A Fincastle-based farm’s breeding program has been in the national spotlight. Wiloma Plantation was nominated for the 2018 Breeder of the Year award by the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association.
“We think we have a breeding program that will keep getting better,” David Bandy told the Fincastle Herald recently.
The Bandys have been breeding horses for more than 40 years. The farm normally has three stallions and about 15 to 20 mares. Each year, they raise between five to eight foals. Besides Arabians, the farm also breeds Hackneys and Saddlebreds and outcrosses.
Recently, several of the Bandys’ horses have seen success at shows. The horses include: WP Corporate Image, WP Imperator Furiosa, WP Gold Boom, WP Corporate America, and WP Fashionista.
According to the Wiloma Plantation website, their breeding program “is based on a careful blending of Crabbet and Polish Arabians to produce maximum motion at the trot along with extreme length of neck combined with flexion at the poll. In addition, Hackney horse bloodlines through the Halstead and King horses, Hackney Pony blood through Heartland and Dun Haven lines, Dutch Harness Horses from the Ritsma Breeding Program, and Saddlebred horses whose bloodlines trace back to Wing Commander, Sultan’s Santana, and Oman’s Desdemona Denmark are being bred as purebreds, as well as being outcrossed on the Arabian horses. Utilizing these three programs will produce a blend of the best attributes of each breed resulting in the ultimate Half Arabian, as well as great purebred individuals in each breed.”
David and Cindy Bandy bought Wiloma Plantation in 1987. The farm of 130 acres features an 1842 house that is on both the Virginia and National Historic Registry.
David Bandy, a graduate of Virginia Tech, is president of Spectrum Designs, which offers offering full-service architecture and engineering and is based in Roanoke. He previously served as the president of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show.
Their daughter Rachel, who graduated from Hollins University, has followed in her parents footsteps and is a horse show judge and exhibitor.