Reprinted from The Washington Post's Loudoun Extra
Sunday, May 9, 1999

Small Breeders, Big Expectations
Photos by Larry Kobelka
For The Washington Post

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Katherine Walsh shows off Amritraj's jumping skills. Melissa Dick oils up Kippling, the youngest horse for sale. Auctioneer Leon Strosnider starts the bidding at the auction last Sunday. Fourteen-year-old Danzador struts his stuff before 75 potential buyers.

     Christine Smith, an owner of Wildest Expectations Farm in Stephens City, Va., and her sister, Kathlyn Starbuck, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., organized the second annual Wildest Expectations horse auction last Sunday at Morven Park.  They billed it as a strength-in-numbers effort for small breeders who must compete with large breeding operations for buyers.  Thirteen breeders showed warm-blood sport horses, prospects in such disciplines as dressage and three-day eventing, to about 75 would-be buyers from as far away as Florida.  The event was staffed by volunteers from United Airlines, where Smith is a flight attendant.

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