Kith and Kin (Hoof Beats Magazine)

David Meirs III was watching his 4-year-old granddaughter, Harper, play with a toy horse one recent afternoon when the child turned the model on its back and began examining the feet.

“What’s the problem?” he asked.

“My pony’s lame,” Harper replied matter-of-factly.

Meirs laughed. Fortunately, Harper’s skills as a farrier remedied the situation.

Such is life at the Meirs’ home at Concord Stud Farm in central New Jersey, where horses—real and otherwise—abound. David and his wife, Robin, live on the 249-acre property and operate Concord Stud Farm with their oldest daughter, Julie, and occasional assistance from three other daughters and six grandchildren, ranging in age from 4 to 18. There is a seventh grandchild, who is 3 months old.

The grandchildren are knowledgeable about the business of the farm, from breeding and foaling mares to prepping yearlings for auction. David enjoys nothing more than watching the grandchildren join Robin for the birth of a foal, their eyes growing wide in wonder. The grandchildren also can be found engaged in equine activities, such as riding, and enjoy mimicking the work they see at the farm.

“They like being here and seeing what’s going on,” David said.

“They do. They love being here,” Robin said. “I think it’s wonderful to have the family all here and involved. They need to be included because it’s part of their heritage. Farming is who we are and we can’t afford to lose it.

“It’s been really good for Concord as it grows.”

David and Robin started Concord Stud Farm in 2003. The operation has expanded since then to include an additional 136 acres in central New Jersey and 148 acres in south central Pennsylvania. All totaled, Concord Stud Farm is home to more than 100 mares and raises foals that will either go to public auction at the Standardbred Horse Sale each November or go directly into training for private clients.

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