50-Year Breeder: Larry Lloyd Krieger
50-Year Breeder: Larry Lloyd Krieger
By Richard Chamberlain for The American Quarter Horse Journal
Larry Lloyd Krieger of Sodus, Michigan, is an electrician by trade and a horseman by choice. With wife Lou Ann, Larry has spent half of a century breeding topline American Quarter Horses on their Pine Valley Farm at Sodus, Michigan.
“I started in 1958 when I bought my first mare from Dr. A. Schaub,” Larry says. “The mare was bred to Heavy Red for a 1959 foal. I love raising and working with the foals. I enjoy watching them grow and develop as they mature into beautiful partners.”
The Kriegers have had some beautiful partners. At one time, they had more than 40 head, including stallions, mares and foals, which they showed extensively in AQHA, American Buckskin Registry Association and open shows.
“The ideal horse is one that fits the needs of the individual,” Larry says. “I like a well-balanced halter horse that can perform under saddle. I am not critical on height, but conformation is a must.”
The Kriegers’ herd has featured standouts such as the Smoke 49 mare Smokin Maxeen, who produced two Superior halter offspring; and stallions such as the Red Zero son Co Co Zero, who stood reserve champion in halter at Quarterama in Toronto and was high-point halter in ABRA and the Buckskin Horse Association in Michigan; and the chestnut Obvious Conclusion son The Obvious Trouble, an AQHA ROM earner that was the high-point halter stallion in Indiana and Michigan.
Two of their most significant stallions are Red Sonny Deemer, a sorrel stallion by Red Sonny Dee whose foals have earned nearly 800 points in open, amateur and youth halter classes and nearly 200 in open, amateur and youth performance events; and Sonnys Crown Prince, an AQHA open and amateur Superior halter horse who stood grand champion in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, earned year-end high points in Indiana and Michigan, and sired the grand champion halter horse Image Of Crown Prince.
“Brad Pitts helped my program really get off the ground when I began breeding to his fine stallions,” Larry says. “My big break came when Brad offered to let us buy Red Sonny Deemer. Wow! We now had our own breeding stallion, who had a heart of gold and loved people, especially kids. Thanks, Brad!”
The horseman also offers gratitude to others.
“The first person to influence me was Ernie Clark,” he says. “I bought a mare, Cotton Top Girl, from Ernie and she was bred to his stallion Red Zero. This began a learning curve as I started in open shows, which was almost overwhelming.
“My friend Bill Lawrance really liked Sonnys Crown Prince and encouraged me to start showing him,” he continues. “Through Bill, I learned the basics in showing, and I wouldn’t have made it without his encouragement. Two other trainers, Rick Leek and Shorty Parks, influenced me greatly. They taught me how to work and fit my horse, including how to braid a mane. Many, many thanks to all of you folks!”
A life with horses made memories for the Kriegers.
“When people would stop in to see our stallions, we kept Red Sonny Deemers in a pen near the driveway,” he remembers. “The children would run over to pet him, and he just loved it.”
The Kriegers are still making memories with Sonnys Crown Prince.
“When I showed Sonnys Crown Prince at the Muskegon All-Breed Futurity, I had a really great feeling,” Larry recalls. “He won the weanling Quarter Horse class and was named grand champion weanling. I broke down and cried. It was our first major accomplishment.”
It wasn’t the last. Or the most memorable.
“It was Thanksgiving and we stopped in Frankfort, Illinois, to show ‘Prince’ to some friends,” he says. “Prince was a 2-year-old at the time. I unloaded him on a side street and people thought he was part of the Christmas pageant. Children came and were surrounding him, even walking under him. It was stressful for me, but Prince loved it.
“Another time, our two daughters tried to turn Prince into a unicorn. His horn kept falling over, but he was unfazed by it all.”
Sonnys Crown Prince is now 27.
“He still loves adults and children, like his sire,” Larry says. “Our family has surely been blessed with good-natured stallions that love people of all ages.”
Oh, yeah, he notes, one more thing:
“Prince has far more patience than I ever did.”