More than 40 years ago, Dick and Lollie Ames and their daughter, Lara, established Cedar Ridge Arabian Farm, from which they launched Arabian and Half-Arabian breeding programs that would catapult the farm and its horses into the spotlight. Since then, year after year, Cedar Ridge’s purebred Arabians and Half-Arabians win the most coveted titles at North America’s most prestigious national, Regional and Class “A” shows, in both halter and performance competition.
The Ames family developed the now world-renowned horse farm in Jordan, Minnesota, a small, quiet community an easy 45- minute drive from Minneapolis. As the Ames family watched generations of Cedar Ridge-bred champions validate their breeding choices and selection criteria, they became eager to show these horses they were breeding. To that end, the beautiful, eminently functional Cedar Ridge Farm grew into a full-service training and marketing facility, where they, and other Arabian aficionados, could enjoy Arabian horses. The Cedar Ridge-bred Arabians and Half-Arabians, and Cedar Ridge’s many satisfied customers, have become familiar household names. This kind of all-around success has transformed the Cedar Ridge name into an industry talisman.
All this excellence is not wizardry or magic, however. The Ames family has been breeding and exhibiting fine horses since 1874, when English immigrants John and Eliza Ames landed on American shores with their fine Percheron draft horses. Today, Dick Ames and his family carry on the family legacy. At the Jordan, Minn., farm, modern-day Ames Percherons continues to breed and trains champions for a variety of in-hand and draft performance divisions.
Their strong commitment to the Cedar Ridge Farm breeding program is complemented by Dick, Lollie, and Lara Ames’ active, hands-on support of many other facets of the Arabian horse industry. Participation in horse shows across the country, and serving on the boards and committees of numerous Arabian horse-related organizations typifies the Ames family’s public and private contributions to the breed they love. The inestimable value of their generous support of activities encouraging youth involvement with Arabians and Half-Arabians is well known and highly respected.
Lara Ames has been a fixture on the Arabian horse scene since early childhood. Her blonde hair and masterful horsemanship are instantly identifiable at major horse shows from coast to coast. Her friendliness and easy laughter give no hint of her iron resolve and tireless quest for excellence. She, like her father and mother, never settles for anything less than the best. The youngest Ames is famous for tackling several projects simultaneously and, like the guy juggling plates on pool cues, she manages to keep aloft her projects and dreams in every aspect of her life. She has the rare ability to involve herself simultaneously in more than one project, always with excellence in her objective.
As Arabian Horse Times publisher for the last two years, Lara has become an even more central figure in the Arabian horse community. She is a forward-thinking, caring employer who takes care of business, and of her employees. Her energy, hard work and dedication reflect her profound commitment to the Arabian horse and to all that surrounds and supports him. She serves on show committees, gives generously of her time and talents to Arabian horse-related organizations, and participates in numerous projects devoted to the breed she loves. As an exhibitor, she continues to earn national show ring awards. In February of 2008, the Ames family was awarded the APAHA’s “Breeder of the Year” award for the Cedar Ridge-bred horses’ enviable record. The Ames family’s many personal achievements and their generous contributions to the world of the Arabian horse have earned them their fellow Arabian horse lovers’ highest esteem. Longstanding dedication to the sustainable betterment of all aspects of the Arabian business has given this family a uniquely honored place in the annals of the Arabian horse.