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King’s Ransom and
Michaelann Dimitrijevich

Texas-based Gabrielle Gordon’s recent visit to California on family business led to an unprecedented impromptu gathering of several California Cleveland Bay owners.  Penny Wong of Lafayette, California, Michaelann Dimitrijevich of Atascadero, California, and Jean Schanberger of Burbank, California, drove from all corners of the state, converging in Coalinga, California, a small Central Valley town, to meet each other and talk horses.

Hosted at the resort-like private training facility of European trained horse master Bill Biggs and highly capable assistant trainer Denise La Malfa, the meet-up, suggested by Gabrielle and organized by East Bay Area-based Penny, was a family reunion of sorts, thanks to several of the group’s horses being closely related.  The family trees include:


Pip (owned by Penny Wong)

Penny’s ‘05 partbred CB stallion Pip (half Trakehner; registration pending), who is currently in training with Mr. Biggs and played a starring role in this West Coast gathering, is half brother to Central Coast-based Michaelann’s ‘96 partbred CB/TB gelding King’s British Knight (show name King’s Ransom).  Their common sire is C Band stallion Wheelgate’s Lord Charles (Charlie), owned by Steve and Mary King of Cottonwood, California’s Wheelgate Farm.  King’s Ransom and Michaelann, winners of the 2009 third place CBHSNA Performance Award for Amateur 2nd Level and Below, are regulars on the California dressage circuit, competing this year at 3rd Level in an active and highly successful show schedule.

Though Charlie passed away in 2004, Pip was his last offspring and hopes to carry on the tradition.  Despite never having met Charlie in person, Penny’s deep commitment to his lineage is further demonstrated through her ownership of a full sister to King’s Ransom (Chelsea, approaching age 20), as well as Pip and King’s Ransom half-sister Amy, a CB/TB sired by Charlie.


Bey Breze Robyn
(owned by Penny Wong)
and Cal Gals (left to right:
Penny Wong, Robyn,
Jean Schanberger,
Michaelann Dimitrijevich,
honorary Californian
Gabrielle Gordon)

On the other side of Penny’s family, her pure mare Bey Breze Robyn (Robyn), like Pip enjoying her comfortable surroundings at Mr. Biggs’ well-manicured horse farm, is the dam of Southern California-based Jean’s ‘05 partbred gelding Robyn Hood of Loxley (Loxley).  While previously owned by Gina Cervantes of Ramona, California, Robyn was bred to a Kellogg Arabian stallion, resulting in Loxley, who is currently in training with Jerry Gardner Stables in Burbank, California.

The CB Cal Gals had a field day getting to know each other as well as enjoying having Mr. Biggs show off Pip and Robyn.  Many CB photos and stories were shared, and the lunch discussion included evaluating potential stallions for Penny’s planned CB breeding of her recently acquired TB mare.  Longtime CB enthusiast Gabrielle came armed with myriad breeding information meticulously compiled by fellow Texan Milinda Ellis, for Penny’s consideration.   Yes, sports fans, this means that another CB sporthorse will be born in California in 2011!


Robyn Hood of Loxley
(owned by Jean Schanberger)

In addition to CB mainstays Steve and Mary King, other known California CB owners who hopefully can participate in the next Cal-CB gathering include Judy Kline of Escondido, California (purebred ’06 mare WKF Elizabeth Supreme), Kimberly Caruso of Valley Center, California (purebred ’08 colt Old Dominion Galahad), Laura Katz of Vallejo, California (Grover), Gwen Forsythe of Long Beach, California (partbred mare Irish Creme) and recent CB owner Susan Foley of Long Beach, California (prior owner of CB/TB mare Foxhollow Compass Rose).

Among the aspirations of this sunshiny California group are to increase the currently low level of awareness of CBs in largely Quarter Horse and Warmblood country through competing, breeding and exhibiting their CBs, hosting a West Coast AGM, and mounting a field of Cleveland Bays for entry in the Pasadena, California Rose Parade within the next few years.  Hopefully this join-up was just the first of many!

By Jean Schanberger
As submitted to the BayWatch, June 2010

Pip (owned by Penny Wong)