June 3, 2013
While the years have brought many examples of our philosophy, maybe the most captivating is the story of BEGUM. A daughter of Alydar’s first crop, out of the 21 year-old mare Rullah Good, BEGUM was born in 1981 without any eyes. Other than her blindness, she was born a strong healthy foal to a loving mother. Knowing she could provide this foal a sound and healthy life, Alice raised BEGUM. She immediately tied a bell around Rullah Good’s neck; so BEGUM could find her, and intentionally plowed around the paddock fence, so BEGUM would be aware of this boundary. After being weaned, BEGUM lived a very happy comfortable life in the same paddock. By the time she turned four BEGUM acted and was treated like any other mare, albeit she was never turned out in the herd, she was comfortable to be handled and Alice decided to breed her to resident stallion Diesis. She became pregnant and produced a filly, Songlines. She was an excellent broodmare and for the rest of her life she produced three stakes winners from six foals, a most impressive producer by any standards! In fact, her pedigree is still very much alive through Songlines’s daughter Sunset Service, the Grandam of Grade 1 winner Hymn Book. Pictures of BEGUM adorn the walls of our office as an ever present reminder that taking care of the horse is always at the center of Mill Ridge’s traditions.