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  Grave Matters: Golden Eagle Farm, Ramona, California

Photos by Kurt Lemke © Kurt Lemke 2013; all rights reserved

Golden Eagle Cemetery
Top Row: Golden Eagle Cemetery

Second Row: Left--Best Pal's grave; Right--Habitony's grave
Best Pal's grave
Habitony's grave

In 1972, John and Betty Mabee started a farm in Ramona, California (San Diego County), which they named GOLDEN EAGLE FARM. Later, their son Larry joined in the operation as well. The farm was named for the golden eagles that were common in the area, but their first stallion, coincidentally, was the French-bred GOLDEN EAGLE II, sire of one of the Mabee's first top runners, BEAU'S EAGLE. The Mabees became leading breeders nationally (four-time leader by earnings) with many national and international stars including SOUVENIR COPY, JEANNE JONES, RIVER SPECIAL and FANTASTIC LOOK. Their California homebreds included BEST PAL, GENERAL CHALLENGE, DRAMATIC GOLD and EXCELLENT MEETING. Irish-bred stallion HABITONY stood here and sired BEST PAL, an earner of $5,668,245, the second leading Cal-bred earner of all time (behind Tiznow). BEST PAL retired here and was used as a track pony in the training stables at the farm and died unexpectedly at the age of ten. BEST PAL'S dam, UBETSHEDID, also a Mabee homebred, died in 2003 as a pensioner. John Mabee died in 2002 and Betty Mabee in 2010. Larry Mabee died in 2012, but the farm is still continuing, and stands stallions STORMIN FEVER and UNBRIDLED ENERGY in 2013. -- A.P.

Bel Bolide (c. 1978-1996)
Golden Eagle II (c. 1965-1990)
Habitony (c. 1974-2001)
Salt Lake (c. 1989-2010)
Best Pal (g.1988-1998)Ubetshedid (f. 1980-2003)

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