By AILA BOYD firstname.lastname@example.org
Wiloma Plantation, owned by David and Cindy Bandy, has been nominated for the 2018 Breeder of the Year award by the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association (APAHA).
The awards ceremony will take place tomorrow in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Representing Wiloma Plantation will be David and Cindy’s daughter Rachel. A graduate of Hollins University, Rachel shares her father’s passion for horses.
David explained that he and his family didn’t set out to become nationally recognized horse breeders, rather they just had a passion for horses. After gaining a local reputation, David said, other people started to take note of his operation as well.
The Fincastle-based plantation has been garnering more exposure in the world of Arabian horse breeding in recent years. David explained that just being nominated for the Breeder of the Year award means a lot, adding that being included in such a high class will help solidify Wiloma Plantation’s place amongst the upper echelons of Arabian breeding both on a domestic and international level.
“We think we have a breeding program that will keep getting better,” David said.
He noted that horse breeding and architecture are fairly similar. He said that both are all about “taking something good and making it better.”
David attributes his and his family’s success in breeding to the fact that they’ve persevered for the better part of 40 years.
“Sometimes when you stick to it, you succeed,” David said. “And that’s fabulous.”
David said that horse breeding is “very frustrating— it’s a roller coaster ride.” He explained that it’s very rewarding to see his horses grow and go on to achieve success, but that there’s nothing worse than having horses die due to accidents and illnesses.
“The highs are really good and the lows are really bad,” David said.
He explained that he normally has three stallions and 15 to 20 mares at any given time. Each year, he raises between five to eight foals. He normally waits until the foals are 2 years of age to start training them.
He and his wife first decided to buy Wiloma Plantation in 1987 because they wanted their children to grow up on a farm surrounded by horses.
“We saw this farm and fell in love with it,” David said.
The farm consists of 130 acres. The house that is located on the property was built in 1842 and is on both the Virginia and National Historic Registry.
Recently, several of the Bandys’ horses have been successful at shows. The horses include: WP Corporate Image, WP Imperator Furiosa, WP Gold Boom, WP Corporate America, and WP Fashionista.
Most of the horses at Wiloma Plantation descend from Oran Van Bandy, a son of Oran Van Crabbet. Crabbet was the first Arabian horse in American history to win three National Championships in Park, Formal Combination, and Formal Driving. Bandy is listed as one of the top 25 stallions for producing sports horses in the last 50 years by the Arabian Horse Association.
David, a graduate of Virginia Tech, is also president of Spectrum Designs, which is based in Roanoke. He previously served as the president of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show.
Cindy, originally from Florida, was a school teacher for many years. She has also been active with the 4-H Cloverbuds.
Their son Joshua is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.