Capitol I for Foundation Friday

Enjoy one of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s more popular Foundation Friday posts!  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire – one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

1975–1999
169 cm
Grey
Breeder: Harm Thörmalen

Capitol I is a real rarity in the ranks of Holsteiner stallions – a showjumping sire, whose name begins with ‘C’ who is not related to Cor de la Bryère! Nor for that matter, is he related to that other pillar of Holsteiner breeding, Landgraf…

Following the success of his progeny, Capitol moved to 2nd on the WBFSH standings in 1999, and to first place in 2000 and 2001…

According to Harm Thormälen, whose family bred Capitol:

“The Capitol horses have scope – scope and easy to handle. Amateurs can ride the Capitol horses…

We tend to think of Capitols as being big and scopey, slightly old fashioned and perhaps not the horses we need for modern sport but it would seem that they are still represented at the highest levels of the sport…


To read the entire article, with pedigree and more offspring details, on the Horse Magazine website, click here

There are several stallion descendants of Capitol I in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com:

On Math, Afghanistan, Marketing, and Dreamers

by Scot Tolman

Scot Tolman Thoughts on Breeding

Firstly, I’m delighted that Anna Goebel has asked me to be both a part of the launch of and an ongoing contributor to her new site, warmbloodbreeding.com. Strengthening the knowledge base and opportunities for breeders has been one my primary focuses over the last 30+ years of my involvement with breeding warmbloods. It’s wonderful to be part of an initiative that aims to support North American warmblood breeders. It will be good to be writing regularly again. I’m a little out of practice, so forgive me if my long, convoluted sentences get a little out of control. Three years of no longer teaching English has definitely taken a toll on the efficiency of my output and will, most likely, dictate some stylistic irregularities…

Secondly, this first column is a reaction to the recent interview with Andreas Helgstrand which first appeared on Dressage-News.com.

Let me start by saying I don’t personally know Mr. Helgstrand. Andreas, (may I call you Andreas?) if you’re reading this, we have a few mutual friends. I’m not going to name drop, but one of them has a first name that starts with an E and last name that rhymes with “achoo”. That’s neither here nor there. The point is you and I don’t know each other, but everything I hear about you from people who know you is that you’re a really nice guy and you throw a great party. From my own observations, you have an incredibly good eye for horses, you’ve built a team of the best horsemen and women in the world to support you, you, or someone you’ve hired, is a marketing genius, you’re an effective and talented rider, and, most importantly, you have vision. You see possibilities, and you find a way to make them a reality. So, yeah, there are lots of reasons for us sloths of the horse world to dislike you. Kidding, of course. I’m happy for your successes and admiring of your talents, abilities, and work ethic. Your vision, and its accompanying marketing and financial success, has impacted the global market of buying, selling, and breeding horses more than anyone or anything else I can think of over the last 30 years. Consequently, it was with great interest that I read and began to digest your recent interview with Dressage-News.com, discussing breeding in North America. Although I would like nothing better than for your success in this venture, I have a couple thoughts.

There’s a line in The Kite Runner, by Kahled Hosseini, that I’ve been trying to find so I could quote it exactly as a metaphor for one of my first reactions to this interview, but I’m not finding it, and Anna wants this column ASAP, so I’m going to try to suppress my pedantic love of exact quotations, and jump in with a paraphrase/description. The line is stated by the father,

Baba, to his best friend and business partner, Rahim Kahn, as Baba and his son, Amir, are preparing to flee Afghanistan in the middle of the night ahead of the Soviet invasion. The essence of the line is “They will leave. Everyone leaves. Afghanistan is unkind to strangers.” The political and religious factions, combined with sheer size and diverse topography of Afghanistan, have proved daunting to every “super power” that has attempted to either control this country, be it in the name of democracy and relieving oppression, or be it in the name of greed hoping to exploit its vast natural resources. Historically, these efforts, well intentioned or not, have left Afghanistan war torn and depleted, yet, in the end unconquerable.

Now, let me see if I can resurrect the tone of this piece before I have to go escape my own country in the middle of the night to avoid the wrath of the Facebook dressage-breeding forums. I’m not saying Andreas Helgstrand is going to leave North American breeding any more “war torn” or politically divided than it already is, nor am I saying he is an evil super power bent on exploiting the natural resources of our breeding population and a growing market. I don’t think he’s evil. I don’t think he plans to “exploit” anyone. I think he is a man with vision and good intentions who sees the possibilities that exist in North America for breeding sport horses on par with any country in the world. That being said, I do think he’s a super power in the dressage market, as were the Soviet Union and the USA to Afghanistan. And, although “exploit” is the wrong word, Helgstrand isn’t exactly filing for a 501c3 status. He’s interested in helping expand and improve breeding in North America because there’s money to be made. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as Jerry or George would say on Seinfeld. Where the Afghanistan metaphor most directly applies in this situation is to the sheer size and topography of North America and to the economic, political, and (I’ll use this word because of the blind fervor with which many of us approach breeding horses) “religious” divisions and philosophical factions that make up the North American sport-horse breeding world.

The USA and Canada are huge countries. When it comes to breeding horses, North America’s size is both one of its greatest assets and one of its greatest liabilities. One of the reasons people go to Europe to buy horses is the convenience of it. On a buying trip to any European country, it’s feasible to see dozens of horses in a single day or couple of days. Here, unless you’re located in Southern California or Southern Florida, you could easily have a four or five- hour drive between farms, maybe significantly longer. If Helgstrand’s base for his sales, the young horse classes he’s proposing, and the younger stallions he’s promising to North America are in Florida, well, at least the flights are typically cheaper and shorter than going to Denmark, and, if the stallions are on the continent, we would have access to fresh-cooled semen. But, there are many good breeders in North America who are going to have trouble logistically and/or financially getting their horses to Florida in the first place. OK, let me think about this issue for a bit. I’m going to say problem one is not solved yet.

Helgstrand states,

“The only problem has been that we are selling so fast in Europe now that we don’t need to bring them here. We sell enough over there. In the future as we get even more numbers then maybe we can make some good relationships with breeders over here to try to breed 50 horses a year and slowly fill up the market from this side as well.”

In Europe, Helgstrand has a network of buyers that travel around the different countries selecting young horses for him. I’m going to use the word “incredible” in the next sentence with both its meanings, “wonderful” and “unlikely”.. Wouldn’t it be incredible if Helgstrand were to develop a network of buyers in North America that travel the continent and select these 50 young horses each year for him? Again, I would like to see Helgstrand’s vision become a reality, so, please, don’t take my tone as overly negative. If anyone has the resources, visionary chops, and cajones to pull this off, it’s Andreas Helgstrand. I’m just reacting to the logistics.

So, here’s an idea. Let’s pretend Covid is completely under control and the US/Canadian border is easily permeable again. Perhaps, the Helgstrand operation sends a buyer on the inspection tour of each prominent studbook in North America. I’ve often thought this would be the most legit way of holding an online foal auction here: The foals have to be presented at inspection; the jury or a representative from the auction selects the foals for the sale; there’s a professional photographer and videographer on site for quality control of marketing material. Having a Helgstrand representative who is actively looking to buy young horses at each inspection site would definitely increase participation in the inspection process and, most likely, have an impact on increasing the number of foals produced in subsequent years. Hmm. I’m going to say this problem has a viable solution. You’re welcome, Andreas.

The math of this next excerpt from the interview isn’t adding up for me, however:

“The key, for sure, is that breeding grows and then we can start with the young horse classes and produce for top sport as well. That is not only for the richest people on Earth who can afford to buy these horses…then you can buy a horse for $20,000. Imagine that! That will be super.”

I’m going to make the assumption that he is talking about buying horses from these young horse classes, which means the horses are most likely three, four, or five year olds that have been properly prepared for these classes. To low ball this, let’s say we’re talking about horses nearing the end of their three-year-old year with four months of training. Again, low balling. This probably isn’t reality. I’ll start backwards. There will be at least one commission. Let’s say 10%.

Twenty thousand minus 10% puts us at $18,000. My guess is there will be an entry fee and normal stabling/showing expenses. Assuming the horse sells after the first young-horse class, we’re now at $17,000. A friend was driving to Florida and offered to take your horse along for the ride at cost. The horse arrived the day before the class, fresh and ready to go, and the buyer picked up all expenses immediately after your pony left the ring. $16,000. You got a fantastic deal on four months of board and training at $1500/month with a top trainer who didn’t charge you for traveling to Florida to compete the horse because he or she wanted the experience in Helgstrand’s inaugural young horse classes. $10,000. You raised the horse for three years with no vet bills, plenty of pasture, and your own hay. The horse is a really easy keeper and completely with the program, so this equine angel never broke a halter, chewed up a blanket, or trashed a gate. And, additionally, the horse only pooped in the very back corner of the stall like a well-trained cat in a litter box, so on the rare occasions you had him or her in a stall, there was literally no wasted bedding. Fifteen hundred/year x three. We’re now at $5,500. The mare who birthed this baby was also an easy keeper. She’s the one who trained your young horse to poop only in the back corner of the stall and not tread shit throughout the shavings as if the entire stall had been in a giant blender. She needed minimal vaccinations and deworming, and maintained her good condition without eating anymore while she was nursing. $3,500. Your vet is an altruist and works for the love of the horses and a need to be up every six hours for two or three days in a row because he or she has taken the repro veterinarian’s oath to get all mares pregnant on one cycle with one dose of frozen semen. $2,500. Thank god for the consistency, quality, and potency of European frozen semen. For a mere $1,800, you were able to buy a dose of the most exciting young stallion in the world, get it shipped to your vet, return the container, and pay the broker’s fee. We started at a sales price of $20,000. We’re at $700. OK, for argument’s sake, you spent one hour/day for three years actively working on something involving this horse, be it stall cleaning, feeding, teaching it to cross tie, holding it for the blacksmith, making phone calls looking for a trainer, etc. etc. If you include the five hours of foal watch, and only five, because the mare is completely predictable, we’re at 1100 hours. Rounded up, that’s .64/hour for your efforts, and that’s the low-balled, best situation, if your horse sells for $20,000.

Yeah. It would be great to buy a started young horse, of top quality, already in this country for $20K. Great for the buyer.

There is obviously some hyperbole to prove my point in the last paragraph, but the numbers are pretty much on point, if not a little low, for a best-case scenario. How often in your years of breeding and owning horses have things worked out in a “best-case scenario”? In the vast majority of scenarios, selling a started three year old for $20K is costing you money.

Alright, if you’re still with me, you’ve listened to my diatribe almost long enough. One more point/quotation to which to react:

“I think we can support that a lot because we have the best stallions in the world in dressage. Over here, they often bought an old stallion—say, 15, brought it to America to start a breeding season. These stallions are already too old. The breeding goes so fast that in Europe they breed the young ones because they are the next generation of top athletes.

“That’s why nobody looks to buy a horse in America, because of old bloodlines. We have the stallions in-house. And they also belong to the U.S. market. So we can support with young stallions here, try to help the breeders.”

So, breeding to young stallions solves all our problems in marketing and selling horses in North America. I’m sure he didn’t intend this to sound as simplistic as I’ve inferred it for my purposes, and I don’t disagree with him that it is one of the problems in North American breeding, but I don’t think it’s the only one. My reactions to this over-simplification are complex and colored by my personal experiences buying frozen semen from European stallion owners, including Helgstrand.

Who owns the most impressive collection of young stallions in the world, and who benefits most from people breeding to these stallions? That’s one of my first thoughts. My second thought is an inappropriate-for-print reaction, laced-with-profanity rant about the quality and dosing of some of the frozen semen Mr. Helgstrand is selling to North America. Just in the last breeding season, on one mare alone, I spent well over $4000 on some of this very same “young stallion” frozen semen he’s advocating in an attempt to breed one of these young horses he plans on selling for $20,000. And, I have no pregnancy. There is definite logic in breeding to young stallions to produce the future of our sport. Although, there’s also a certain logic to selecting the best stallion for your mare, and not the “flavor of the year”. Regardless, after multiple cycles of wasted frozen semen with no pregnancy, what option do I have but to use fresh cooled from an older stallion that is available to me with a live foal guarantee?

In defense of these older stallions, given the size of our breeding market, it makes no financial sense for a stallion owner to spend the money for a young, exciting stallion only for him to breed mares enough to barely cover his expenses, let alone recoup any of the purchase price. If Helgstrand and other European stallion owners are willing to either consistently sell us higher quality semen or offer a live foal guarantee with their frozen semen, then we can talk about our breeders’ decisions to use older stallions. Until then, unless he is, indeed, willing to stand a couple of these exciting younger stallions in North America, he is offering no solution to what he sees as our primary problem in breeding horses people want to buy.

Again, I don’t disagree with Helgstrand that the use of older stallions is part of the problem with breeding in North America, but it’s far from the only one. For example, access to quality training at an affordable price as part of an established system in starting and marketing horses, combined with the size of our countries, is probably a bigger reason we’re not selling horses consistently and for a good price, but that’s a topic for a different column.

Yes, I got a little bitter there. Sorry. I see a lot of horses here and in Europe. Although we’re not as consistent in producing the quality that can be found in Europe, nor do we produce the number of horses, there are horses produced here already that are on par with any in Europe. There are just not enough of them, nor enough people who know they exist.

I don’t want this column to end on a negative note. As I stated earlier, I think Andreas Helgstrand is a visionary in our industry, and, for all our sakes, I wish him only success. If he can bring his vision, enthusiasm, marketing prowess, and sales abilities to North American breeding, it will be good for all of us. Two final thoughts for you, Andreas: One, don’t over-simplify the issues facing North American breeders. Two, you could do something right now that would have a huge impact. Sell us a better product with some accountability for its quality and effectiveness.


Scot Tolman is a Dutch Warmblood breeder, philosopher, and wry humorist. We are proud to host this bimonthly new feature, exclusive to WarmbloodBreeding.com, “Thoughts on Breeding.” Scot has delighted readers for years, with his own blog and other writings and musings. His column is both humorous and thought-provoking, and takes on some of the most important issues facing North American breeders today.

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Warmblood Stallions of North America, WarmbloodBreeding.com, WSNA Ventures LLC, or their respective affiliates. The author(s)’s opinions are based upon information they consider reliable, but neither Warmblood Stallions of North America, WarmbloodBreeding.com, WSNA Ventures LLC, nor their respective affiliates warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.

Fabulous Show Season for Hanoverian Stallion Fabregas

Fabregas had a fabulous show season in 2021 with owner Meg Williams.
photo: Lisa Michelle Dean Photography

Oakwood Farms is proud to announce the impressive 2021 show season results of their 2006 Hanoverian stallion Fabregas. His season included six Grand Prix wins, and he was Grand Prix Open Champion at the USDF Region 2 Championships for 2021. This was his first year campaigning under owner Meg Williams of Oakwood Farms, and his 2nd season competing Grand Prix. 

Fabregas is the immensely charming son of the double World Champion Florencio by Floristan. His damsire is the incomparable De Niro.

As a sire, Fabregas has produced numerous champions at inspections and shows in Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, consistently passing on his correctness, typey looks, elasticity and beautiful gaits. Fabregas has two licensed sons and a number of State Premium mares. Every year his foals in the US and Canada are awarded the coveted “Gold Medal Foal” award.

Breeding to Fabregas

Please click here to learn more about Fabregas, and to contact Meg Williams about breeding your mare to Fabregas in 2022!

Casall for Foundation Friday

Enjoy one of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s more popular Foundation Friday posts!  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire – one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

1999
167 cm
Bay
Breeder: Wilfried Thomann

When Caretino died in 2011, there was already a Caretino son ready to take his place: Casall. Casall is out of a mare by Lavall I, considered the most elegant of the Landgraf sons…

Casall finished his illustrious career on home–Holstein–soil, winning the five-star Grand Prix of Hamburg and was immediately retired, having won €2,722,518. Even with his jumping career in full swing, Casall was in demand as a breeding stallion…

Casall’s breeding values are impressive, with 140 points he heads the Holstein breeding values for 2015/16…


To read the entire article, with pedigree and more offspring details, on the Horse Magazine website, click here

There are several stallion descendants of Casall in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com:

Four Offspring by Diamo Blue

Advertisement

Ryan Pedigo Farms is proud to introduce you to four offspring by Diamo Blue. Find links below to contact Ryan Pedigo Farms about breeding your mare to Diamo Blue.

PF’s DaVinci W

PF’s DaVinci W, by Diamo Blue

PF’s DaVinci W, 2017 gelding sired by Diamo Blue. Super dam line: PF’s CoverGirl W, a top-producing mare here at Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses (Sire L – Cabardino/Carpaccio/ Cor de la Bryère. Dam L – Lavina W/Lavall I). Bred by W Charlot Farms. DaVinci is an outstanding young sport horse who beams with quality, with outrageous technique, style, scope; he jumps a 10. Like sire Diamo Blue, DaVinci is the whole package with ultimate talents, a willing temperament eager to learn, super style – technique – and scope. DaVinci is going very well under tack, he is quite the perfect combination from a Hunter Derby prospect to eventually being an Amateur Owner Hunter / Amateur Derby Horse in the near future. We greatly look forward to a successful 2022 show season with DaVinci.

PF’s DaVinci W, Oldenburg gelding, sired by Diamo Blue

PF’s Dominik W

PF’s Dominik W, by Diamo Blue

PF’s Dominik W, 2018 gelding sired by Diamo Blue. Super dam line: PF’s Chicarra W, another top mare at Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses (sire line: Cabardino/Carpaccio/Cor de la Bryere. dam line: Rio’s Ravissant/Rio Grande – Kassio). Bred by W Charlot Farms. Dominik is an outstanding young sport horse, whose flaxen mane and tail, good looks, elegance are a good first impression of this youngster’s abundance of talents. Dominik showcases all the specifics one looks for in a top hunter derby prospect, from outstanding technique, style, scope, elastic movement, correctness, natural balance and adjustability, and a kind and willing temperament. Sire Diamo Blue consistently stamps his offspring with endless quality, from show-winning talents, rideability, and an outstanding solid mind. We greatly look forward to a successful 2022 show season with Dominik.

PF’s Dominik W, Oldenburg gelding, sired by Diamo Blue

PF’s Desiree W and PF’s Daliah W

PF’s Daliah W, by Diamo Blue
PF’s Desiree W, by Diamo Blue

Introducing two of our 2020 Diamo Blue fillies:

PF’s Desiree W, a 2020 filly sired by Diamo Blue, out of a super dam line: PF’s Caliana W, a top-producing mare at Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses (Sire line: Cabardino/Carpaccio/ Cor de la Bryère. Dam line: Futi’s Rafika W/Futurist – Rio Grande). PF’s Daliah W is a 2020 filly sired by Diamo Blue, out of an excellent dam line: Viva’s Angelina W (Sire line: Viva Voltaire/Voltaire/Argentinus. Dam line: Aldata/Aldatus). Each of these special fillies exhibits an unbelievable amount of promise and talents as future super stars. Sire Diamo Blue has stamped each of them uniquely; these fillies raw talents are exceptional. Both very correct, naturally balanced, their movement is elastic, they both display very tight, stylish technique, and lots of scope in their jump technique. We are very much looking forward to developing these two outstanding fillies.

PF’s Daliah W & PF’s Desiree W, coming two-year-old fillies

Diamo Blue

Diamo Blue is a 10-year-old Elite, fully-licensed Oldenburg stallion standing exclusively at Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses & Ryan Pedigo Farms, in Riverside California.

Diamo Blue has already celebrated a successful career in both the Hunter and Jumper rings, showcasing his many outstanding qualities: temperament, rideability, jumping scope, movement, correctness and class. These have elevated him to another level as a breeding stallion, in both the world of sport horse breeding and high performance stallions.

Diamo’s outstanding pedigree and extensive heritage are from some of the finest show jumping bloodlines in history. He is by Diarado by Diamant de Semilly, and out of a mare by Chacco Blue – combining two top stallions of the WBFSH/Rolex Jumping Sire Rankings for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Consider Diamo Blue for your breeding program!

Contact Ryan Pedigo Farms about breeding to Diamo Blue.

Learn more about Diamo Blue.

KER: Watching Broodmare Weight in Late Pregnancy

Kentucky Equine Research has been looking at the growing rate of obesity in horses, and have a couple of articles that address this problem.

Overweight Broodmares

One of the recent findings is that overweight in mares in late gestation is linked to several major issues – for the mare, the foal, and the breeding program. For example, the foal is predisposed to developing metabolic diseases later in life. More research is being done, but

“The data already available to us show alterations in development of foals born to overweight broodmares.”

Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., researcher

Read the full article here.

Body Weight Perceptions Among Hunter Judges

A second recent article addressing obesity is “Body Weight Perceptions of Horses by Show Judges,” that looked at Hunter judges and how the body weight of a horse being judged affected their scoring decisions. They surveyed 211 show hunter judges to find out if they could identify different weight categories from thin to obese.

“The data show that not only are judges less able to identify average—and therefore healthy—horses, but average horses incorrectly viewed as thin receive harsher penalties than overweight and obese horses.”

The perception of weight in Hunter Breeding classes was not specifically addressed, but has certainly been a cause for concern.

Read the full article here.

Photo: Guilhermegarcia90 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Orbetello, Oldenburg Stallion

Advertisement

Orbetello is a 2003, 16.2 stallion bred for performance in international show jumping at the highest level. Orbetello is the embodiment of impeccable character, intelligence and work ethic. During his Oldenburg stallion licensing in Vechta, he scored the highest free-jumping score to date, received the honor of the 1c Premium designation and placed third among all stallions. At 4, during his 70-Day Stallion Test in Munster-Handorf, Orbetello earned the exceptional overall score of 121.988 (106.63 for dressage and 131.72 for jumping). In September 2015, Orbetello was inspected and approved by the Belgian Sport Horse Studbook (SBS) and received 9.5 for jumping, rideability, walk, canter, type and forelegs. At his American Hanoverian Society inspection in August of 2021, he scored 9 for his head, neck and hindleg and 8 for conformation, typiness, frame, walk and canter: outstanding scores.

Orbetello’s sire, the BWP Ambassador Orlando, produces jumpers and breed champions. Heartbreaker, also in his sire line, is a Keur stallion and a leader on the Dutch and Belgian jumping indexes, generating numerous upper-level jumpers (including the 2006 Belgian Stallion Selection Champion Dulf Van Den Bisschop). He also sired High Level Devil Z, the record-breaking (€145,000) foal at France’s 2021 Fences Elite Foal Auction. His sire line includes Darco, voted Best Sire in the World for four consecutive years. Nimmerdor, the KWPN Sire of the Century, is also on Orbetello’s sire line.

On Orbetello’s damline, the Holsteiner mare Landkind descends from Landgraf I by Ladykiller xx, regarded as the most influential Thoroughbred stallion in German sport horse/ jumping history. He sired the famous Holsteiners Landgraf and Lord Landgraf I. Landkind’s damline traces to the Selle Francais Cor de la Bryere, known as the Reserve Stallion of the Century, second only to Landgraf I.

Orbetello proved his willing temperament and rideability excelling with international riders. With Margie Engle (USA), he earned the Winter Equestrian Festival 8-Year-Old Jumper circuit championship, then enjoyed success at 1.50-1.60m with Federico Sztyrle (ARG), Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) and Paul O’Shea (IRL).

For more information about Orbetello, please click here.

WorldOfShowjumping: Interview with Joris de Brabander

Quotations from article used with kind permission of WorldOfShowjumping.

Levis de Muze, bred by Joris Brabander, Stal de Muze
Photo copyright © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Used with permission.

Joris de Brabander, whose Stal de Muze is a powerhouse of jumper breeding, was interviewed by WorldOfShowjumping.com. He has built an incredibly successful business, starting in the 1980s, and the article is in-depth and interesting.

Mr. de Brabander talks about the effects of modern technology (embryo transfer and ICSI – intracytoplasmic sperm injection) on breeding, offering opinions based on decades of making breeding decisions. He was one of the pioneer users of embryo transfer, but feels the emphasis today is solely on the genetics, and is missing something.

“Those that buy into good genes might know the names of the horses, but the majority don’t really know their background and history.”

“Genetics are very important, but there is so much more to breeding.”

—Joris de Brabander

He discusses auctions, the importance of feel in evaluating a horse’s top qualities, and much more.

Of the breeding program he and his wife built: “The results make me happy, and the fact that we can live from something we like to do: being with horses.”

Please click here to read the full article on WorldOfShowjumping.com.

New Website for Billy Echo, LLF

Last Laugh Farm, home of Billy Echo, LLF, has announced the launch of a new website devoted to the young, up-and-coming stallion, who is currently competing in Florida. Billy Echo LLF is by Billy Mexico AES x Ballyecho xx.

“BILLY ECHO LLF is a 2016 Approved & Licensed Sporthorse stallion bred by Last Laugh Farm. Standing 17.1 hands, He has appearance, stature, intelligence, enthusiasm, courage and potency, encompassing the whole package as a stallion. He not only demonstrates amazing talent as a jumper, he also has a loving and friendly personality. He is a quality choice for breeders seeking show jumping or eventing prospects.”

We invite you to stop by, and bookmark the site, as this is a young stallion to watch!

Click here to visit BillyEchoLLF.com

The website was designed by Freestyle Graphic Design.

NA Stallion Sport Test 2021 Results

Hanoverian Ibiza sons convinced at the NA Stallion Sport Tests

by Dr. Ludwig Christmann, Hanoverian Verband

Anna Goebel for Warmblood Stallions of North America at the 2019 Stallion Sport Test.

After a one-year break due to Corona, it was a compelling necessity to offer sport tests for stallions for breeders in the USA and Canada again this year. The proven locations Pollyrich Farm in California and Hilltop Farm on the East Coast in the US state of Maryland were once again available for this purpose. Eight stallions were presented at Pollyrich Farm, five dressage and three show jumping stallions. The best result with a final score of 8.75 was achieved by the Hanoverian Ibiza/De Niro son Influencer EDI, bred by Thomas Heuer, Bienenbüttel, and purchased by Exclusive Dressage Imports at the licensing in Verden. His outstanding walk was awarded the highest score of 10.0. He was followed by Bon Coeur/ Freudenprinz son Bodo, bred by Franz-Josef Scharafin, Viersen, with a score of 8.6 from the same owner. The three other dressage stallions had KWPN papers and were by Toto Junior and twice by Bordeaux. They also achieved final scores of over 8, so this was a small but high quality dressage group. 

Of the three jumping stallions, two finished the test. The U.S.-bred Holsteiner Lakota WT by Liocalyon was presented with sovereignty, scoring a final score of 8.37. The U.S.-bred Hanoverian Escher DFEN finished the test with a final score of 6.7. He is a son of Escudo II out of the Thoroughbred mare Pleasant Tap and is owned and bred by Sarah McCarthy, California. 

At Hilltop Farm in Maryland, 21 stallions competed, twelve in dressage, eight in show jumping, plus a Haflinger was presented in the pony category. Again, the two highest scoring dressage horses had Hanoverian papers and again it was a son of Ibiza that told the highest final score of 8.75. Maximus was his name, bred by Ad Valk, Netherlands, out of the KWPN mare Goldfever by Apache. His owner is the Grand Prix successful American dressage rider Alice Tarjan. Talent, high rideability values and of course very good basic gaits, among which the canter ( score 9.5), stood out, characterize this four-year-old hopeful. The second highest rating with a final score of 8, 35 was told by the Hilltop Farm bred and exhibited Lord Leatherdale/Negro son Louisville HTF. His canter and rideability were outstanding (9.0 each). Final scores above 8.0 were told by the Oldenburg stallions Epic Eastwood by Escolar (8.25), Hanoverian mare line of Nachnahme, Marcario MW by Morricone I(8.25), East Friesian mare line of Cena, and Fellini CF by Finest (8.15), Hanoverian mare line of Goldflamme. Traveling from Canada was Don Index/Sinatra Song son De Nouveau, bred and exhibited by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who scored a final score of 7.2. 

A Hanoverian was also among the top group in the jumping stallions. This was the big-lined five-year- old Clinton I son Copernicus WF, bred in Canada by Windswept Farm in the Greater Toronto Area, which now presented him at Hilltop Farm. His dam, the elite mare Flower Song is by the For Pleasure son Federalist out of a dam by Evergreen. The highest score (9.13) went to Calisto (Coconut Macaroon), a Westphalian stallion already licensed for Hanover, who was also the highest-scoring jumper at his first sport test two years ago. The Belgian warmblood stallion Obi Wan B by Nabab de Reve/Jus de Pomme also shone with a great deal of ability, scoring a final score of 9.05. Another Canadian-bred Hanoverian stallion was the colorful chestnut Beau Balou by Bon Balou/Calypso de Moyon, bred and owned by Louise Masek, Ontario, final score 7.85. This was his second sport test, which means he has now achieved final approval. 

These two sport tests were conducted by the North American Stallion Sport Test LLC, a joint venture of the American Hanoverian Society (AHS) and the Oldenburg Verband, supported by the German Hanoverian Society. The test follows the rules of the FN Sport Test in Germany and was developed in close cooperation with Warendorf. This year there were special challenges, as it would not have been possible for the German judges to enter the country without quarantine. Therefore, an American team of judges, experts and foreign riders was deployed on site, including sporting greats such as Rudi Leone (show jumping) and Olympic rider Charlotte Brehdahl (dressage). The team was in constant contact with the two FN judges Gerd Sickinger and Matthias Granzow in Germany via live stream, video and zoom. The whole event was coordinated and organized by Natalie DiBerardinis, who is a member of the AHS board and director of Hilltop Farm.