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Lightning Strikes Twice for the Vroegh Family with Krymsun Belle’s Daughter Itsa Southern Belle

There’s an adage that a great horse comes around once-in-a-lifetime. These are the special ones. The “unicorns.” But sometimes, with the right breeding, the right timing, and the right circumstances, lightning does occasionally strike twice. Shannon and Mallory Vroegh hope that their once-in-a-lifetime mare Krymsun Belle (“Belle”) gave them a filly that will prove she’s more than just a phenomenal show horse, but an exceptional producer as well.

Mallory made headlines with Belle as an AQHYA World Champion in Showmanship and a two-time Reserve World Champion in Horsemanship. Belle is also a four-time Congress Champion in Showmanship, was the High Point 14-18 All-Around winner at the 2018 Congress, led the nation in the AQHYA and NSBA standings in Horsemanship, and was a multiple top-five finisher in Trail and Performance Mares at both the Congress and AQHYA World Show. 

With all those accomplishments to her name, the family decided to pull some embryos from Belle in hopes that they could add to her legacy by making her a great producer. They ended up getting two babies out of Belle (via embryo transfer) before selling her to Taylor Kungle. Belle produced a 2018 daughter by Hot Ones Only (KB Belles N Whistles) that the Vroeghs called Bebe, who has already earned over $5,000 with limited showing. 

Belle’s second 2018 filly is by Its A Southern Thing. They chose him for Belle because she was a terrific all-around horse, but if there was one thing they wanted to improve on her, it was to add size without sacrificing her strong western movement. Its A Southern Thing gave them precisely what they were looking for when he and Belle produced a knockout bright red filly named Itsa Southern Belle (“Ginger”).

Shannon and Mallory knew they had something special in Ginger and made sure to bring her along slowly so she could mature in size, strength, and talent. They began hauling her to shows in 2020 to give her a taste of the horse show life before being asked to perform under pressure. It was these forays to shows that began turning heads, got people talking, and reinforced that they were onto something with Ginger. Indeed, it is easy to become “barn blind” when you bred and love the horse. However, a trip to the 2020 Tom Powers Futurity made it clear that Ginger showed the promise they had been dreaming of. 

While riding Ginger around at the Tom Powers, they were approached by multiple prospective buyers and trainers. One such trainer was Aaron Moses. According to Moses, “I had originally seen Ginger as a yearling and, when she caught my eye with Mallory riding her at the Tom Powers last fall, I knew immediately which horse it was. I watched her a lot throughout the show and liked her look and movement.” 

The Vroeghs were not ready to sell Ginger, but an invitation from Moses for Ginger to join his show string was an offer they couldn’t refuse. Mallory is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, so her proximity to Moses, who trains out of Pilot Point, Texas, allowed Mallory the luxury of being close enough to Ginger to ride her more frequently and learn from one of the top trainers in the business. 

At the end of the month, Moses will present Ginger in the $100,000 added Maiden 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure Sudden Impulse Futurity in Ocala, Florida. Mallory will also be showing Ginger there in the Non-Pro Three-Year-Old events. Moses is looking forward to showcasing Ginger’s talent on such a large stage. He says, “Ginger has a bit of a quirky personality, so it took a little bit of trial and error to figure out what worked best on her. Her incredible talent has made it worth it, and I enjoy the process of getting that kind of horse figured out because I feel like they tend to make the best show horses.”

Shannon is beyond grateful to the whole Aaron Moses Show Horses team for their fantastic work with Ginger and to Karen Heffernan and her fiancé Brent Walker for their ongoing professional and personal support. They are looking forward to Ginger’s highly anticipated show career with the short-term goal of competing in the big 2021 Western Pleasure futurities. Long term, they hope to develop Ginger into another true all-around horse, just like her dam. It certainly seems as if the stars are aligned for those dreams to come true for Ginger and the Vroeghs. 

In the meantime, Shannon and Mallory have one more breeding to Belle remaining, and they will be stallion shopping in hopes of making Belle’s next champion. Can lightning strike a third time?

About the Author:  Megan Rechberg has been riding horses on-and-off since she was in sixth grade. Megan is currently taking a break from practicing law to raise her kids (Jackson and Sterling), and she spends her free time riding her APHA all-around mare HOOs From Heaven under the guidance of Katie Wagner Show Horses.