Skip and Jean Skipper
When Skip and Jean Skipper retired, things fell into place for the couple to pursue Jean’s lifelong love of horses, and their joint venture has given them a new career together. Careers in publishing around the country (he in photojournalism and newspaper management, she as a graphic artist) had kept them busy until retirement, when they found themselves ready for a new challenge. After settling in Virginia’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Skip and Jean reconnected with long-time friends Mark and Deb Burke, who own Arabians Ltd. Satellite Farm Amethyst Acres. Jean was excited about the possibility of owning horses for the first time and purchased two miniature horses from Mark and Deb in 2006. It wasn’t long before these little animals gave Skip and Jean the confidence that they might be able to expand their farm to make a business out of Jean’s deep love for horses.
Jean and Skip attended a Newcomers Conference at Amethyst Acres to learn more about breeding Egyptian Arabians, and that day started them on a journey that led to the purchase of their first filly in 2007, the 2-year-old chestnut Mia Moniet RCA (Thee Infidel x Minstrils Moniet)! Skip shares, “Starting the business was great! It opened a new door on our life that we could walk through together. After forty-three years of marriage and separate demanding careers that resulted in several moves to different states, we had a common goal that brought everything together – the challenge of running a business based on something you love (horses). The fact that we didn’t know very much about breeding horses wasn’t a problem – we knew Mark and Deb and had great confidence in the support and guidance we would receive from Arabians Limited. We had met Jim and Judy Sirbasku, Shawn Crews and other friendly, knowledgeable people from ALTD and felt they were there if we ever needed them.”
Amethyst Acres’ Deb Burke shares, “Skip and Jean are not only great clients, but also great friends. They share a passion for their horses AND have a solid understanding of the business behind them. They are dedicated to helping make Amethyst Acres and Arabians Ltd. successful because they realize that will help make their business, Hidden Acres Arabians, successful as well.
Skip uses his background in photography to provide great photo memories of all of our events, and Jean uses her creative arts background to create documentary-type music videos. And whatever the event, they are the first to volunteer to help us out, whether it means putting up fences or manning a trade show booth. We are blessed to have Skip and Jean in our lives and are delighted to be sharing their dream of owning horses!”
As the Skippers’ business has grown, so has their need for additional space. In 2011, they installed a specially designed 4-stall barn on their property to handle their growing herd!
Always inquisitive and taking a solid, logical approach to their involvement with horses, Skip and Jean have gathered as much information as they can and have a goal of breeding high-quality straight Egyptian Arabians just like Judy Sirbasku. They love that their operation combines two of the things they so enjoy–business and horses.
In early 2010, Skip and Jean revisited their “one mare” business plan, updating it to reflect their desire to increase future numbers of foals and incorporate diverse bloodlines. They chose a wonderful Mishaal HP filly, Shahsria Moon (x Bint Bint Shahsria) as their second broodmare, and she is expecting a 2012 foal by Thee Desperado!