Brave was the start of our adventure into the world of Morgan horses.
Although he was not our first Morgan, the seed was planted in my husband Richard's mind when he saw the beautiful chestnut colt running with his dam in a herd of Morgans on the Eagle Ranch just outside of the small community of Ramona, San Diego County, CA. A friend/co-worker had known of the ranch and convinced my husband to take a look. Oh, boy!
Some years (and children and travels) later we had the opportunity to rent a portion of the Montecito Ranch which was adjacent to and owned by the same man who owned the Eagle Ranch. The house was an OLD adobe and former stage coach stop and was on a little hill (Montecito). This ranch was later owned by famous Morgan horse enthusiast/breeder James Cagney. Yes, we got to see him in Ramona.
We brought with us an old part Morgan bay mare, "Princess" who had won many, many parade trophies with owner E. Burt who left her to us upon the occasion of his death. Our kids loved Princess and spent a lot of time with her. She was a handful under saddle, but you know kids.
The concept of actually owning Ramona Brave was not even something we thought of at that time. He had already been trained as a winning cutting horse by the time we got to the Montecito Ranch. What we could and did do was buy the very old Morgan mare, Daisy Sonfield (part of the Roland Hill herd) from the Eagle Ranch along with a breeding to Ramona Brave. The resulting colt was the very beautiful Richwood Morgan, which I had the honor of leading to win at the famous San Diego County Fair Horse Show, at that time advertised as the "Largest Horse Show in the World", which it probably was. My husband, Richard, led him to win the Junior Championship at the Pomona Show which was put on by the Southern California Morgan Horse Club. We called him "Buddy" and he was a beauty and a pleasure to ride or drive. Of course, we all loved him, and he sired some super foals.
A few years later, we were able to form a partnership to purchase Brave. After my husband's death, I got Brave from our partners. He soon became another family member. I treasure the recollection of turning around at a horse show to see our young children putting the finishing touches on Brave by crawling under him and putting hoof black on his hooves. They may have done the same for his half brother, Ramona Warrior, who was standing tied next to him on the long tie rail along with a lot of other horses. Yes, the brothers were both stallions at the time. Very well trained stallions.
Brave had a very long and highly successful show career. He was mostly shown at open shows against all comers. He would cut cattle without a bridle and oh, how he loved it. He won in many other types of classes including Stock Horse (Reining), trail, both saddle and hunt seat, Western Pleasure, entered parades and by special invitation including the Pasadena Parade of Roses. Oh yes, could he do Gymkana stuff!
Ramona Brave was shown by children, amateurs and professionals, winning his last cutting when one of the Quarter Horse people that came in to turn back for his rider saw him and said "Why, I know that horse! I competed against him 20 years ago!".
He may be known best by his get and by having taught so many people how to correctly ride a horse. Many people have Morgans today because of Ramona Brave.
Yes, I will write the book, but this isn't the time or place for it.
~ Marjorie L. Hazelwood