Some of Keri’s earliest recollections place him in the saddle with his mother on her mare named Saudi. With his father riding the more spirited Rock-N-Roll they would go for rides along the old stage coach trails of the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains just south of the city of Ogden, Utah. Reading didn’t come easy for Keri when he was a child, but he retained everything he read, and so it was that the Arabian horse came to life for him when at night he would frequently fall asleep having read from one of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series, but his favorite was the fictional biography of the Godolphin Arabian as brought to life by the celebrated author, Marguerite Henry. When he was just 11 years old, he attended the now famous Gleannloch Sale of Champions on May 18, 1968 which officially marked the family’s entry into the world of Arabian horses. The family owned, bred and showed many Arabians over the course of the next several decades, including their herd sire, Mohssen (*Ansata Ibn Halima x *Bint Mona), a champion stallion and Canadian National Top Ten stallion in 1972 as well as several well-known mares: *Bint Nefisaa, *Hekmat, *Salomy, *Omayma, *Sammara, Nourah, Nama, Katourah and many others. Circumstances arose that would take Keri and his family away from the farm and from the horses for a time, but those formative years left an indelible impression upon his heart that would eventually bring him full circle. He and his wife, Carolee, now have a very small breeding operation located in Sandy, Utah, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. In addition to their involvement with the horses, they are the parents of five children: Ethnie, Valree, Jessica, Cort, and Kristianna. They also have 16 grandchildren who fill their lives with great joy.
Carolee’s upbringing did not include any involvement with horses, but it was through the horses that she and Keri met. She was raised in the city and because of her father’s position with the old Mountain Bell (now Qwest Corporation), they moved frequently during her childhood: from Utah to Colorado to Idaho and then back to Utah where she attended Brigham Young University. Keri and his younger sister, Melanie, had shown horses with another Utah native, Judy Bonham. Melanie and Judy ended up rooming together at college and maintained their friendship over the years. Judy later married Carolee’s brother, Reed. Melanie and Judy decided it would be a good idea if Keri & Carolee met. They were later introduced and the rest, as they say, is history. Carolee’s love for the horses was an acquired thing, more through watching the impact they had had in her husband’s life, and perhaps especially how some of the children, and now grandchildren, have taken to them so naturally. She has been amazed at the many things she has learned about herself as she has developed close relationships with the mares of Cariswood. Then there’s the people side of things. Her love of people and her capacity to easily make friends has made it possible to form wonderful friendships with people from all over the world. Each time that she and Keri have had to travel for shows, breeders’ conferences, open houses, farm tours, seminars and other horse-related activities, she has been able to make new friends and continue to strengthen the relationships with existing friends. The Egyptian Arabian Horse has opened many doors in this regard and has provided another dimension of joy and meaning in her and Keri’s lives.