By COLLEEN SCOTT
Joy, passion, love, family, connection—these are the reasons the Hagale family is back after a 20-year hiatus from Arabian horses. And they’re not just back—they’re back in a big way.
Twin sisters Jamie and Jennifer Hagale, along with their parents Jim and Mary Martha, were a common sight on the Arabian horse circuit two decades ago and were particularly known for owning the stunning chestnut stallion Mamage (Zodiac Matador x CF Fire Magic). But life happened, the twins went off to college, got married and moved—Jamie to Steamboat Springs, Colo. and Jennifer to Nashville, Tenn. Children were next for Jennifer and Jamie and their lives seemed to be full—too full to add something else. So, they satisfied their Arabian horse passion with visits to ChriShan Park (where they rode as youth riders) on their trips back home to their native Springfield, Mo.
But a few years ago, those “visits” sparked a question, “Why couldn’t we get back into this?” And the question sparked a conversation and before the twins knew it, Jim and Mary Martha were on board and the family started horse-shopping and showing. Fast forward to today and Hagale Family Arabians is fully immersed in the Arabian horse industry once again, even more so than they were before.
While the family has amassed an impressive show string and are in the process of building their own barn in Springfield, Mo., undoubtedly SF Aftershoc (SF Specs Shocwave x SF Sweet Elegance) is the cornerstone of their breeding program. More importantly, he’s arguably the horse that embodies their passion for the breed. Purchased in November 2020 after the passing of his longtime owner and promoter L.A. Flynn, SF Aftershoc made a stunning reappearance in the show ring at the 2021 Scottsdale Show, winning a unanimous championship in Liberty with Shan Wilson and Vicki Humphrey handling.
Those who witnessed his performance were blown away—many recalling it as the highlight of this year’s Scottsdale show.
During their time out there, Jennifer took a few memorable casual laps around Wendell Arena with him. “We were trying to ride him when no one was around,” recalls Shan. “But word soon got out and people were coming to watch. He was just so bright out there, never dropped an ear. That kind of planted the seed and I told the Hagales that they really needed to show him at some point.”
With no specific plans for when SF Aftershoc would potentially return to the show ring (he hadn’t been shown in a performance class for nearly a decade), the Wilson brothers continued to work him lightly to keep him conditioned. Jennifer and Jamie even rode him at the farm the weekend of a photo shoot. And, one famous photographer, Stu Vesty, even hopped on for a spin.
“The photo shoot with everyone riding him, me, Shan, Stu, the twins, really sealed the deal for me,” says Chris Wilson. “Even at the end of a long day he was still so game and looked so good.”
But the family was still a little unsure about showing Aftershoc. It was a risk—he’d been out of the performance spotlight for quite a while—and what if things went poorly? Would that ultimately hurt his reputation? Mary Martha, generally the voice of reason, was especially concerned about showing him.
“It was a lot of back and forth,” recalls Jennifer. “Should we show him? What if something happens? Which class should it be?”
Chris concurs, “It was a big decision to show him at the U.S. Nationals. So, we just entered him and decided to take him and see how he worked there.”
Ultimately, the family and Chris and Shan would decide to have Aftershoc return to the ring. They even sent out an eblast the day before announcing it. “There was no going back after that,” says Jim. The intuition the team had was right on. With Jennifer in the irons, SF Aftershoc returned in glorious fashion, capturing the ABS Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR Jackpot unanimously.
“The only other experience I can compare it to was riding Mamage in Madison Square Garden,” says Jennifer. “Aftershoc was just so much fun and it was just so special. I keep watching the video over and over again.”
Shan thought the horse looked incredible in the class. “He was in a great place mentally and physically and Jen rode him really well. Everything just came together. It felt like it had some magic to it. He made it look effortless.”
Chris concurs, “He just looked as good as he ever has. I am sold on that horse. He is the real deal.”
Jamie, who rode CSP Adriana (Vegaz x CSP Gisele) in the same class, says that it was the highlight of the show for her. “Getting to ride alongside my twin sister and then watching the awards and getting to run back in there for the photo—the energy of her winning that class was just incredible. Aftershoc is such a special horse. I’m really thrilled she had the opportunity to show him.”
The Aftershoc Superstars
It wasn’t just Aftershoc making headlines at U.S. Nationals. His get had the most championships at the show, with ten rose garlands being awarded to them. In addition to those ten championships, SF Aftershoc get claimed three reserve titles and 46 top tens. These were awarded in a range of classes, including halter, English pleasure, country English pleasure, driving, hunter pleasure, show hack and native costume.
Lauren Adamek, owner of Captivating Shoc WA (x Captivating Style), winner of the Half-Arabian Mounted Native Costume AAOTR class, says Aftershoc is her sire of choice when it comes to her show horses. “His offspring are always so beautiful with loads of talent and personality.” Besides Captivating Shoc, Adamek also owns the purebred stallion Afterburner (x Quintessential Fire) and the 2-year-old Half-Arabian gelding The After Life (x Victoria’s Charm). “We are really excited for The After Life to start his career next year with John Rannenberg. I am very blessed to have these fabulous horses to love and show!”
Many people who have bred to Aftershoc have never had the opportunity to see him show, which added to the excitement of seeing him in Tulsa.
“It was a real treat to be able to watch Aftershoc show,” added Lauren. “It was awesome to see him in action and it reminded me of why we continue to buy his breedings. I personally got to spend a lot of time with him outside of the show ring. He is everything you would expect an Arabian horse to be. I am so glad the Hagale family has invested so much of their love into such an outstanding stallion, and continue to share him with us.”
The Half-Arabian mare Savage Love VH (x MBA’s Nuttin’ But Thyme), captured the Reserve Champion title in the Country English Pleasure Junior Horse Championship with Jessica Clinton aboard. Owner Jenny Lau says, “This is the first Aftershoc baby that my family has owned, but I’ve seen Jess, Vicki and Andy work with so many over the years. One thing that is so clear when breeding to Aftershoc, is that you will get a horse with a great temperament, which can make all the difference! ‘Nikki’ is just the sweetest mare, whether I’m giving her some love in her stall or riding her, she has such a willing and happy attitude. That, alongside her beauty and talent, make her a pretty special horse!”
Wendy Potts, who captured the Arabian Hunter Pleasure Futurity title with Culture Shoc (x HF Luck Bea Lady), for owner Mari Perczak, says she has loved this particular mare ever since she first saw a picture of her. “I asked Todd Hickerson to get me a video and booked a flight to go see her right away. She was the smallest horse in that class, but you’d never know it—so much ring presence!”
Lisa Blackstone, owner of Shocked N Bewildered (x Bothered and Bewildered), won both the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 60 & Over and Maturity on the gelding. She was also top ten in the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure class with Jessica Clinton. “Vicki tells me Aftershoc is one of the kindest and most willing horses she’s ever been around. ‘Kenneth’ is the same. His ears are always up, he goes forward eagerly, trying to do whatever you ask, all with the best attitude possible! He also inherited Aftershoc’s elegant beauty and fluid motion. At only 6 years old, Kenneth has earned four national championships and two reserves in the Half-Arabian country English pleasure division which speaks to his amazing talent and picture perfect suitability in that division. Thank you Aftershoc!”
The list of accolades for the stallion from owners of his get goes on and on, with the underlying theme of him passing on to his offspring an incredible work ethic, great attitude and Arabian type and beauty.
The After Party
As if seeing him show and win unanimously and seeing his get perform so well wasn’t enough, like the true superstar he is, Aftershoc had his own party. Hosted by Cedar Ridge Farm, Tom and Emily Moore, Hagale Family Arabians and Arabian Horse Times, it had the feel of a Hollywood legend being bombarded by paparazzi.
Jamie recalls, “So many people were there to see him, and the moment they brought him out was just so special.”
Evidence of his popularity was not only witnessed at the party itself, but all over social media, with admirers taking selfies and posting things like: “I got to meet someone famous tonight.”
Jim and Mary Martha were excited to see so many people turn out to meet Aftershoc. “A lot of people came by to see him and it was such a fun night.”
The Future Party
While a lot of their current excitement centers around Aftershoc’s stellar return to the ring at U.S. Nationals, the stallion isn’t the only exciting horse in the Hagale Family Arabians barn.
There’s I Love Luci (HA Toskcan Sun x Laurel Hill Pennies from Heaven), who was Shan’s mount in the AEPA Half-Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity. The mare, who was Mid Summer National Champion Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse (in a class immediately after she was named champion in a walk/trot class with Shan and Molly’s daughter Ellie), finished fifth in the AEPA class and was also top ten in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse class.
Debonheir DGL (Afires Heir x Felicia Afire) was top ten with Chris in the Arabian Country English Pleasure class, and Jamie rode CSP Adriana to a top ten in the Arabian Park AAOTR. Jennifer piloted CSP Hot Dam (Mamage x The Vintage Rose) to top tens in both the amateur Half-Arabian Park and Mounted Native Costume classes.
Another Hagale stallion, SF Destination Victry (SF Specs Shocwave x Aparty Girl) capped off an incredible year with a Reserve National Championship in Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR 19-49 with Jennifer, and a top ten with Shan in the extremely competitive English Pleasure class. The Hagales were extremely proud of his performance throughout the year, including English pleasure championships at Region 11, 12 and 13, as well as claiming Mid Summer National Champion in both the AATR division with Jennifer and the Open with Shan.
“Destination Victry is the future of our breeding program,” says Jim. “He’s had tremendous success thus far, at only 7 years of age, and we cannot wait to see where he takes us, both in the show ring, and once his foals start developing.”
“We just love him,” states Jennifer, “He’s such a joy to ride—super powerful and athletic, but also so willing to work, and he has such a great disposition. Outside of the thrill of riding Aftershoc to his unanimous win, riding ‘Dusty’ is always rewarding.”
But beyond the performances and success of Destination Victry, or Aftershoc and that of his get, and even more than the victories with their other horses, the Hagale family is excited about how getting back into horses has sparked a new chapter of passion in the family.
“We’ll use any motivation that gets us to see the girls and grandchildren more,” joke Jim and Mary Martha. “We get to see them a lot more often and we are all having a really great time.”
Jamie concurs. “We really thought we would just be too busy to get back into horses with our kids and other commitments and living out of town,” she says. “But there has been something so special about getting back into horses and spending more time with my parents and my twin sister. When the Arabian horse is in your blood, I don’t think it ever leaves.”
Jim and Mary Martha are supervising the final touches of their new 100-acre farm in Springfield. The family’s future plans include continuing to breed to SF Aftershoc and their other foundation stallion, SF Destination Victry). They are also breeding to a handful of outside stallions.
Besides making plans for the business side of Hagale Family Arabians, rest assured they are making plans for the family side, and the reasons they do what they do—passion, real connection, heartfelt joy and true love—for each other, their horses and the entire Arabian horse community.