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Shelly A Gonzales (Ames)

Years as an Owner: 22
Horses Owned (Current): 5
Horses Owned (Lifetime): 200
Best Horse: Felicitee
Trainer(s): Ferraro, Least, LeCesse, Schoenamen
Profession: Equine
Email: sgonzales1@hughes.net
Testimony
Best Experience as an Owner:
foaling
What I like about Thoroughbred Racing:
The most prominent farms stepping up to help in aftercare
How I Became a Thoroughbred Owner:
Love of the breed
Best Advice:
money buys a winner no matter the pedigree
Owner Bio

Heritage Acres is owned and operated by Shelly Gonzales 5 decades of a varied background working with horses. In 1972, first introduced to riding, Shelly was a member and officer of her 4-H club in Monroe County, NY "Saddle Pals" after beginning in the 4-H group Twin Post Horsemen. She rode in every local, county fair and show that she could and in 1973, 74 & 1975 she earned access to the New York State Show and Fair in Syracuse, NY in all Equitation, Hunter and Jumper Divisions winning many trophies and ribbons. Shelly studied under the esteemed John Smith at Kendall John's riding stable for nearly 4 years, taking dual and sometimes triple lessons weekly in jumping and equitation, as well as attending summer camps in horsemanship. In 1975 Shelly obtained her first OTTB nicknamed "Bambi" and began to retrain the filly as a jumper. This began a lifelong love of the Thoroughbred horse that continues today. After a brief interval to continue her education and begin a family, in 1993 Shelly began to ride again at Huntington Meadow Stable in Webster, NY. It did not take long for the stable to encourage her to ride the stable horses in local shows. In her first outing, Shelly earned first place in three of four classes, earning her Grand Champion in the Adult Amateur Division. In 1994 the family moved to the town of Sparta in the Southern Tier of New York State and began the renovations that would become Heritage Acres; a 22 acre small, private farm. The intent was to breed Thoroughbreds for resale but over the next 10 years the farm was taking in broodmares with known foaling issues, racing lay ups for trainers, rehabs, and had owners in Illinois, Long Island, New Jersey and as far away as California and Arkansas. From 1998 - 2007 Heritage Acres grew to 66 acres over two separate farms, managed by the family, including up to 20 racing lay ups, foaling broodmares, rehabs, breaking, training and breezing two year olds and standing its own stallion doing live cover breeding. Most of the success of Heritage Acres between 1998 and 2007 came from racing lay ups and taking in horses that required rehabilitation, evaluation, behavior management and injuries. Shelly and Heritage Acres became a known entity at the renowned Cornell Large Animal Clinic dealing with issues such as fractures, bows, periostial stripping, septic foals and other bone, tendon, growth and soft tissues injuries. After a semi retirement that began with a major downsizing in late 2003-through 2007 the Farm began in 2007 to take in one or two horses annually that were in some kind of jeopardy and needed homes. These were primarily word of mouth inquiries based on the reputation of the Farm and its experience dealing with thoroughbreds. Each horse would come to the farm for evaluation; a plan was made for the horses future and within a 12 month time period, the horse would be rehomed. To date Shelly has privately taken in no less than 40 horses funding everything they require as a private foster, becoming involved with the Columbia-Greene Humane Society and the Climax, NY Centerbrook Rescue, as well as maintaining a forever home for some. On  her team, J. Andre Powell, Jr. experienced in all phases of handling horses from weanlings to mature breeding stallions. Currently assisting with intake issues he is equipped to move forward to help those equines in need. His specialties include the management of a small farm and his knowledge of equine behavior as well as lay ups, rehabilitations include fractures, soft tissue injuries, foaling and breaking and training.