Quarter Horse News

The Irish Influence

from: Quarter Horse News insider- March 16, 2009
Fairlea ranch was conceived the moment John Hyde spotted a real estate magazine ad during a 1984 red-eye flight from Boston to New york. “I ripped it out and carried it around in my attaché case for six months,” John remembered. “I didn’t even know where Visalia, Calif., was!”

Hyde and his wife, Kate, had their choice – a ranch in the California hills or a place in New York City. After looking at property in the Big Apple, the couple opted for the golden State. The Hydes named their operation after Fair Lea Farm, the place John’s grandfather owned in Michigan. Translated from the Gaelic tongue, “fair lea” means “fair mead-ow.” In fact, it was on his grandfather’s farm that John took his first horseback rides. “From the time I was about 3 years old, they’d throw me up on the back of these horses and say, ‘Hang on to the harness,’” Hyde remembered. “I spent the entire day riding while they did their work and chores.”

John works in the entertainment business in Los Angeles, dividing his time between the hustle and bustle of the city and the quiet life in the country. His career embraces multiple facets of the television and movie business, and he has been the producer of several popular hits including “The Simpsons.”

The Hydes have bred and owned several accomplished performance horses over the years and they own three stallions — Colonel Pic, Smart Steady Date and Silver Gun (Playgun x Miss Freckles Reed x Colonel Freckles), a gray stallion who was the 2005 AQHA reserve Champion Superhorse. Fairlea Ranch is the breeder of Myles From Nowhere (Smart Little Jerry x Fairlea Awesome x Colonel Pic), the stallion Beau Galyean rode to second in the Non-Pro and a tie for sixth in the open at the 2006 NCHA Futurity.