AMHA National and World Grand Champion Covers

Historical Stallions

Hemlock Brooks Egyptian King
1980
Measured 31.25"

Winner in 1986. THE King, who started a dynasty! Certainly one of, if not the most well-known, best-promoted, and most outstanding sires in the history of miniature horses. King, as of the end of 2001, has sired 234 foals, with 37 of them garnering the title of National Champion or Reserve National Champion! And his grand-get and great-grand-get continue the tradition so nobly started by the King! The 1999 National Show showed the strength of the line with over 150 Top Ten finishers being descendants of King!

As reported in The Horseman's Report by Ron Youngblood , and later noted in the NFC sales catalogs:

Hemlock Brooks Egyptian King

"In 1980 Bob Erwin bought his wife Sandy a Christmas present; now that's not unusual, but the present was. Sandy's present was an 8 month old miniature horse named Egyptian King. Initially Egyptian King lived in the Erwin's backyard in Dallas where Bob operates a successful insurance business. Bob and Sandy became more interested in miniature horses, and they decided to make their miniature horse hobby into a business with the same goals as other large successful big horse breeds, simply to produce superior quality horses.

"Now, through acquiring the best breeding foundation stock available, an organized professional breeding program designed to improve the breed, a facility to enable professional breeding, training and showing, and most importantly securing the best available personnel, the Erwins are beginning to realize their goals.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating. When the smoke had cleared at the 1986 National Championships, NFC had won 6 out of 8 of them, and most interesting, Sandy's little 8-month-old stallion Christmas Gift, now an 11 year old, was the National Grand Champion Stallion.

"King is retired to breeding and Sandy continues to enjoy and love her favorite horse, anxiously awaiting his get each year and closely following them in the show ring.

"Miniatures are fun, heart warming, a good investment, and can fill a big part of your life."

Kings Andy

Bob and Sandy Erwin and NFC Miniature Horse Farm continued to set the standard for the industry throughout the eighties and then, because of many other business interests, dispersed their herd in 1993, with the exception of King and Meggin, a mare that had come along with King that Christmas, some thirteen years earlier. In 1995, Bob died very unexpectedly and suddenly. I wrote the following article at the request of The Journal:

"Bob Erwin, noted miniature breeder, died at his home in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday morning, May 11, 1995. He founded NFC Marketing Associates in 1976 and also founded National Family Care Life Insurance company. A Christmas present to his wife, Sandy, started him in the miniature horse business, and set the standard for the industry, winning an unprecedented six National Grand Championships in 1986. His production sales in the 1980s set the price standard for the industry. The following is an excerpt from an article that I wrote in 1993 on the occasion of his dispersal sale in Oklahoma City:

A Weekend to Remember--
The Sale of the Century
-Tony W. Greaves

Heritage Place in Oklahoma City was a fitting setting for what was billed as "The Sale of the Century" as miniature fanciers from coast to coast gathered for the opportunity to purchase one of the horses of the famed NFC Farm dispersal. Those who came were not to be disappointed... the offering of 356 animals was excellently fit and presented for its walk into history. Bob and Sandy Erwin, owners of NFC Farm, were on hand to play host and answer questions from the hundreds of spectators. This endeavor started some thirteen years ago, in 1980, when Bob bought Sandy a Christmas present, an eight-month-old miniature horse, Egyptian King!

Those who have been in the business for a few weeks or more know, as Paul Harvey says, "The rest of the story." But for those who are new, let's take a look back.

At first, King lived in the backyard of the Erwin's home in an elegant section north of downtown Dallas, not far from their insurance company office. He was joined shortly by a filly, Meggin. From that first pair of miniatures, their interest grew, and soon they were looking for a place to board their pair so that they could add to them.

They called around and found that there was a nun down in Corpus Christi who raised miniatures. Soon they struck a deal that was a WIN/WIN situation. They would help the Monastery in their plans and in return they would show King and take care of the Erwin's growing group of miniatures.

Perhaps the late Sister Bernadette said it best in her book, Sister Bernadette, Cowboy Nun from Texas: "One day I received a call from a gentleman in Dallas who told me he had purchased a miniature horse for his wife for Christmas. 'I think it's a nice looking horse,' he said. 'Would you be willing to show it for us?" That began a long association with Bob and Sandy Erwin who, after their horse Egyptian King shot to stardom the first time we showed him, started buying small mares which we kept in our stables. Soon they owned forty minis. With Bob's financial help, we built a beautiful sixty-stall show barn....'"

Later, after Bob and Sandy decided that they wanted their horses closer to home, they bought the farm near Whitesboro. They continued to help Sister Bernadette. In fact, later in her book she refers to a time when she needed $25,000 to put down on the new location in Brenham. She notes that a phone call was made and she had the money. Not noted in the book is that the phone call was to Bob Erwin.

Their place in history of miniatures was secure when, in 1986, they won six of the eight National Championships that were available at that time. Their showstring was well known from coast to coast for the following years with records too numerous to elaborate in this article, but suffice it to say that their record will stand for a long time to come.

The charity of the Erwins is great, and much greater than publicly known. A donation of a filly to the KERA Public TV station started one family in the business and whetted the appetite of many more. Donations of other horses have helped raise money for many other groups including the Southwest Miniature Horse Club and the National AMHA Youth Group to name just a few.

They took a great interest in our young people, sponsoring my daughter, Lisa Greaves, and Cheri Chauvin in beauty pageants. They helped Keeble Carmichael stay in the miniature horse business and with the dispersing of her horse that Bob had kept for her, helped finance her education through law school. They also helped many people upgrade their stock when they couldn't afford it by financing their purchases.

Starting in 1987, the Erwins had an annual production sale and one consignment sale, culminating May 14 and 15, 1993, with their dispersal. The sales set the standard for the industry with the sales averaging from $8,293 to $14,295.

All in all, it was an emotionally thrilling and draining weekend. When Boogerman walked into the ring I got choked up talking about him and his history, and more than a few teary eyes were noted as the audience applauded the final buyers and Jackie Crisp and groom, Tito, who had figured so heavily in his career. It took all of the muster I could find to finish reading the pedigree of the last horse, because he was led into the ring by Sandy. When I finished my talk and the auctioneer started to sell him I had to turn my back on the crowd, spotted Bob, and broke into tears... it wasn't a funeral, but to me, it was just as emotional. Thank you Bob and Sandy, for what you have done for the industry, and thank you for your friendship. I hope that this is not the end of an era, but only an intermission in a great, great show... after all, you still have King and Meggin!

Unfortunately, the intermission is over, and Bob will not return for an encore. Many people who did not know him only thought of him as a fierce competitor, and that he was. He loved to win at everything he did, and usually did. But to all who really knew him, he was known as a true humanitarian who was more than generous with all whom he came in contact. I join the many who mourn the loss!"

Hemlock Brooks Egyptian King's titles:
1983 SENIOR STALLIONS RESERVE NATIONAL CHAMPION
1983 SENIOR STALLIONS OVER 30" TO 32" NATIONAL CHAMPION
1986 SENIOR STALLION NATIONAL GRAND CHAMPION

After the sale of their horses, King was leased to Grosshill Farms until the year 2000, at which time he returns home to Sandy. He will be twenty at the start of the millennium....who knows, could it be that "He's only just begun?"



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