I am filing this report as a warning to others not to get involved with these people. I had purchased a breeding to my mare back a few years ago to a Hanoverian stallion standing at Hidden Gully Farms in Pakenham, Ontario, Canada. (www.hiddengullyfarms.com) I had first seen their stock being shown at the Royal Winter fair in Toronto, Ontario and liked the look of them so decided to inquire about their breeding stallions.
Before sending my lovely sport horse mare to be bred they introduced themselves as reputable horse breeders with quality breeding stock, who handled warmblood horses and breeding professionally. I should have done some more research before deciding to send my mare!
The first red-flag was when I dropped my mare off. The farm is a mess, it looked like I just pulled into the local junkyard. A well laid out breeding facility would be clean, well organized and nicely laid out. This farm lane was severely rutty, with dangerously degraded buildings and "stabling", the mix of page-wire and electric fence was tangled and in many places just lying on the ground. It is a wonder my mare didn't come back with torn legs from wire-injuries! The stallion I had chosen to breed to was being kept in a small dirty stall in the barn, he looked well groomed but was very thin and "ribby", I was told that he was hard to keep weight on.
The other stallions were also housed in small stalls adjacent to one-another. I have no idea if the stallions ever receive any turnout, my thoughts are nil. Although upon first glance my thought was to turn around and head back home with my mare in tow I decided to carry through with the breeding. They assured me that my mare would be well cared for during her stay at Hidden Gully and they were to be breeding her live-cover. I figured that maybe they had just invested all their money into top horses and that was why the farm itself was lacking value.
When I came back to pick up my mare a couple weeks later I was appalled. She was nervous and slightly head-shy(she had never been head-shy before). Her shiny bay coat had deteriorated to a dull rough brown and she had several places on here face where the hair had been worn off from her halter - which was not to be left on her during turnout. She had also lost weight and had obviously not been fed her usual grain rations and minimal hay.
It was then that I noticed the rest of the farm, the many acres behind their barn was filled with upwards of 50 horses, with no hay and limited grass from overgrazing. They clearly did not treat my mare any better then they treat their own stock. Needless to say I loaded my mare up and headed home very displeased.
Luckily my mare had caught and gave me a lovely foal the following spring. Then when it was time for registration came more trouble. After multiple attempts to email them and contact them to have my breeding paperwork sent to me I got frustrated and went to the registry for help. The registry decided to accept my foals DNA and follow through the registration, as they also could not contact HGF. With registration came another surprise. The stallion I had bred to was supposed to be CSHA breeding approved, which wasn't. He has only completed some of the requirements to be fully approved. This resulted in my foal only being eligible for part-registration. To this day I have heard nothing from them regarding the breeding paperwork or responding to any of my requests.
It wasn't until after I experienced this for myself that I hear what others have to say about HGF. A friend bought a gelding from them to go on as her next show horse. He was sold as a vice-free with some show experience. He turned out to be very unpredictable with a chronic off and on lameness, most likely resulting from lack of nutrition while growing.
I want everyone to be warned, from my experience to please stay away from Hidden Gully Farm. These people are not trustworthy and do not come through with deals they make. Check the back ground of any warmbloods you buy who originated from the Pakenham/Arnprior area as they may in fact be from HGF and have joint issues from malnutrition and incorrect treatment while young.
I would never trust them with another mare of mine again, so for your own horses sake please find Quality stallion services elsewhere, where the farm has proper credentials to handle mares and breeding stallions properly. It is not worth it to try and deal with these people!