HOME     FIRST CYTE     GM TARGARYEN     THE FARM     THE MARES     FOR SALE     CONTACTS

                             

OUR STORY

Greymoor Farm is home to the Multi-National Champion Stallion FIRST CYTE.  A small farm that averages only two foals a year, we have produced seven National Winners and three National Champions (who have won seventeen National Championships in Halter).

“First Cyte has sired National Champions in halter
AND under saddle and has one of the
highest percentages of champion get of any living stallion.”
Arlene Magid, Pedigree Research

GREYMOOR FARM, owned by Donna Hentges, is home to the Multi-National Champion Stallion First Cyte. The farm is in Elko, MN, forty-five minutes from Twin Cities International Airport.  It is 65 acres of lush rolling pastures and heavenly quiet that boasts a private lake with a resident goose and egret population.

    

Greymoor is a private facility that is home to a handful of carefully selected broodmares and foals. 

There is a main barn and indoor arena, a breeding barn and laboratory and a separate hay barn. The barns are all equipped with cameras and there are separate cameras in each foaling stall. Barns are heated, have ceiling fans and the main barn is air-conditioned. The barns are designed to facilitate ease of operation and to provide the animals with the best environment possible.

The walls of roses and trophies on the Farm attest to the special animals on this property.  Greymoor is home to First Cyte, a Multi-National Champion Stallion and the sire of both National and International Champions.  Residing in the main barn are not only National Halter Champions but Dams of  National Champions.

Greymoor Farm was established in 1995, but the planning to create the farm began many years earlier.  The owner, Donna Hentges, had a long business career.  As Managing Partner of an International company there was frequent travel and long days of work.  As Donna recalls, “I had a passion for horses since I was a little girl and always planned on living on a horse farm after I retired”.  All the years she worked she kept that dream alive.  A businesswoman by training, she recognized the value of research and   planning, so for many years her spare time was spent planning for the farm, researching the Arabian horse, studying pedigrees, analyzing successful farms and researching the market for Arabian horses.

  In 1994, the land for the farm was purchased and the family home and the first of the barns was erected. Still working full time, Donna
  purchased several halter horses and began to experience the thrill of showing those horses.
She was not prepared, however, for what
  happened next...
 

 “I never really planned on owning a stallion”, Donna says, “but in 1997 a two year old bay colt ran into the show ring at a local show and into my heart.”  That was on a Sunday. Donna did some fast pedigree research and loved what she found. First Cyte boasts double lines to both *Bask, and Serafix, two of the breed’s all-time leading sires.  He traces to four of the best U.S. National Champion Stallions: *Bask, Bey Abi, Fame VF and Raffon.  His sire is Out of Cyte and his grandsire is Cytosk, U.S. Reserve National Champion English Pleasure and Top Ten Stallion.  He comes from a four generation line of mares that have produced National winners in halter. The research was finished by Wednesday morning and that night First Cyte was in her barn.

With the acquisition of a stallion, the first formal business plan was written and Greymoor Farm became a reality. “I’ve run Greymoor as a business from day one”, Donna states,” and I’ve always had a business plan. I knew that in order for this farm to be successful, I had to have a stallion with exceptional national level credentials.” 

Plans were to campaign First Cyte at Scottsdale in February of 1998, in preparation for the futurity classes at U.S. and Canada. Those plans took a dramatic change when the colt needed emergency colic surgery. To insure a complete recovery, he was not shown until the very end of the 1998 show season when he competed at Region 6.  Hoping that he could handle competition that soon, everyone was delighted with a unanimous Regional win.  Without the benefit of a major campaign, First Cyte went on to win the title of Canadian National Champion Futurity Colt (unanimous) and U.S. Reserve National Champion Futurity Colt.

The decision to take First Cyte+ back to U.S. Nationals in 2000 was not made overnight.  He had already earned an impressive set of credentials. He was home in Minnesota, and  started in English Pleasure training.  Well-intentioned friends cautioned Donna about the down-side of another try.  Donna made the decision to send him back to U.S. Nationals one afternoon while watching him work.  “I have always believed in this horse.  I decided he deserved a final trip to Nationals.”

You know the rest.  On a beautiful night in Louisville, Kentucky this incredible bay stallion was named U.S. National Champion Stallion, writing his name in the Arabian history books and making an owner’s dreams come true!

 
 
        
 
Canadian National Champion Stallion                         U.S. National Champion Stallion

First Cyte stood at stud with a trainer for one year after winning Nationals.  This gave Donna time to think through what should happen next. “I knew that if I left him with a trainer he would breed many more mares than if I brought him home. 
I understood that the Arabian breeding business is largely a numbers game.  What is reported and promoted are the stallions with the most foals and the breeders who produce the most foals every year, etc. My focus was quality, not quantity.  I decided to bring First Cyte home to Greymoor, limit and control his book and allow the percentage of outstanding foals he produced be my measure of success”.

 So, during 2001 the farm was modified to prepare for First Cyte’s return, a stallion pasture was fenced, a breeding barn was built and equipped, video cameras were added throughout the facility and in the foaling stalls.

Donna went to school, acquiring the formal education necessary to collect the stallion and ship semen. The list of supplies to equip the breeding barn seemed endless, but finally all equipment was purchased.  
A veterinary student was hired to oversee this start up
(and was with us later during the first  collections) and Donna was taught how to inseminate mares.  From the start, Donna has collected First Cyte, and inseminated and foaled every one of her own mares.

 

The burden was on Donna to establish a breeding program that would be nationally recognized for the quality of its foals. Her focus from the start was building a breeding program that not only showcases First Cyte, but builds on his ability as a sire.  She was lucky enough to have a National Champion halter horse that was also a talented athlete.  (First Cyte was started under saddle and showed great promise as an English Pleasure horse).  So she was determined to breed both beautiful and athletic horses.

Breeders are by definition people who think in terms of generations, not the next show season.  Donna believed her ultimate success would be measured when the third or more generation of a breeding program was better than the first.  “I want to breed animals that are  pretty and correct enough to show at halter but that will be useful for their entire lifetime, so trainability and athleticism are important aspects of my program.”

Donna’s studies taught her that “like begets like”.  Foals will look like their parents.  Unwilling to select broodmares by pedigree alone, she chose foundation mares in which the physical characteristics she sought were not only in the pedigree, but were also visibly apparent.   If the visible traits were not there then it became crucial to her selection process to make sure they were in the pedigree of the mare. She looked at each mare as an individual and paid great attention to the historical ability of her ancestors to produce winners. Donna loved the older mares and bought proven producers  whenever possible. 

She knew which bloodlines she was after, did her research and actively tracked down mares she wanted and tried to buy them.  “I couldn’t always get them the first time I tried, but I am persistent and that persistence paid off over time.” 

 

The breeding program at Greymoor began with three mares.  "I chose well for my three foundation broodmares (pictured above) Klassic, Silver And Sable and Padrons Nike.  Two of these mares became Aristocrat Mares and Dams of Distinction, two were honored as Minnesota Breeders Broodmares Elite, and all three were National Champion producers".  Determined to stay focused, Donna bred an average of only two foals a year and carefully assessed the results of those breedings.  Other mares were added to the broodmare band, but the average of only two foals a year remained constant.  The results of those carefully researched and planned breedings to First Cyte were outstanding.  The first generation of foals at Greymoor Farm produced a number of National winners and TWO National Champions.

 

“My plan from the beginning was to retain my best foals to continue the breeding program with a goal of producing superior quality in each subsequent generation".  First Cyte x Klassic daughters Drama and Harleqyin were retained after their show careers as broodmares.  That plan proved successful when Euphoryia (Its Sshow Time x Drama Qyeen) became the first National Champion in the second generation of the breeding program.

"Time has allowed me to take a good look at what the second generation of my breeding program (my First Cyte daughters) are producing and my program is proving to be everything I had hoped it would be.  First Cyte’s legacy will be the sons and daughters who become great sires and great matriarchs, through their titles and the quality of their foals.”

Donna Hentges