AHT's September Leader Of The Times
Leaders Of The Times: GRK Farms
by KRISTI HOPP
Arabian horse breeding is much like creating and collecting fine art, while at the same time keeping your eyes open to potential greatness, then perfecting the whole thing by putting the vision on canvas and allowing the world to experience your living art. Gary Kehl has accomplished this, and more, at the highest of levels in a relatively short period. Like those who cherish fine art, Gary is clear to state that he loves the “beauty and mystique of the Arabian breed.”
GRK Farms is known as one of the premier breeding farms in the United States and is rapidly gaining ground internationally. What started with the purchase of two Half-Arabians for his family to enjoy, Gary can only laugh and smile at the memory. Things quickly escalated to what GRK is today. Those modest beginnings did have a hand, or one could say, a hoof, in creating what might be GRK's most popular horse to date, Billie The Kid GRK (Sundance Kid V x Just To Fool You).
With an astonishing seven National Championship titles thus far in her career with Gary’s granddaughter Chloe, "Billie" represents the standard upon which the GRK performance breeding program was built. Billie and Chloe are just the tip of the iceberg, as the GRK program is a huge family affair. Gary’s younger granddaughter, McKienna, has had great success with Lady Justify GRK (Justify x Fortessa MCF) in hunter pleasure, and has recently taken an interest in showing halter, a passion she shares with Gary. At Region 8 this year, she won championship honors with Stivalle GRK (Stival x Magnum Sofistica GRK), Kanquest GRK (Kanz Alibidayer x Angellinah GRK) and Kanzianna GRK (Kanz Albidayer x OFW Rihanna).
A rising star in the GRK field is the flashy black and white pinto mare Kids N Roses GRK (Sundance Kid V x GK Princess Bar). GRK performance trainer, Priscilla Cluff, has guided this mare to numerous championships through her junior horse years, but this year at Canadian Nationals, it was with Priscilla's daughter Bianca riding, that Kids N Roses earned her first set of national championship roses in Western Pleasure Walk/Jog 10 & Under. Also at Canadian Nationals, Chloe had the honor of showing the junior horse Cache GRK (Thats Amore GRK x Lady Justify GRK), bred by Gary. Winning the Arabian Western Pleasure JTR Elite class, it was an impressive accomplishment for both.
As mentioned, Gary has a real passion for breeding world-class halter horses. Featured this month in Arabian Horse Times’ calendar, is the exquisite filly Fabrihanna GRK (RFI Farid x OFW Rihanna). Gary has sought guidance from many top professionals to nurture his halter breeding program, but has developed a sharp eye himself. He has chosen some of the best breeding stallions available, such as Fabrihanna's sire, RFI Farid, Kanz Albidayer, Vitorio TO, SMA Magic One, Ever After NA, EKS Alihandro, Ever After NA, Hariry Al Shaqab and Exxalt, to name a few.
OFW Rihanna is known as the “Queen” of GRK, having been the foundation of Gary’s halter breeding program. The Queen’s court, however, now includes extraordinary mares such as Izzabella Dona (Jiuliusz de Wiec x Iim So Sheik), RD Mirella (Baywatch V x Alanna), FH Jemina (Eminence PS x FH Jadore) and her own daughter by Kanz Albidayer, Hafatianna GRK. Another daughter put GRK on the International stage this year with the sale of Everanna GRK (by Ever After NA). Special thanks to GRK's talented halter trainer and marketer, Lucho Guimaraes, for making this happen.
With two impressive facilities in Herriman, UT and Scottsdale, AZ, Gary Kehl’s GRK Farms is leading the way in breeding the finest performance and halter horses today. Gary’s vision, top-notch horses and a team of professionals, continue to develop and make the dream possible.