The rapid growth of breeding in Maryland has forced an amicable separation of the partners operating Heritage Stallions near Chesapeake City.
Louis Merryman will now operate his Anchor & Hope Farm exclusively, where he'll stand Imagining and Bourbon Courage , while father/son veterinarians Drs. Tom and Brooke Bowman will focus on their own breeding operation named Roland Farm and continue to stand Street Magician and Despite the Odds under the Heritage Stallions banner. The future of the current Heritage Stallions' 50-acre property is undetermined.
"Because of the locations of our individual farms, we could not come up with a program that was satisfactory to all parties," Merryman said. "The only way we could have done it would be to take on a big, new land purchase and none of us had the stomach for that."
Merryman and the Bowmans opened Heritage Stallions in 2014.
"Basically, we started out with a five-year plan and then expected we would have to sort out something after that," Merryman said. "For two of those four years, we bred the most mares in Maryland, so we were hustling."
This year Maryland breeders collectively delivered nearly 22% more foals than in 2016. Both Anchor & Hope and Roland Farm have experienced rapid growth in boarding and foaling, which required the partners to devote their full attention to their respective farms.
"We outgrew the current Heritage property quicker than any of us could have predicted," said Dr. Tom Bowman in a prepared statement. "We agreed this would ultimately provide the best decision for our clients and our industry."
Merryman, who grew up on Anchor & Hope Farm and is the majority owner of Imagining and Bourbon Courage, said he expects to add a third stallion to his roster shortly and could possibly have up to four for the 2018 breeding season. Imagining stood for $7,500 this year, while Bourbon Courage stood for $5,000.
Roland Farm, the mare and foal arm of the Bowmans' breeding operation, is a half-mile away from the Heritage Stallions property. This year Street Magician stood for $3,000, and Despite the Odds stood for $1,500.