by Victoria M. Howard
Elizabeth Yontz, co-owner of Anvil and Lace, an up-and-coming breeding farm located in central Kentucky, hopes her farm will one day be mentioned in the same sentence as the sport’s elite breeding operations.
Yontz didn’t grow up in a harness racing family, but got her enjoyment riding and showing horses.
“I did everything from team roping, hunter jumpers, and even went to the Nationals showing minis. It wasn’t until after college that I started working for Schare Adams (Saga Farms) before being hired as the yearling manager for Mr. Leavitt at Walnut Hall Ltd,” said Yontz.
Born and raised in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, it didn’t come as a surprise that she would choose a career working with horses.
“I grew up in a one-stoplight town — about 45 minutes north of Louisville. I re-located to Midway when I started college and stayed in the Lexington area. In 2015, Doug and I bought the farm where Anvil and Lace is. Before that, we owned a small place where we kept our riding horses,” said Beth.
Doug Yontz, Beth’s husband and partner, is also a farrier, which certainly comes in handy when you own and operate a horse farm.
“Doug and his partner do all the shoeing, but he also helps me with chores when he can,” she said.
Today, Anvil and Lace is the home to about 100 horses, which consists of broodmares, foals, yearlings, and several turnouts.
This is a great accomplishment being that they have only been established for four years.
“We are only selling our horses in the Lexington sale this year and feel we have something special for everyone,” Beth said.
In fact, the very first foal of Fear The Dragon was born at Anvil and Lace on Jan. 25, 2019. It was a gray filly out of the Cambest mare, Calvados Hall.
“The first mare I ever owned was a mare named Dancewiththebest, who is the dam of Dancin’ Yankee — a $1.9 million winner. I guess you could say she will always be my favorite.
“As far as getting attached — everything I have is for sale. This is a business and I have to run it as such, so I try hard not to get attached. We are not a big name farm, so I really don’t get many calls to sell privately, but as long as they haven’t been entered in a sale, he or she can be sold. This year we will sell about 30 horses — that’s double of what I consigned last year. The farm is growing and we are getting some very good clients. This is a fun ride we are on,” Beth said, laughing.
Of course it’s not all fun and games, for there’s a lot of work in prepping babies for a sale.
“At Anvil and Lace we start bringing the babies in earlier than most farms, mainly to keep the horses from getting too bleached out in the sun. We teach them to tie groom 5-6 days a week. They all get a weekly bath and a lot of elbow grease goes into it. I treat my business like a school and after my horses sell I feel like my students graduated with honors. It’s very fulfilling. I love what I’m doing and give it 100 per cent. I feel blessed to be able to do what I love and hope all the hard work pays off. Like many other people, I would love to breed a Little Brown Jug winner,” said Beth.