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About Us....

When I began my career in training I was fourteen years old. I shoveled stalls and cooled young horses for a man by the name of O.L. Lott in Santa Rosa California. I learned most of my basic  training techniques from this gentleman, although I had ridden for all my life. I learned how to ride thoroughbreds in steeplechase races overseas. I trained my personal horse when i was twelve. I later moved on from O.L.'s ranch. He became ill and went to work for Wayne Newton in Las Vegas. I began working first with thoroughbreds then to Nicassio Valley where I worked with Bey Shaw and numerous generations of his offspring. I was predominantly involved with Stallion management and breeding. I also did all the ground breaking of the young horses. I moved out of training and horses for many years and became a CNA working in the medical fields.

In nineteen eighty-eight I met my ex husband. We bought a small, undeveloped piece of property north of Red Bluff California and I began to train horses again. We named the place Devils Gulch for the gulch behind the arena and I started training saddle horses, trail horses, and reining mules. My passion was reining and I truly
found my niche with mules. I spoke a kindred language with them and they kept my interest. Horses soon faded to the background, as I became known in the state for my mules. We began to look for a Mammoth Jack
to begin our own breeding program. My goal was to find a performance built black jack that I could train and show. I wanted the Jack to have a smooth well-muscled build and at least a medium to large flat clean bone. The west coast had very little in the market as far as larger Jack stock. Most were descendants of Black Bart and Don Modes breeding. These animals are all very pretty and athletic, but seldom reached the AMJR  standards. I was wanting bigger. We finally found Night Train in a most obscure place. He had never been shown since his second birthday. He won the Oregon State championship in his first outing. He was a Black Bart son, but he was 59" and just stunning. He was also a rebel, no discipline, no training, and mean. A prefect match was made. Train became multiple time world champion trail and performance jack. He won two different state performance championships. He won any trail and pleasure class. More than anything else though he won my heart for the Mammoth Stock breed.

We produced and trained Night Train mules for ten years, specializing in reining mules and mules to work cattle for the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding sale. Train Robber, a paint mule from a Sugar Bars mare and Night Train cross competed in the Rancho Murrieta open horse reining division when he was a two year old, he won fifth place for his first show. He was high priced mule at the Red Bluff sale the next year and went back east to be the talk of the town in North Carolina. We began to search for big black jennets at least 60" with substantial bone and pedigrees. We searched and purchased our herd over twelve states, including Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and more. We also decides to purchase a baby by E.R. Steven's jack Sid. At the time I ran into E.R. and his jacks, Sid had no offspring. I liked him and E.R.'s stock so much I purchased whatever jack colt by Sid that he had for next spring. We got Sid II. He has been the perfect cross for the more refined west coast lighter boned Mammoth.

Devils Gulch and all our stock relocated to outside of Eugene Oregon. I was asked to train a ranch of working horses and was offered a full facility and home to do this. We moved the ranch stock and kept our name. I found this area was very challenging to continue to train year round in and had become tired of working rough stock horses. I had been training now on and off for most of my life. I decided that I would continue to pursue the love of breeding Mammoths, but I  wanted to ride for pleasure. I went to school and became a Firefighter/Paramedic. I wanted to move my herd of Mammoths somewhere more suitable to their background of desert animals. The rain and mud of the Willamette valley was not conducive to their good health. I began searching for a job in any location with ten inches or less of precipitation a year. I was also looking for the perfect retirement home and final breeding facility for Night Train and our herd of jennets. Ellensburg Washington was a fit. We bought Saddle Mountain and moved with the help of the firefighters and seven stock trailers to our current location. We are in the desert and the sage and wild grasses suit our donkeys. We have nearly two hundred acres for them to roam on, and thousands of acres to ride trail. Night Train passed on but his son and daughters remain his legacy, reminding us of his grace and athleticism. I continue to train the finest of saddle mammoths and we sell breeding stock and riding mammoths. I am still firefighting/paramedic as my full time job, but every year i enjoy producing a few of the best Mammoths in the country.

Christine and Jeff McCroskey

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