Special moments at Cypress Creek Clydesdales

Our Special Clydesdale:  JJ

"JJ" was born on our farm as "Cypress Creek Jumpin' Jack".  He has definitely found his special place in the world.  The job JJ fulfills brings happiness and joy to young and old.  Please follow the link below to see the organization he represents and the wonderful people; Nancie Roahrig and volunteers, who take him to do what he does so well.

Images provided courtesy of Lori Faith Merritt.

On Parade
In Oakwood, Texas

Horsing around with the
Cypress Creek Clydesdales of Texas

Story and photos by Melissa Missildine

There is a lot of horsing around going on at Jim and Judy Holts' place. Big time! Cypress Creek is home of award-winning Clydesdales. You may have seen them in this year's Fourth of July Parade in Centerville. They were pulling a wagon with Cypress Creek Clydesdales of Texas on the side panels. The Holts have 63 of these magnificent animals. So many in fact that they are, reluctantly, selling some to bring that number down.

These Clydesdales are show horses that are put in teams to pull wagons. Now, these are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill wagons either. Who knew Mercedes made a horse wagon?! The Holts own the "Best American Bred" Clydesdale, Amaretta and the best lead horses in the business, Captain and Bart. What makes a Clydesdale a show horse versus a work horse? That depends on their bloodline, mark- ings, and disposition, just like any other type of horse. The breeding of these horses is quite complicated. The desired result is an animal with four white legs, or stockings. Matching mares and stallions to get that result can be tricky. Sometimes, you end up with one black leg. It doesn't make for a bad horse, or even a bad looking horse. It's just not aesthetically pleasing on the line. The Holts are backing off the breeding side of things a little bit and concentrating on what they love the most, showing.

The Holts started getting their property in Oakwood ready for the big move from Cypress last Spring. Although it isn't set up exactly the way they dreamed of yet, it is well underway. The horse barns are set up to house these thoroughbreds in stalls that would make any horse jealous. At over 18 hands, these horses need bigger . . . everything. The wheel horses weigh an average of 2600 pounds and the lead horses run about 2200 pounds. The stalls are even outfitted with their own misting fans... for those particularly hot Texas summers. These horses don't want for pastures to roam in either. The Holts have 123 acres to choose from.

Jim says eventually they will have the feeding areas streamlined in such a way that the "smaller horses" will be separated from the "bigger ones" at feeding time to make sure they get their fair share and some don't get more than they need. They were all huge! Jim's keen eye can tell which ones are a little shy at feeding time and which ones are bullys.

Jim and Judy love their horses and want only the best for them. Jim says he has just gotten too old to do some of the stuff himself, so they got them some help. Tim Swartz is one of the hands they brought on and Kyle Forscythe is their driver. He moved down here all the way from Manitoba, Canada. Even Kyle's wife, Marcia helps out when it's time to get the team ready and hitched. Jim bragged about how good his team was. They brought home the "Best Shod Hitch with Feathers" and the "Six Horse Hitch" from last week's National Clydesdale Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For those of you who didn't know horses could have feathers (like me)...that is the hair around a Clydesdale's feet. It is apparently a really big deal to have nice feathers.

The Holts, Swartz, and Forscythe are getting ready to go to Lansing, Michigan next month and then on to Toronto, Canada. Jim expects they'll be bring back more of those "great big ol' trophies".