By: Brittany Bevis
For the past 20 years, Pilot Knob Quarter Horses has stood some of the top stallions in the industry, and, this month, they will be closing their doors as the facility changes hands.
The picturesque property located in the foothills of Pinnacle, NC. has been owned by Mike Hay since 2001, where he has managed stallions like Luke At Me, Hot N Blazing, One Hot Krymsun, Mazeratti, Extremely Hot Chips, The Rock, The Krymsun Kruzer, Secretz, Whizkey On The Rocks, Telusive, An Absolute Martini, and more, breeding up to 300 mares a year.
“I figured that we’ve bred about 5,000 mares in these 20 years, either by shipped semen, or here at the farm,” Mike Hay says. “We’ve now sold the property to other horse people, JR and Nicole Robosson, so our reproduction program is closing its doors, so to speak.”
The facility was built in 2001 for the purpose of standing a select group of stallions to the public and to offer year-round mare care. For Mike, who started out as a horse trainer and later became an AQHA judge, helping to usher in the next generation of Quarter Horses is something he’s very passionate about.
“In the early days, I was working as a horse trainer at a breeding farm in Virginia called Cloud Croft. After they sold the facility, I leased it for the next four years, and got into the reproduction side of things. That’s all I’ve done for the past 25 years.”
“For me, it has worked out great. I stay home six months a year with the stallions and travel judging and doing other things for the other six months. Handling stallions has always been my thing, even when I was a kid growing up. It took a lot of years to evolve into this place.”
Did Mike have a favorite stallion that he had the opportunity to work with over the years? That would be like asking him to choose his favorite child.
“They all had their strong points,” he says. “I was with some of those leading sires very early on in their careers, so that gives me a little bit of personal satisfaction in that I helped them get started.”
Although Pilot Knob Quarter Horses will soon become Paradise Pines, Mike and his wife Jan are not retiring from the industry just yet. “We will definitely say that our new path will involve managing stallions in some shape and form.”
We wish Mike and Jan the best of luck with their new endeavors.
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