Meet Our Team
Founder and Owner
Blanny Hagenah, owner and founder of Avalon Appaloosas has been breeding all-around Appaloosas for over 45 years. While living in the Pacific Northwest she became interested in the “Nez Perce” horses. The Nez Perce tribe bred spotted horses with a conformation that was longer and leaner than the typical Quarter Horse. They were a popular, COLORFUL breed known for their kind disposition, soundness, and versatility. Over the years Blanny has transformed her breeding program to produce her own stunning COLORED Appaloosa Sporthorses with the correct conformation which can succeed in a variety of disciplines. It all began with the purchase of two mares, one was a very colorful Foundation-Bred Performance mare and the other a fancy Few Spot Leopard Appaloosa Halter mare that was a state and regional champion several times over. With their success in the show ring she decided to begin breeding the mares to National and World Champion Appaloosa Stallions. In addition to these two incredible mares Blanny began adding similar broodmares with the correct Sporthorse confirmation and athletic ability she wanted to build her future breeding program, not knowing at the time she would soon be admired for her unique COLORED Appaloosa breeding program not only Domestically but Internationally as well. In 2005 her very own Honkytonk Wrangler was welcomed to her ever growing program. This highly COLORED colt embodied all of the attributes she was looking for in a breeding Stallion, Stunning Color, Bloodlines, Conformation, Athleticism, Honest Work Ethic and the ability to Sire correct and COLORED foals. In 2007 he went on to become the Reserve National Champion Hunter in Hand 2&3 year old colts. “Wrangler’s” foals are super sweet and willing, easy to train, and of course…. COLORED!!!
Head of Breeding - Sales - Training
Growing up in Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming Tom is one of four children. Being part of a competitive Rodeo family meant learning to ride at a very young age. From Junior rodeo to riding bulls and saddle broncs Tom was praised for his natural abilities and talents. At the age of 18 Tom made the drive to Horse Creek Outfitters to visit a friend who was getting ready to put the first ride on their young colt. While there, Ray Billings, owner of Horse Creek Outfitters spoke with Tom about the colt and insisted he put the first ride on the youngster. After a successful first ride Ray turned to Tom and asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?” and Tom replied, “I don’t know, why?” Ray followed with a simple “Be here at 7:00 you’re my new colt starter”. This break sent Tom down a path that would lead to him traveling the country in hopes to expand his experience and knowledge. His training and colt starting techniques grew stronger with every new opportunity. These travels found Tom landing in beautiful Pebble Beach, CA working for the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. Tom would soon find himself expanding his knowledge to the English Style of riding where his love for dressage began. After 3 1/2 years of working in Pebble Beach, an opportunity to become a horse hauler arose intriguing Tom with the option to add yet another talent to his repertoire. While hauling for a local company he was able to learn how to not only haul but handle many breeds of every shape, size and discipline. This would continue until he made the decision alongside his best friend to start their own horse hauling company. Success came easy to these two for their dedication to the company knew no bounds. While enjoying their new-found success Tom made time to help out around his best friend’s mothers ranch located in the foothills of Monterey, CA in 2008. Tom soon realized his passion for Blanny’s unique breeding program matched her own and in 2011 the decision to become the Ranch Manger of Avalon Appaloosas was made. When Tom joined the team, he brought with him a passion for training and a background in equine nutrition. With the science behind equine genetics evolving more rapidly, Blanny encouraged Tom to take every available opportunity to expand his knowledge in this field as well. As he applied this passion and knowledge to Blanny’s program it began to bloom and together they were able to put the Avalon Appaloosas COLOR breeding program into motion. Once Tom began marketing the program it became a welcomed success, and as we all know with success comes the responsibility to continue producing a quality product despite the growing demand. Motivated by this success, Tom took every chance he could to continue his education in both training and breeding. From horse clinics to equine reproduction classes. In 2016 after 8 years of overseeing the collection and breeding of Honkytonk Wrangler, Christy Geiseki and her Moon Valley Stallion Station closed. In 2017 after moving to Colorado Tom took on the role of Breeding Manager and furthered his education still by attending the Equine Breeders Short Courses held at the Equine Reproduction Lab at Colorado State University. Tom worked closely with Dr. McCue at the ERL and LeClair Equine to enhance the program through science, but with the devastating onset of COVID-19 all plans came to a sudden halt. Tom and Blanny alongside JD of LeClair Equine made the decision to have Tom continue the breeding in house. Tom went on to add “The Breeders Assistant” course on Equine Ultrasound/Deep Horn Insemination and Uterine Lavage in Tomball, TX to his list of achievements.
Head of Operations
Growing up in Wyoming Crystal is one of three children. She comes from a family that while embracing the small town country living was not affiliated with the equine community. Having a best friend who’s life evolved around horses made it easy for her passion to grow. At the age of 18 she found herself embracing her love for travel. While traveling was passion, home was always a much anticipated destination. While back home in Jackson Hole, WY in 2009 Crystal happened to run into Tom Swan who was visiting family and friends at the time. Having grown up in Jackson Hole together the two friends found themselves reminiscing about the past. It did not take long for the two newly reconnected friends to realize they were meant for bigger things. In 2010 the two were married and began their lives together in sunny California. Crystal’s love for the Ranch came at no surprise, her talents of photography and marketing soon made her a part of the Avalon family. Crystal’s presence on the ranch is easily found, wether teaching grooming techniques or snapping pictures. She always makes herself available wether prepping mares to breed or welcoming every new foal into the world. Avalon Appaloosas is very thankful to have her as a part of our team.
Join Our Team
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