Melissa Town has been breeding Sport Horses for over thirty years. Though she initially bred continental warmbloods in the ‘80s, the Irish horse is her true passion. She became involved in the breed in the early ‘90s, and worked with James McGinty & Jane Sleeper on a project to bring some of the best Irish lines to the USA. They worked with breeders in Ireland to import frozen semen from more than 10 RID stallions including Mountain Pearl, Grey Macha, Kildaton Gold, & Flagmount King. The introduction and availability of these bloodlines to the USA breeding pool was invaluable. Melissa continued to breed RID x TB’s for eventing and foxhunting well into the late ‘90s.
After a more than 10 year hiatus from breeding, Melissa & Phil Town bought their present farm in Moreland GA in 2010, and began to build a herd of exceptional breeding stock and performance horses. While Melissa keeps her sight on preserving the true Irish lines through a handful of purebred Registered Irish Draughts, she also breeds traditional Irish Sport Horses and a handful of Irish x Warmbloods.
The Town’s program has three tiers –
Individuals bred specifically for upper level eventing; combining proven performance Irish lines, including FlexibLe, Cradilo and Formula One, with top warmblood pedigrees including Riverman & Querdolan Viteral, all while maintaining a high percentage of Thoroughbred blood.
a handful of purebred Irish Draught foals are bred on the farm every year; geldings go on to performance careers, while the best fillies are retained for future breeding stock.
traditional Irish Sport Horses, generally the first outcross, are bred and developed to suit adult amateurs for low-mid level eventing and hunting.
The program at Starting Point Farm is running full bore with An annual foal crops numbering between 4 & 8 foals. Four stallions stand at the farm presently, and the broodmare herd averages around a dozen mares. Phil & Melissa run on the best of their youngstock, retaining some individuals for future performance horses, and their top quality fillies for future broodmares.