Craig & Nan Harley’s Dreym Bay Farm might very well be the quintessential realization of living the Arabian horse lifestyle to the fullest. Located inNewnan, Georgia – forty five minutes Southwest of Atlanta – sprawls a 350 acre Arabian horse paradise of lush pastures, rippling ponds, and tranquil woods where some of the finest Arabian horses are loved and enjoyed on so many different levels. The farm, which is tucked into the Georgia countryside, is setup to care for not only the physical needs of the horses, but just as importantly, their mental stability as well. A beautiful ten stall MD barn with climate-controlled office is accompanied by an oversized covered arena, covered round pen, covered panel walker, and a large outdoor riding arena. To finish out the landscape, there are large pastures with sheds to accommodate the horses in any climate. All these amenities ensure every single detail is met for the Dreym Bay horses.
Arabian horses have been a lifelong passion for Nan Harley for as long as she can remember. Dreym Bay Farm is the realization of many hopes and dreams coming to fruition – with the farm name signifying the love for the horses and the lifestyle it provides; one of the Harley’s early purchases SA Reym (more on him later), Nan’s favorite color bay, and of course the countless dreams only a true lover of horses can attest to.
A passion that was never understood by Nan’s parents early on, but indulged by Nan’s family growing up, was exactly the support that fueled her dream and aspirations to one day be an Arabian horse owner. An avid equestrian early on in Open Western shows and barrel racing events, it wasn’t until the late 80’s that Nan, and her husband Craig – whom she met in Law School – acquired their very first Arabian horse shortly after marrying.
As an escape from from the countless hours of studying, Nan leased a horse at a local boarding facility in Georgia in the late eighties. This lease arrangement had her stabled next to an Arabian stallion in the same barn. It was during this time spent at the barn that the qualities of the Arabian stallion began to capture Nan’s attention. “The owner of the stallion came out to the barn one day and asked me if I wanted to ride along to an auction of Arabian horses with her and, of course, I jumped at the offer,” says Nan. “I was amazed at the quality and the beauty of the horses being put through the auction. They [horses] came from Cedar Ridge Arabians in Minnesota,” continues Nan. By days end, Nan went into partnership and purchased, together with the owner of the arabian stallion, a mare that was in foal and lightly started under saddle. “She was my dream horse,” says Nan. It wasn’t long thereafter that Nan bought out her partner and Taaskyne (Taask x Adalyne) and her future foal was in the sole ownership of Nan. It was a dream come true.
Nan’s riding experience didn’t start until college, and up until the purchase of Taaskyne, Nan’s equestrian experience had been mostly with stock type horses. Riding “Taaska” was a totally different experience, she was a mare who constantly wanted to please, and although there were some bumps along the way (learning to trailer load and to cross a bridge), Taaskyne was instrumental in teaching Nan so much about owning her first Arabian horse and the patience it takes to train them.
With the acquisition of Nan’s first horse Taaskyne, she began to be drawn to horses whose pedigrees traced back to *Bask. Taaskyne, being a granddaughter of *Bask, was a big-bodied mare who maintained her refinement and athleticism. It wasn’t long after that Nan felt they needed to add another horse to the family in hopes that both her and Craig could enjoy the horses together. The Harley’s purchased SA Reym (the “reym” in Dreym Bay) who was a competitive trail horse for Craig, and who later became Dreym Bay’s herd sire back in the late 80’s. SA Reym was sired by the Serafix son Sereym and out of an Anchor Hill Haid daughter – a blending of Crabbet on the top and old Babson Egyptian breeding on the bottom. SA Reym was a great horse to the Harley’s entrance into the world of breeding Arabian horses and sired many nice horses, some of whom are still out competing today. “Those were my “backyard” breeding days,” smiles Nan, “and I learned a lot from the process.”
As with most relationships between horse and human, “Taaska” and Nan formed an unbreakable bond and became Nan’s first show horse at the Arabian breed shows. Eventually, as is very common with working and enjoying Arabians, there comes a time where you grow and seek out additional resources to refine one’s horsemanship craft. It wasn’t long after that realization that Nan began noticing a trainer at the local shows who continually caught her attention with her training techniques. This began the friendship, and the journey, with Claire Boyd, a dear friend and instrumental mentor who catapulted Nan’s Arabian horse involvement. It was Claire who introduced her to one of the most special horses to ever cross paths with Nan – the multi-national champion CBS Top Dog, a half-Arabian gelding who Nan purchased as a weanling, and who opened the door, to the relationship between Caralyn Schroter and Rob Bick that has since spanned more than 20 plus years.
CBS Top Dog was a bigger than life chestnut half-Arabian gelding that everyone fell in love with the minute they met him. He was huge and so very talented in the Western Pleasure ring. A winner of seven national championships including the Open Ladies Western Sidesaddle with Caralyn Schroter, it would be CBS Top Dog that would take Nan to her first national championship win at her very first National competition. After a devastating bout with colic, CBS Top Dog passed away too early, but left an indelible mark on Nan that she carries with her forever.
It was the association with Rob Bick, at the time a trainer at Dolorosa Arabians and now co-owner of RBC Show Horses, that really set Nan and the Dreym Bay breeding program on the path to success. “I was looking for a stallion to breed my half-Arabian mare to,” says Nan. “Rob Bick showed me a yearling half-Arabian by Sundance Kid V and that’s all it took. I bred my mare to Sundance Kid V and she produced a black-bay gelding named DB Butch Cahzidy, a beautiful horse who garnered Top Ten honors at the U.S. Nationals in Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse with Caralyn Schroter.” concludes Nan. Since DB Butch Cahzidy’s sale, he has gone on to achieve many championships for his new owner, along with a full sibling DB Wouldnt ItBe Nice, who has successfully been shown to Regional Championships and National Top Ten honors for owner Holly Westermoreland-White.
With this formula for success, DB Annillusive Moon, a Dreym Bay owned half-Arabian Palomino mare, was bred to Sundance Kid V and produced two beautiful buckskins. The first, DB Moondance, was sold to Minnesota as the future western pleasure mount of a jr. rider. The second, is for sale through RBC Show Horses. DB Moonshine Kid shows incredible promise as a top notch Western horse.
With the passing of Nan’s beloved CBS Top Dog, there were big shoes to fill finding a replacement, if that word can even be used. As the pain of losing CBS Top Dog began to subside, there was an urge to get back into the show ring and find a horse that could bring enjoyment back to Nan’s “horse showing world”. The farm’s breeding endeavors didn’t slow down, in fact, many beautiful horses were bred and born at the farm since Top Dog’s passing – however, it was the Western Pleasure division that held Nan’s heart and the horses bred and born on the farm demonstrated ability suitable as hunters or reining horses.
In September of 2012, Nan found herself at RBC Show Horses looking at prospects. Not able to find the perfect match, it was perhaps this timing that the stars might have begun to align. Rob Bick pulled out Possesion PGA who had just returned to him from Palmetto Arabians. One of the last horses to get worked that day, Rob asked Nan if she’d like to ride him. Following this beautiful stallion since he came on to the show scene as a three year old, Nan jumped at the opportunity not thinking anything more than just a ride to finish off the day – after all, a planned road trip the next day to Palmetto Arabians gave hope that Nan was sure to find the “special one” in Timmonsville.
The next day Rob and Nan visited Palmetto Arabians in South Carolina, however, Nan couldn’t keep focus as she kept replaying her ride the previous day she had on Possesion PGA. It was a comment from Rob that set the wheels in motion – Possesion PGA might just be available for sale. Of course, the rest is history and a deal was made – Possesion PGA passed to the ownership of Nan Harley and Dreym Bay Farm. Since being under Nan’s ownership, Possesion PGA has really blossomed as an Amateur Western horse with multiple Regional Championships and three Reserve National Championships. Caralyn Schroter has also shown him to a National Championship in Ladies Sidesaddle.
Sired by the great *Khadraj NA and out of the Fame VF daughter, RA Po Okela – he encompasses all the characteristics that are important to the Dreym Bey ideal. These bloodlines, crossed on the daughters of Sundance Kid V, are the foundation for the current breeding program at Dreym Bay Farm. Possesion PGA has been bred to three different Sundance Kid V daughters and also to Sundance Kid’s full sister, Sweet Saphire V, and has produced three National Champions with a total of 10 National Championships. The cross is proven. The first Possesion PGA x Sundance Kid V daughter cross from the Dreym Bay program, produced a stunning filly named DB Crystal Possesion, out of the 2017 U.S Reserve National Champion Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse PA Cassara Dancer (ex a Versace Gold daughter). DB Crystal Possesion sold as a yearling in the fall of 2017 to Gary and Karen Dearth of Corrales, NM. Great things are expected of this very beautiful filly. Another Sundance daughter, PA Aurora Rosa Dance (out of a Versace dauther) was purchased as a two year old in 2017 with plans of breeding to Possesion PGA. A third Sundance daugher who the Harley’s are very excited about is a filly out of PA Tara Always (Always a Jullyen V x Taylor Made), a full sister to the 2016 U.S. National Champion AWPA Futurity PA Tantara Always. PA Tara Always had a gorgeous filly by Sundance Kid V in 2017 that we named DB Scarlett O Tara. “Palmetto (and the Arabian horse industry) lost Sundance Kid V shortly after her birth and I can’t express how I treasure this filly,” says Nan.
“I never expected to have another relationship with a horse like the one I had with CBS Top Dog,” reflects Nan. “But Possesion and I are a team and I love hanging out with him and showing him. It surely doesn’t hurt that he is gorgeous to look at and makes some pretty awesome babies!.” The real joy, aside from the show ring success, is connecting with the people who have Possesion PGA offspring. It is like an extended family and so much joy is experienced to cheer his babies on in the ring. While he hasn’t been bred extensively, the percentage of high quality offspring is perhaps record breaking. National Champions PA Lillith, PA Maya, PA San Antonio, and PA Mayhem have captured the most coveted (and competitive) titles in the Arabian horse industry, some of those wins many times over. Form to function is so important and all the Possesion PGA offspring demonstrate great diversity in Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, Halter, Sport Horse and Working Hunter. Trainable, athletic, and very beautiful. Their people love them too – there isn’t a more winning combination than that.
2018 opens up a new chapter for Nan as she embarks on another new journey with the reigning 2017 U.S. Reserve National Champion Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse mare PA Cassara Dancer (Sundance Kid V x Cassandra GA) and will wear the hunt cap for amateur Hunter Pleasure competition this upcoming show season. “I owe all of my show ring success to Caralyn and to Rob. I have had horses with them continuously for twenty years. I went to them thinking I knew how to ride and show – but boy, was I wrong. I have learned so much from them both as they are so generous with their time and knowledge.” says Nan.
As for the Harley’s, perennial figures in the Georgia Arabian Horse Association and AHA’s Region 12, Craig and Nan have embraced the enriching life of everything the Arabian horse lifestyle provides. “My discipline of choice has always been Western Pleasure and I have worked very hard achieving a multitude of national and regional titles. I’ve enjoyed success in the reining pen, and I’ve also refined my craft to show some dressage as well,” says Nan.
Craig enjoys being the handy man and acquiring large pieces of equipment while together with Nan caters to the well-being of the horses they keep at home in Newnan. “It is a match made in heaven. Craig helps me with the horses – the man cleans a mean stall – and enjoys spoiling the babies. I will get him back in the saddle now that he is nearly retired and has more time,” laughs Nan. The beautiful thing about the Arabian horse and the lifestyle is that it’s ever changing. If the achievements of the last twenty years are any indication of what the future holds for the Harley’s Dreym Bay Farm, all we can say is “hold on to your horses”.