Brooke & Brian at RC Bee Stables Farm

The day started with a phone call and an obnoxious racket outside the window. While Brooke answered the phone, Brian stumped outside witha bag of cat food to feed the barn tabby, Sir Rogers. Brian returned to the house to find Brooke making a pot of Starbucks coffee.

“Whazzat?” he asked with a yawn while she poured out the steaming liquid into two mugs.

“Allison. Got a new yearling coming our way later today. A colt,” she said as she held out his mug to him.

“Mmmm…thought she was only buyin’ fillies,” Brian muttered, and sipped at the steaming cup.

“It’s a Worth the Wait colt, half brother to Champion Phoenix Tears and three-quarters to International Champion Chivalry.  You can’t argue with that kind of blood.”

“No…no, s’ppose not…”

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Sleepyhead.”

Brian and Brooke were former exercise riders who Old Man Frank tapped when Allison began building a racing stable. The husband and wife duo were attempting to get into eventing, but they missed the racing world too much and jumped at the chance to operate the small farm Allison bought ninety-five miles from Santa Anita Park.

Mornings were usually spent hacking the two yearlings and the lone two year old on the farm. Brian rode Brooke’s fifteen year old bay Anglo-Arab mare Dakota and Brooke followed on Sonatina, the lone professional. Kenny, their exercise rider and farm hand, and Michelle, who was also the fillies’ groom, followed on the dark grey Santeria and flea-bitten grey Lady Ironsides. They were ridden all over the farm for an easy hour and then Sonatina headed to the half-mile training track while Kenny and Michelle led the two yearlings away. Old Man Frank gave Brooke and Brian strict orders not to push Sonatina, so Brooke merely galloped her once around the track. Brian thought it entertaining, and encouraging, watching Sonatina try to break out of the slow rhythm, arching her neck and fighting for more rein all the way around.

Brooke was not so entertained.

After Sonatina was bathed and walked, she was released into the paddock with Santeria, Lady Ironsides, and Dakota their babysitter. As energetic and rebellious as she was on the track, Sonatina was actually the more serious of the three fillies. Perhaps it was because of the year she had already spent learning the business of running and winning; Sonatina spent her time romping along the paddock fence and grazing next to Dakota. Santeria and “Lady” were more playful, chasing each other, leaping about, squealing when one of their wild kicks accidentally land on the other. Dakota tolerated their antics, but she once came at Lady with her ears pinned back and mouth open. The poor grey filly was practically terrified of the mare for nearly a week, but the two made up and Lady made sure never to start bucking so close to her babysitter.

Brian and Michelle prepared a stall for the new colt while Brooke sat in the office and went through the farm expenses, scratching Sir Rogers behind the ears. The cat purred , a sound she loved.

He was a small, neat colt, with bits of white on his legs. He was an inquisitive fellow who poked his nose into everything, including poor Sir Roger’s butt. The tabby scowled and darted away into Dakota’s stall.

“What’s his name?” Brian asked while Michelle led the yearling to his new stall.

Brooke flipped through the papers. “Used to be Uncommon Valor…well would you look at that? She changed his name to Reservoir Democrat.”

Brian frowned. “Great. Just what we need - more politics.”

“Just because your candidate lost the elec-”

Brian held up his hand. “Please! I’m still trying to reconcile myself with the results. I mean, more than twice the electoral vote? My god…!”

Brooke only smirked as her husband stormed out of the barn. She looked over her shoulder at Reservoir Democrat, who watched Brian’s receding backside with interest. Then Michelle tugged at the lead shank and the colt followed her to his new home.

Brooke headed out to the house with the papers, thinking about the amusing phone call she was going to make to Allison.

“Yes we did,” she heard Michelle whisper to the colt, and Brooke smiled.

The day began with a phone call from Allison, who was in Kentucky with the young broodmare What’s Honor.

“…yeah?” Brooke said while Brian sighed and turned his back on his wife.

“Is it too early?”

Brooke blinked at the digital clock on the bedside table. 4:44:34. “Maybe?”

“…tell her thirty more minutes…” Brian mumbled.

“When should I call back?”

“Give me two hours,” Brooke said, stifling a yawn. “How’s Honor?”

“Under lights. I don’t think she knows what we’re trying to do.”

Brooke chuckled. “She’s a maiden. She’ll figure it out.”

“I know, I know. Just…a bit nervous. Anyways, I gotta go. Old Man Frank wants to talk. Call me back?”

The four two-year-olds on the farm followed a strict training regimen now. Every other day they were let out into two paddocks, one for the colts and one for the fillies. Otherwise they worked over the half-mile training track and spent the rest of the day in individual stalls.

Santeria was the biggest of the bunch, standing at 15 hands. The dark grey filly was also the youngest so Brooke and Brian were given strict orders not to push her as hard. Lady Ironsides, her best friend, was the oldest and seemed very aware of it; small as she was the headstrong flea-bitten grey went out on her way to be the first on the track and the first to leave.

Reservoir Democrat was a serious student. The bay son of Worth The Wait went about his business in such a no-nonsense manner that Brian joked that the colt was Old Man Frank incarnate. The new two-year-old The Silver Cooper was more of a head case, if “head case” meant swerving all over the track investigating every inch of it. The Man O’War colt - his new groom Michelle was convinced Allison named him for CNN’s famous silver-haired news anchor - seemed to enjoy taking his time to get things done, which annoyed Brian greatly. Finally one morning he got Kenny to switch mounts and was more than surprised when Lady tried to run away with him. And there went Kenny on Cooper, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

“He’s so smooth you can drink tea on his back and not spill it!” he said as the two Man O’Wars jogged side by side down the track Lady trying to stick her head out in front and yank Brian off the saddle the entire way.

Brooke secretly fed the grey colt a carrot after putting him in his stall.

“Oh stop worrying, Allison. He’ll do fine.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop worrying. How’s Love Triangle?”

Brooke glanced at the drowsy bay stallion. “Sleepy. We’re going to start walking him tomorrow, get him ready for the races again. He really loves it here.”

“Who doesn’t?”

“Brian, after Lady nearly ripped his arms off.”

Allison laughed. “…and the yearlings?”

The farm loved the five yearlings. They were a unique group, playful youngsters full of boundless energy and potential.

“I think Admiral grew,” Brooke said as she trudged over to one of the paddocks. “He’s about as tall as Santeria now, around 15 hands. Gorgeous as ever, and a righteous bastard.”

“What did he do now?”

“Today he decided he didn’t want to go to the paddock. Fifteen minutes after Brian started cussing him out he decided he did want to go and walked in there. This after he spilled the water bucket in his stall.”

“He’s a keeper. How are the other boys?”

Brooke looked at the three colts. Fleet Admiral towered over his pasture mates The Romantic West and Ship Of The Line; he stood watch while the others grazed, and right now he was looking straight at her.

“I think Ship grew but not much. He’s still tiny. West hasn’t changed at all.”

“I see. What about the girls?”

The two fillies were in the neighboring pasture with Dakota. The black filly spotted Brooke first and sprinted to the fence; the dark bay and Dakota followed in short order.

“Tuesday and Sundance are fine. Dakota’s doing a great job babysitting them, too,” Brooke said while scratching Super Tuesday’s forehead. The black daughter of Candidate nuzzled her affectionately. Sundance Kid jockeyed for attention while Dakota simply snorted, patiently waiting her turn. “Tuesday is so sweet. Sundance is quite a bright girl, too. Really, Allison, they’re a lovely group of yearlings. You and Old Man Frank have an amazing eye.”

“Give all the credit to Frank; he’s been at the business longer than me,” Allison laughed. “Okay, thanks for the update. How are you and the others? When’s Sir Roger coming back?”

“Three days. The vet wants to wait until he’s stabilized.”

“That’s great news. All right, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Try calling us at nine, your time. We’ll be up by six at least.”

“All right. Talk to you later.”


Caring for seventeen racehorses is Brian’s idea of hell. He already has six cranky broodmares and ten rambunctious yearlings to look after; the barns are nearing full capacity, and Brooke has had to hire even more people to help care for them all.

The only bright spots in his life right now are Sir Rogers, and the mother-son pair in the small paddock closest to the broodmare barn.

This afternoon he leans against the fence and sighs while his eyes follow the small chestnut mare and her foal roam around the paddock. What’s Honor is gentle and a kind, attentive mother; she tolerates her son’s nips and the occasional flailing hoof like a lighthouse in the storm.

“Look at that beautiful boy,” Brooke says, appearing next to him. She crosses her arms on the top of the fence and give his shoulder a bump. “You know his name yet?”

“Hasn’t told me,” he replies. Then, darkly, “Better not begin with ‘tiz’ or end with ‘now’. Got enough of those running out there at the moment.”

She laughs. “Allison knows. Look at all the Tiznows.” She waves to the distant pastures reserved for the yearlings. “We’ve got Beautiful Is Gone, USS Enterprise-” Brian snorts. “-and Weeping Angel. No ‘tiz’ or ‘now’.”

The group of fillies are flying over the scruffy grass now. They watch the yearlings race from fence to fence and back again. At the head of the pack is a stout dark bay. Brian feels his mood sour; Beautiful is one hell of a filly.

“I think she can run,” Brooke says confidently, as if she knows what her husband is thinking. “Dam’s a half-sister to our own Eighteen Karat.”

“She’s got the Storm Cat blood,” he mutters. The stallion, while not the most prolific, had a reputation for siring high strung horses. “Almost took a chunk out of my arm when I touched her ears yesterday.”

“Wit jumped the fence,” Brooke reminds him. “Scared the living crap out of us. And Kenny-my god, he was standing right there when Wit went over his head. If he hadn’t bent down to see what kind of weed was growing right there he’d have his head knocked off.”

“Least he didn’t hurt himself,” Brian says. He turns his head to look at the other pasture designated for the youngsters. They’re currently occupied by four colts and First Taken, who they hoped would be a calming influence. Judging by Raising Witnesses’ leap of faith, it isn’t going too well. “He’s bred for steeplechasing.”

“I wouldn’t have thought,” Brooke says, and then kneels down. “Hey boy…”

The foal is standing on the other side of the fence, nose outstretched and sniffing at the proffered hand. What’s Honor is standing close by, grazing nonchalantly but with a ear flicked in their direction.

“Did Allison tell you his name?” Brian asks.

Brooke doesn’t seem to hear him. “Aren’t you a sweetie, Doctor? Just a few more weeks, and you’ll get some playmates. Glory should be dropping in a week or two.”


His wife gives him a cheeky grin while standing up; the colt bolts back to his mother. “She named him after that BBC show, Doctor Who. The Doctor is the main character, some time traveling alien who goes around saving worlds and universes from other threats. The Time Lord. She named this boy after him.”

“Uh…right.” Never mind that there are horses out there named after naval heroes and late night TV hosts; now he and Brooke are in charge of properly raising one named after an alien.

“Only fitting, I suppose,” she continues. “The actor playing the Doctor ended his run the day Time Lord here was born. Plus when you consider the names…pretty fitting, don’t you think?”

Brian is thinking about Lady Ironsides, and wonders why on earth did Allison name a filly after an old battleship. Then there’s USS Enterprise, and if that’s not an obvious homage to Star Trek he’ll eat his pitchfork.

“When is she ever going to not name a horse after a TV show or something?” he asks while they walk back to the barn. Sir Rogers materializes, and Brian bends down to scratch him behind the ears.

“Solient K?”

“Named after a restaurant.”



Brooke laughs. “I can’t wait to see your reaction when Allison names Chick’s A.P. Indy foal.”

(haven’t touched this thread in three years but this is probably the best place to dump my hopefully semi-daily sketches)

RC Bee’s farm stallion, NCh. Eighteen Karat (What’s It Worth-Heart of Gold, by Mr. Prospector):

Up next - a doodle of the Cigar mare Light Up Your Life and her colt by Eighteen Karat, :3

Beautiful art!

Lovely pic :slight_smile:


Stunning. :slight_smile:

RC Bee’s firstborn of the year, Shine Brighter by home stud Eighteen Karat-Light Up Your Life, by Cigar:

I should mention that these doodle-paints use photos as musculature/color reference. Horses are REALLY hard to paint, y’all.

Three yearlings at the fence:

Right to left: [color=red]Paradise Remains (Crystal Rainbow-Devil’s Test), [color=red]Light Up The Sky (High On Love-Light Up Your Life, by Cigar), and [color=red]Age of Mythology (Sleipnir-Egyptian Jazz, by Jazz It Up)

Gorgeous. :slight_smile:

Thank you for posting these! They’re absolutely wonderful.

These are really good :slight_smile:

I am never painting a flea-bitten gray horse again.

Ch. Lady Ironsides (Man O’War - Grey Allusion, by Revenge) and her Eighteen Karat colt, Uprising*:

*his official color is dark gray but gray foals are born dark or whatever color they are underneath - usually you can tell if they’re gonna go gray if they have gray around their eyes and their legs are really dark for a foal. I got ridiculously lucky in that the reference photo I found presented both a flea-bitten gray mare and a dark bay foal that’ll gray at as she ages. I assume Uprising is bay underneath since his sire is a bay and one bay gene is enough to turn the whole horse bay.

Lovely :slight_smile: please keep posting these.