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Pa. horses following trail of champions

November 01, 1998

Victoria DoyleBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photograher




WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Lucky may not have Skip's pedigree, but he's just as important in the eyes of Victoria Doyle.

Doyle, 45, of Waynesboro, owns both palomino horses.

Lucky's claim to fame is that he's lived to the ripe age of 35 years.

An area veterinarian said 25 years is an average life span for horses.

Lucky now spends his days in serene retirement in a corral he shares with Dakota, a 6-year-old quarter horse, behind Doyle's house on Creager Road.

Lucky was 2 years old when a 13-year-old Doyle got him. "I've had him ever since," she said.

Skip, or Advanced Copy, as he's known outside the corral, is only 6 years old, but he's already won two world championships.

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He won first place in his division in 1997 and again this year in the Palomino Horse Breeders of America competition in Tulsa, Okla. That means that he's the best horse in the world in his class and age group, according to Doyle.

Doyle bought the stallion four years ago. Since then, he racked up enough points at competitions across Maryland and Pennsylvania to qualify for the big show in Oklahoma. He has also earned reserve or second-place ribbons in competitions.

This year he also picked up enough points to qualify for the American Quarter Horse competition in Oklahoma City - a fact that Doyle proudly displays on the huge silver belt buckle on her jeans.

"I think he would do very well there, but that show is too political for me. The judges know too many of the handlers there. If I did put him in that show I'd hire a handler to take him into the ring to give him a better chance."

Besides, she said, "One trip to Oklahoma is enough for one year."

Doyle grew up in a horse-loving family in a home up the road from the raised rancher in which she has lived for the last 20 years.

Her father, Lawrence Moats, is a farrier.

Doyle has 11 horses. Included in her little herd is another champion palomino stallion named Obvious Goldmine, or Clue, as he is called.

Skip and Clue bring in income every year from stud service, Doyle said.

She also has a yearling and two weanlings sired by the stallions that she's raising on the show circuit. 

"I'm showing the babies to earn points so they'll be more valuable if I decided that I ever want to sell them," she said.

The rest of her animals are trail horses, she said. All but five are palominos.

The golden palominos, like the late movie cowboy Roy Rogers' horse Trigger, and Mr. Ed from television fame, are among the most popular breeds in America, Doyle said.

"They're my color preference," she said. "I guess that's because of Lucky."

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