Joanne would tell you that she is living the dream. That fact is infinitely memorialized in their farm name “JR’s Dream Arabians.” And while the dream itself is Joanne’s, her husband, Ram, supports it wholly.
Every aspect of her life with Arabian horses is seen as a cherished gift. The boutique breeding operation set in the heart of Clarkston, Michigan, has both witnessed and created a lot of history since its beginnings in 2012 with the purchase of a half-share in the gorgeous Mulawa-bred Impressa MI, alongside friend and co-Michigander Jeff Sloan. And within just a few months, Joanne knew her dream had been defined, and she and Ram purchased full interest in the mare.
Impressa MI went on to win prestigious titles such as the 2016 Canadian National Champion Mare, 2016 U.S. Reserve National Champion Sr Mare, and most recently crowned Gold Champion Mare in the Liberty Plus Class at the 2019 Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas.
Since then, the herd of JR’s Dream Arabians has grown to nearly a dozen broodmares and four stallions covering an array of arresting, diverse global bloodlines.
One stallion, in particular, is a regular topic of today’s conversations in the Arabian show horse world. *Kavalle MI (pronounced “Kah-VAHL”) combines the power of his sire, World Champion and super sire Gazal Al Shaqab, with an equally powerful and diverse dam line representing Magnum Psyche, Bey Shah, and Kaborr. A gift to Joanne from Ram, *Kavalle has swept the highest American show rings, being named 2019 Scottsdale Reserve Champion Senior Stallion and – as a crowd favorite to an erupting audience in Tulsa – 2019 U.S. National Reserve Champion Senior Stallion, both under the expert handling of Andrew Sellman.
Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – *Kavalle is backing up his show ring triumphs with an impressive slew of winning progeny as well. JR Duvall was named 2019 Silver Sire Reserve Champion Yearling Colt. JR Jon Pierre was crowned 2019 Canadian National Champion Yearling Colt, while his older paternal sibling, JR Savall, took Canadian National Champion Futurity Colt. JR Francois, only a two-year-old, has already amassed a slew of significant wins in Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and at the Arabian National Breeder Finals. And some, like JR Kavalles Sun, have begun their performance training as well, tapping into the beauty and athleticism required of all great breeding stallions.
Even more tantalizing, Joanne hints at things to come. “We have a few surprises up our sleeves for Scottsdale 2020,” she says with a smile and a glint in her eye.
And for Joanne, sharing that joy seems only natural. Creating opportunities at every level that afford others to live their dream is an important part of the program’s philosophy.
But with all the show ring success they have enjoyed in a relatively short period of time, Joanne will quickly tell you that that is not the motivation for her passion.
The horses are like family to me,” says Joanne. “I have relationships with every one of them, and I want to be with them every day.”
With all the excitement of the show ring, Joanne always prefer her horses to be home. The real joy lies not in trophies, but in the day-to-day interactions with her horses… horses that are homebred, home loved, and home grown. In fact, it is why they are building a new home on a field that overlooks the barns on their beautiful, sprawling 60-acre farm.
Because the moments that define us are the nondescript ones that are small miracles, peaks into heaven, that only we can see. And for Joanne, those moments are embodied in their beloved Arabian horses.