Chapel Hill Elijah x Andre Norton

Vance at 8 hours old

At 8:30pm on June 6, 1998, Andy foaled a bay colt whom we named Jack Vance. Lisa Heck & I stayed up all night imprinting Vance every hour. I fell asleep in the stall, and woke with Vance’s head on my chest & Andy standing guard over us both. After I went home & slept, I turned Andy & Vance out. Andy was very protective, but after a lb. of carrots, she let me imprint him again.

On June 26, Vance jumped the fence between his paddock and the big pasture. Pineapple, a bay thoroughbred mare, tried to protect him from the herd, but when Rudy, a black Halflinger pony, took after him, Andy jumped the fence & chased Rudy away, while Vance jumped back into the paddock. Then we had to catch Andy & return her to her son.

On July 19, Lisa put a pony saddle on Vance, then set a 40-lb. 6-year-old on him. Vance was a perfect gentleman—saddle-broke at 6 weeks!

On August 30, instead of following his led mother, Vance went tearing around the farmyard and ripped open his left shoulder on the rim of the hay-wagon. I helped Dr. Gieche with field surgery—it took 4 shots of anesthetic to put Vance out—Andy stood on her hind legs to watch. Once she saw we were taking care of Vance, she dropped down to all fours and grazed while Jon operated. By October 18, Vance was totally healed, and so full of energy he spent most of his time outdoors in mid-air. He kept a 4" line of single white hairs on his shoulder as a souvenir.

On December 16, the first day of weaning, Vance was very mellow. We led him over to the main barn, let him inspect his new stall, drink his water, eat some carrots, and play with his stall-ball. He answered Andy with a single bugle when she called him, but then concentrated on playing. When I turned him out in the indoor, he trotted over to the mucker, and turned on its lights, then wove patterns running around the cones. He’s the easiest colt I ever weaned!

On February 28, 1999, we trailed Vance to June’s, where he can be turned out with other young stallions, and watched to see how he develops, before making a decision on gelding. As Bob Riley says, "you can’t put them back on!"

In March 2000 we moved Vance to the training barn to begin learning about cart & harness. After working with him, June said he had a good mind, and should "be" something. On March 6, 2000, Vance cleanly jumped the pasture gate and trotted into the training barn after other horses being led in. He knew it was dinnertime, and didn’t want to be left out!

On March 20, I showed Vance off to Bob Riley, who was very taken with him. Bob said he had a friend in Iowa who might be the right partner for Vance. On April 16,Vance hitched for first time & drove off with no problems. God bless imprinting!

Over Halloween weekend, 2000, after a trip from Iowa with Bob Riley, Vance was purchased by Dr. Joan Hopper (shown above with Vance) of the Iowa State vet school in Ames, to be her competitive carriage driving gelding. Have fun in Iowa, Vance! You'll be very missed.