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About Sugarbird Aussies

"Where Critters Come First"

Sugarbird Aussies is a small hobby/kennel located at Respite Thoroughbred horse and Shorthorn cattle farm in rural Bourbon County, KY, owned by husband/wife team Mike Cavey, DVM (University of Georgia) and Nancy Temple, DVM (University of Illinois). At Respite Farm, Inc., “Critters come first”. 


Respite Farm, Inc. was established in the 1980’s in Woodbine, Maryland and moved to Kentucky in 2000 to be closer to the heart of the Thoroughbred industry. Over the years we have bred and raced or sold our fair share of good horses, including undefeated Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Uncle Mo, winner of the Breeder’s Cup two year old race. In the last couple of years we started breeding and showing Shorthorn cattle (“Shorties”) and Australian Shepherds (“Aussies”). We are dedicated to breeding and raising the soundest, healthiest animals possible and are very hands on with all of our charges.


Our story with Aussies began with our first girl, “Baby”, who gave us Frankie and Gully. Both are now AKC CGC and obedience trained and Frankie is training as a therapy dog.




The Show Bug bit us in 2012 when we found a very special dog, AKC GCH/ CKC RBIS CH/ ASCA CH Ninebark Cops and Robbers “Lock” as a puppy and were fortunate to have his breeder and current co-owner Val Yates (Ninebark Aussies in Canada) entrust him to us. He is an integral part of our family and he and Nancy have worked hard together to make him a success in the show ring. He is Nancy’s first show dog and is shown exclusively by Nancy with the help and support of Laurin Howard. Lock has been joined in our home by an Aussie girl named Ninebark Lovepotion Numbernine “Kiss”. Lock and Kiss are the foundation of our breeding program.


Our four Aussies live with us on the farm and none are kept in kennels. As veterinarians, the health and welfare of our dogs and of dogs we produce is paramount. We perform extensive health and genetic testing on our dogs, including OFA for hips and elbows, yearly OFA eyes, MDR1, to name but a few tests. When it comes to health, we are firm believers in the adage: “an ounce of prevention…”. We also stress good biomechanics (movement) and temperament in our dogs as well as in our horses and cattle.


Sugarbird Aussies breeds only occasionally and selectively. As Lock matures he will be available for breeding on a limited basis. We want all animals - horses, cattle and dogs - produced by or in partnership with Respite/Sugarbird Aussies to find good homes, live happy productive lives, and be a credit to their respective breed.


We hope that when you think of our Sugarbird Aussies you will do so with a smile.

Nancy & Mike

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