Although the expansive main facility is located in Kentucky, Kohler Stables began on a much smaller scale in Kohler, Wisconsin. Looking for a family hobby, the farms founder, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., became interested in the Morgan breed. In 1970, Kohler purchased his first Morgan, a young stallion by the name of Vigilmarch at the Vals Dispersal Sale in Kentucky. Vigilmarchs success in the breeding shed quickly became apparent and what initially began as a hobby for Kohler and his family soon became a business and the start of a Morgan dynasty.
With Vigilmarch as the cornerstone of the Kohler breeding program and the promotion of Thomas L. Caisse in 1977 to farm manager/trainer, the HVK prefix soon became a presence in the Morgan industry. With the goal of producing the ultimate Morgan Show Horse, The Kohler/Caisse team began selectively breeding Vigilmarch to the best mares the farm could acquire. By carefully studying bloodlines and cross-referencing them with show-ring performance records, they began to see results within a relatively short period of time. During the 1980s, it became a familiar sight for Morgan fans to watch Vigilmarch sons and daughters in the winners circle at Oklahoma in both the performance and in-hand divisions. Horses such as HVK Fieldmarch, HVK Twilight Vigil, HVK HotSpur, HVK Viceroy and HVK Cimarron are just a few of the Kohler champions produced during this period. (See Kohler Champions Photo Gallery)
In 1985, Kohler once again returned to Kentucky to search for a second stallion to add to the breeding program. Accompanied by Caisse, the pair paid a visit to Bob & Judy Whitney. This time they brought home a weanling stud colt by the name of Noble Flaire. Caisse began showing the colt as a yearling in 1986. By the time he retired from the show ring in 1991, Noble Flaire had earned an unprecedented three Park Harness World Championships, as well as numerous other World and National Championships in the Park Harness and In-Hand divisions.
Noble Flaires enormous impact on the Morgan Horse industry continued well beyond his retirement from the show ring. His World Champion offspring such as HVK Bell Flaire, Nostradamus, HVK Courageous Flaire, and HVK Vibrance have re-kindled the Park Harness and Park Saddle divisions with their tremendous talent, confirmation and show ring presence. And, these first generation Noble Flaire sons and daughters are continuing his legacy by producing their own World and National Champion progeny. (See Kohler Champions Photo Gallery)
With Noble Flaire as the benchmark of Kohlers current breeding program, the Kohler/Caisse team continues to work with the same creativity, determination and energy that first earned Kohler Stables its place in Morgan history. Every mare that is bred by a Kohler stud is part of a larger plan and they continue to work passionately at the production and promotion of one of Americas finest breeds The Morgan Horse.