ballerina and the aplomb of a seasoned horseman. She understood her horses and never resorted to extreme measures in disciplining them. She was also a graceful, accomplished rider."
Luckily, both stallions were very popular, and the demand for Golden Pharao remained high. "My son was a very good rider - a talented horseman," Annette credits. "He helped a lot. Then, like many boys, his interest turned to motors, motorcycles and mechanics. He started working in the trucking business and didn't stay with the horses."
As the years passed, alone on the farm with a heavy workload and cold, snowy winters, Annette decided to find a more conducive climate. California beckoned, and when she found property in north central California near Wallace that resembled Wisconsin, it seemed preordained. The 10-acre property was situated in a beautiful, gently rolling area in the foot hills of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The beautiful pastures of Phara Farm near Wallace, California.
Her son, by that time, was grown and married with a wife and son of his own. He was not interested in moving to California, so Annette struck out on her own.
On Sept 22, 1985, she left Wisconsin in her Chevy van and horse trailer packed with all of her worldly possessions and followed the chartered van with the seven stallions and three mares for the 2,300-mile trip, stopping only for the sole purpose of reassuring her precious cargo.
However, California wasn't all sunshine and roses. Shortly after her arrival, a car accident sidelined her for quite some time. Fortunately, fellow Wisconsinite Luther Weber came to her rescue.
"Luther had previously been married to my aunt, but he was no blood relation to me," she explains. "They lived in Hartford, which was close to my farm, and he and my aunt used to visit. Retired from the Chrysler auto plant, he enjoyed the horses and helped around the farm. Soon after I moved to California, she passed away, which left Luther at loose ends. Lonely and bored, he missed the horses, and when I needed help after the accident, he came to California. He helped build the barn and fencing, planted trees and helped me with the horses. It worked well for both of us so we were married in 1989.
"Initially, we bred outside mares to our stallions, but Luther thought we should restrict it to our own mares. His philosophy was that people with the really good mares usually had their own stallions. He was right; we cut back on outside mares and mainly bred our own mares and sold the foals."
While stud fee revenue was decreased, the change served a dual purpose: it created a niche in the market, since smaller numbers created a higher demand, and allowed the Webers to better control the direction of the breeding program.
The Look of a Phara Foal
Golden Reflection x Sun God Heiress
Golden Pharao x Aazkafra
Miss Burgundy Sun
Burgundy Sun x BGM Sabrina
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