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2021 Hunter Sweepstakes Provide a Sweet Win for a Proud Breeder

Pictured: Nirvana Queen, 2021 ASHBA Bill Wise Hunter Sweepstakes Champion (Schatzberg)

Sweepstakes wins are sweeter with a Saddlebred Story like Nirvana Queen! The 2021 ASHBA Bill Wise Four-Year-Old Hunter Sweepstakes Champion has had quite the full circle #asbdreams journey for her breeder, trainer, and owner Melissa Moore of Sunrise Stables.

Nirvana Queen is a four-year-old black mare by Nutcracker’s Nirvana and out of Scream Queen. Moore shared, “I’m so very proud of this beautiful four-year-old mare, and she has a beautiful story behind her.” She is the last foal from Scream Queen, a mare Melissa helped raise when working with her mother at Belle Reve Farm. Her sire, Nutcracker’s Nirvana, is a horse Melissa broke and sold to Shawn Stachowski. The family connection is special, but this mare’s story does not stop there. Moore adds, “Somehow Scream Queen ended up in a bad place, and I was able to purchase her back for $500.  I was just going to let her live out her years Sunrise Stables, but I was blessed she gave me this beautiful black mare as her last baby. Nirvana Queen was also a red bag baby we were lucky enough to be able to save.”

Pictured: Nirvana Queen with Melissa Moore (Moore)

This striking mare is flourishing under the care, support, and faith her connections have in her ability. “I’m so proud how far she has come in one year of showing and very grateful to Jenny McGowan for her great rides on this mare,” says Moore. Nirvana Queen, as just a four-year-old, was the unanimous Adult Hunter Country Pleasure Champion out of 17 entries and the Reserve National Champion in the Saddle & Bridle Hunter Classic Finals, all in addition to winning the ASHBA Bill Wise Four-Year-Old Hunter Sweepstakes at the 2021 St. Louis National Charity Horse Show.

Moore’s passion for breeding American Saddlebreds and expanding their opportunities in the show ring is no secret. Sunrise Stables breeds champion American Saddlebreds, Half-Saddlebreds, and American Dutch Harness Horses, but most important to Moore is that their training program finds a productive role for each of the horses they breed. Nirvana Queen’s story is a testament to this breeder’s approach to giving each horse they raise a place to be a star.

Pictured: Nirvana Queen with Jenny McGowan and Emma Caruso (Moore)

We are grateful to Moore for allowing us to share this Saddlebred Story and hope this ASHBA Bill Wise Sweepstakes winner’s #asbdreams journey can serve as an inspiration that when you find the right mares, family trees & jobs for foals the world is a better place for the American Saddlebred!