HorseMagazine: Do We Still Need Thoroughbred Blood?

“Celle’s State Stud Manager Dr Axel Brockmann raves about his young stallion Doom Pur by Doom SR/Aktion Pur DB Z, …: ‘He is super light, agile, fast in his reflexes and can be used like a blood horse.’ Yet he doesn‘t have a Thoroughbred in the first generations.”
Photo: Foto Beelitz

A debate has been gathering steam in European breeding over the past couple of decades, on the topic Do we still need Thoroughbred blood?

Christopher Hector, Australian publisher of The Horse Magazine, just published an article by Dr. Ludwig Christmann, recently retired from the Hanoverian Verband, that goes into a lot of depth on the topic.

“At present, the main complaint in sport horse breeding is that the number of mares bred to Thoroughbred stallions continues to decline. At the beginning of March in Verden, at an open round-table discussion on the issue of breeding event horses, Ulrich Hahne, breeding director of the Hannoveraner Verband, shared that, in 2021, only 39 foals by Thoroughbred stallions were registered for the Hannoveraner Verband.

This raises the question: Is this a real problem with regard to the quality of our horses or is the use of Thoroughbred stallions actually no longer necessary?”

—Dr. Christmann

The article traces the historical use of Thoroughbred blood in developing the modern German breeds. In 1839, for example, six out of the nine stallions at Celle‘s stud Otersen were Thoroughbreds, and they covered 80% of the mares. But “the use of Thoroughbred stallions decreased from 11.8 per cent to 3.3 percent in the period from 1992 to 2006.”

But a refining sire doesn’t necessarily need Thoroughbred blood in the near generations.

“Arnaud Evain describes the situation in France: ‘Today there are sport horses that do not have a Thoroughbred ancestor in the first three generations, but they still have a lot of blood.’ In most stallions and mares, some Thoroughbred percentage is anchored in the back of the pedigrees and many positive characteristics of the blood horse have been preserved.

“So there are definitely Hannoveraner, Holstein and Oldenburg stallions as well as stallions from other Warmblood populations that can be used as refining sires.”

The article also looks at the percentage of Thoroughbred blood in the top 100 horses in the FEI World Rankings in both dressage and showjumping – interestingly, not as much as you might think.

The full article is definitely worth a read if you are interested in Thoroughbreds, track international breeding trends, wonder about the use of Thoroughbreds in your own program, or are interested in the historical development of the warmblood breeds.

Click here to read.

HorsesDaily: Marydell Farm – A Tale of Fate, Love and Horses, American Style

Wendell and Maryanna Haymon of Marydell Farm. Wendell passed away in 2020.
Photo © Sharon Packer, used with permission of HorsesDaily.com.

The breeding program of Maryanna and Dr. Wendell Haymon at Marydell Farm has been posting excellent results for years. The most recent international success came when a mare they bred, Serenade MF (Sir Donnerhall I/ EM Duet MF, owned and ridden by Alice Tarjan), was a key contributor to the success of Team USA at the 2022 FEI World Championships for Dressage, Herning, Denmark.

In a new article on HorsesDaily.com, Maryanna talks about her breeding program, what it was like to travel to Europe to cheer on Serenade MF and the Team in person, the importance of the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships in discovering talent in young dressage horses, her pride in American breeders, and more.

“I was asked more than once if I had more like her at home.”

—Maryanna Haymon at the 2022 FEI World Championships for Dressage

“I strongly believe there are many top quality horses that are American-bred that will not begin to develop to their ability because there is such a prejudice against them by the buyers. There is a good deal of pride by buyers in saying their horse is an import. I wish more people would look at USA-bred horses with an open eye.”

—Maryanna Haymon, Marydell Farm

Click here to read the full article on HorsesDaily.com.

theHorse: What Medications are Safe for Mares

A new article on theHorse.com looks at the challenges you face if your pregnant mare needs medication – is it safe or not? How much is known about the effects of drugs on pregnant mares?

Pregnancy changes everything. Physiologic changes in the mare during pregnancy are enormous, but little published information about them exists.

“There is much we don’t know about drug safety in pregnant mares. Safety studies are usually done in geldings rather than pregnant mares, and we can’t always extrapolate. Mainly all we have is anecdotal use that suggests the majority of commonly used drugs are relatively safe for use in pregnant mares.”

—Margo Macpherson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, professor of large animal reproduction at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Gainesville

The article includes a chart of drug categories and what we know, and continues with a rundown of each drug type with its risk factors.

Find out what we know and how to make decisions about drugs for your mare. Click here to read more on theHorse.com.

Photo: 10marek.n, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Not Dead Yet, Part Two

by Scot Tolman

Scot Tolman Thoughts on Breeding

First, thanks so much to all of you who reached out to me after reading Part One of “Not Dead Yet.” It means a lot to me. Hearing your stories and feeling the love of people from around the world was really heartening. Although I steadfastly believe most of us have more shared experience than disparate, it’s easy to feel isolated as a breeder in North America. I’m happy to be a small part of creating some of the conversations and sharing some of those experiences that bring us all together. It seems the last two years of Covid—no keurings and limited inspections, owners-only events, no in-person annual gatherings—have exacerbated our breeder-isolation predicament. On the positive side of learning to live with Covid, we’re all much more adept at Zoom and FaceTime, so maybe a monthly “cocktails and conversation” format could work. Anything that involves cocktails has to be at least tolerable, right? It would be great to have some real-time conversations about the breeding season and how it’s going for people.

Scot and Floris

Second, I promised I’d keep Part Two more in keeping with my normal writing tone, and I’ll do my best. It’s not going to be easy, however. A large man in his early 60s shopping for a riding horse/school master for himself in the Netherlands isn’t as idyllic or gratifying as one may think. I’ve taken many riders and breeders horse shopping in Europe over the years. I’ve done a fair amount of horse shopping myself, as my growing board bill from Stal 83 can attest. I have never in all these years actually sat on a horse on foreign soil, let alone gone with the intention of looking for a horse to sit on on a regular basis. So, although I can find humor in the whole situation, there were a number of insecurities rearing their judgmental heads and releasing the proverbial butterflies.

On this particular trip, my insecurities already simmering, we met a very dear friend for lunch on one of the first days. I love her. I love spending time with her. But, I truly hated her for about three minutes and twenty seconds. Warm greeting. Hugs. The traditional three kisses. Then, “Have you been riding?”

She held me at arm’s length and looked up and down my body.

“I think not.”

In my head, I desperately tried to piece together, “you look so much older than the last time I saw you” in Dutch (which isn’t even true–she looks fantastic), but my internal Google Translate failed me. I settled for hoping she would momentarily choke, slightly, on her mustard soup. This was the moment I adopted the Fight Club motto for my buying trip. “The first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Hence, the first rule of Scot’s buying trip for his personal riding horse: “You do not talk about Scot’s buying trip for his personal riding horse”…unless absolutely necessary because you want to sit on the horse. At that point, rather than have the confused Dutch person wondering why this large man is expecting a pony ride, I, indeed, would have to divulge the real reason for looking at their horse.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m becoming a fairly body-positive kind of person. It’s been a struggle, and only taken about 62 years, but it’s true. I’d like to lose some weight and I get self conscious because of it, but I’m in the gym five or six days a week. I work with a personal trainer once a week. I’m fit and strong with a lot of muscle on my body. However, stand me next to Edward Gal, and one of us looks like a retired offensive lineman for a sub-par professional football team and one of us looks as if horses are begging him to wrap his skinny legs around their girths and passage off into the sunset. So, yes, when a seller hears someone wants to come look at his or her PSG horse as a personal riding horse, I’m imagining that he or she is expecting an Edward Gal prototype showing up at the mounting block, and not number 72 from the Senior’s League O line. When in reality, they’re probably thinking, “Now, how much am I supposed to raise the price for an American?”

One of my biggest quandaries internally before, during, and after this trip didn’t/doesn’t involve my physical insecurities, however. It involves my breeding goals. I have spent the last 30-plus years methodically and persistently building a program that produces top dressage athletes, modern horses that are refined, athletic, and with enough chutzpah to have the energy to excel at upper level sport. “Chutzpah”, “refined”, and “athletic” were not the goal in this purchase. At all.

I have a few strict rules when considering a horse for myself: One, the horse has to have an ass bigger than mine; two, I don’t bounce so well anymore, so shorter is better; and, three, any “chutzpah” better be in looking for treats and not in an overly responsive reaction to my leg. In short, whatever horse I purchased probably wasn’t going to have much resemblance to the constantly modernizing ideal I’ve maintained in my head as a breeding goal over the last three decades.

I’m here to admit readily that I’m a horse snob. Any horse in our barn has to have the look and the movement to continue to take our breeding program to higher and higher levels. Before deciding to go to the Netherlands to buy my riding horse, I looked at a number of horses in North America. Quarter Horses, heavier type Warmbloods, drafts and draft crosses. Every time I narrowed it down and thought positively enough about the horse to show it to Carol, she said,

“You’re not going to be happy. Not your type.”

So, yeah, now I’m the 62-year old offensive lineman and horse snob looking for a horse that has an ass bigger than mine, isn’t too tall, has enough chutzpah but not too much chutzpah, and has a type close enough to my ideal that I’m going to be happy riding him and seeing him or her in the paddock when I look out the kitchen window with my morning decaf. To put it bluntly, I wasn’t expecting to come home with a horse. But, I did.

Enter Floris. Whom I’ll get to in a minute. Let’s go shopping first.

Due to the parameters of what I was looking for, I had set up appointments to see a number of Gelders horses on this trip. If you’re not familiar with the KWPN system, there are four breeding directions: Jumpers, Dressage Horses, Harness Horses, and Gelders. The KWPN North America also has a Hunter direction. If you’re not familiar with the Gelders horse, it’s one of the two original Dutch breeds, primarily used for agricultural purposes, that are the base of the modern Dutch Warmblood. Initially, an individual horse had to have a certain percentage of Gelders blood to be eligible for this breeding direction. Now, the selection for the Gelders direction is based more on type, so often you’ll see a lot of heavier German blood in the pedigrees of these horses. To quote KWPN inspector Wim Versteeg, “Dressage or show jumping horse breeding is really about breeding a horse for the highest level. With the Gelderlander horses, the emphasis is on completely different things. There we are looking for a versatile horse with the character to ride, jump or drive; a horse to ride in the forest and that is suitable for the whole family. That requires a different approach.” This isn’t to say that Gelders horses aren’t capable of the highest level of sport; there have been many Gelders and part Gelders horses successful at the upper levels. It’s just saying that focus is on temperament, versatility, rideability, and more of a classic type.Given that I’m five years away from being eligible for full Social Security, my riding goals, and my three primary requirements in buying a horse for myself, I think you can understand why I focused my search on the Gelders Horse.

The population of Gelders horses is significantly smaller than dressage, jumping, and, even, harness horses, however. There are fewer breeders. As a matter of fact, often, most of the audience at the annual KWPN Stallion Show will go out for a coffee or smoke break during the presentation of the Gelders horses. They’re just not that popular because the perception is, correctly or incorrectly, that they are old fashioned and a step, if not multiple steps, backwards in breeding modern sporthorses. And, honestly, as much as I like them, that has been my perception, as well. Nonetheless, I know these horses, I know what they are bred for, and I decided this was the breeding direction that most fit my riding needs and goals. So, I held my preconceived notions and prejudices in check and began my search.

The first horse I looked at was a large, grey, lower-level school master. I love greys. His hind end connection and slight unevenness in the use of his hind legs negated him for me. The second was a HUGE, young stallion. This guy has talent, a great brain, and size enough for me and a couple of buddies from the offensive line to ride at the same time. The price was way too high for my budget, however. Next, I looked at a super fancy young mare who had done really well in the National Mare Show/Gelders division. Beautiful mare. If I had been looking for a mare to add to my program, I would have bought her without much hesitation, but, as a riding horse, she was a little too small and a little too green. The next stop was at the farm of one of the top Gelders breeders in the Netherlands, the Hekkerts. It is nearly impossible to go wrong buying a horse from this program. The Hekkerts are the breeders of the KWPN-approved stallion, Henkie, Adelinde Cornelissen’s up-and-coming super star and the first Gelders stallion to ever be also approved by Oldenburg. I’ve purchased a stallion prospect two years in a row from them. But, the horses they had available as riding horses were mares that hadn’t been under saddle for a number of years. Given that I wanted to begin riding sooner rather than later, it didn’t make sense to me to buy a broodmare, have her restarted, then import her. Next, there was another young stallion that was really cool, but, again, too green for me. Then, we looked at a great horse that was too broke–I would have been bored after the first week with him. I was pretty convinced that I wasn’t going to find what I wanted.

Throughout my planning and actual shopping on this trip, I was communicating with Gelders aficionado Liz van Woerden. If you don’t know Liz, she’s a Dutch native who temporarily resettled with her husband and family to Arizona. Liz is a Gelders devoteé. She has studied them, written about them, networked both here and in the Netherlands with Gelders breeders, and been a source of incredible positive energy and enthusiasm in promoting this breeding direction. When I communicated my lack of success to her, Liz said,

“I think you should go look at Floris.”

To be honest, this wasn’t the first time she had made this suggestion. She’d been in the Floris camp from the moment she heard I was horse shopping. Although I had looked at a couple young stallions, “snip snip” had been in my brain when considering them. Buying an established breeding stallion for my personal riding horse was just not on my agenda. Plus, I knew Floris. I had never met him in person, but I’d seen him at the Stallion Show when he was approved, I saw him later when he came back under saddle, I had seen video footage of him and his offspring. Nice horse. A little small. Great canter. By Negro. But, not a horse I was interested in for my breeding program, so I hadn’t given him much consideration. Plus, he had been for sale for a while and hadn’t sold. That was a red flag for me. Confirmed PSG, KWPN approved, some top offspring. Only 12 years old. Why hadn’t anyone snapped him up? Must be something going on. Well, guess what? There wasn’t anything going on.

Mostly to appease Liz, I made the appointment to see him. Again, I had no intention of buying him, so I didn’t pack my breeches or helmet in the trunk of the rental car. Basically, I just showed up to be polite, since Liz had been speaking with Floris’s owner and they knew I was shopping. They had trucked Floris to a local indoor because their place was under construction. The first time I met him in person was on the van. He was just hanging out. I said hi, patted his neck, and thought, “what a good boy.” He was much more solid in person than I had expected, and he was also a bit taller than he looked on his videos and from our seats at the Stallion Show. His owner took him off the van and finished tacking him up, then we walked into the indoor. There was another horse schooling. Floris went into an “I am the King posture” and made a little noise, but that was it. Corienne, the owner, hopped on with no further walking around or lunging and began riding him. What struck me immediately was his workman-like attitude. No fuss. No resistance. Just right to work. What struck me next was the quality of his canter. It’s amazing. Uphill, balanced, adjustable. Really good canter. Corienne showed us all of the PSG movements, then my friend, and new USDF Gold Medalist, Kathi Bruce, hopped on. Floris was just as consistent and willing to work for Kathi as he had been for Corienne. Kathi stopped, and, in her very distinctive voice, said,

“I think you should get on.”

I’m not going to lie. I was as nervous as hell about the prospect of getting on this approved stallion and PSG horse in front of two upper level riders and my good friend, Margret Peters (yes, same Peters that are the breeders of Alexandro P). Plus, I knew the saddle was small enough that my testicles would be resting on the pommel. I made some excuses: No helmet, would have to ride in my jeans because I hadn’t brought my breeches, etc., etc. But, I could tell from the look on Kathi’s face I was going to be getting on this horse. So, Kathi hopped off, they led Floris to the mounting block, and I put my big toe and part of the ball of my foot into the tiny stirrup, and lifted my leg over Floris for the first time. Fortunately, my skinny jeans had enough elastic in them to accommodate a riding position and keep my testicles relatively safe. My feet, however, did not fit into the stirrups, so, (and don’t try this at home, kids) with no helmet and no stirrups, I had my first ride on Floris.

Did I mention this was the first time I had been on a horse, any horse, in well over a year? And, here I was on an upper-level stallion in front of two upper-level riders. Let’s just say I didn’t attempt to do much. But, as it turns out, I didn’t have to do much. I knew almost immediately that Floris was the horse for me. And, as far as I’m concerned, thank-the-horse-gods lucky me: A bunch of people missed the proverbial boat.

After ten minutes or so, I brought him to a halt, put my big toe back in the left stirrup, dislodged my pelvis from the confines of the three-sizes-too-small dressage saddle, and dismounted. We followed the van back to Corienne’s place. Floris, once again, announced his “Kingness” upon arrival, then went quietly into his stall. They showed us a super Floris two-year-old filly in free movement. We shook hands and said our goodbyes. A little later that day, I called back and began negotiating. Within an hour, I had my horse.

I’m trying to avoid the perception that I’m using this article as a promotional tool for my new stallion. For one, again, coming home with a breeding stallion was not my goal on this trip. Buying a horse I can trail ride, take to local non-dressage shows, use as a schoolmaster, maybe ride an upper level test on, and basically have fun with were the goals. Additionally, he is not available for breeding right now with anything but frozen semen, and, this late in the season, not many people are going to be jumping at buying a frozen-only contract. So, again, I hope you can accept that I’m describing my search for and eventual purchase of this horse in a spirit of discussion and self-reflection, not marketing.

That being said, and more to the point of this entire piece, I wonder if he will be interesting to North American breeders. I’m questioning this as a North American breeder myself, and whether or not he fits my program. As I mentioned above, I had known of Floris for many years but never considered breeding to him. He’s a fully approved stallion who had to undergo the Gelders testing, which means he was evaluated for dressage, jumping, and in harness in front of a cart. He’s a complete gentleman with very rideable gaits. He’s not huge and he’s not small. In short, he has the rideability, versatility, temperament, and size most amateur riders need and should be looking for, whether that fits their “ideal” or not. Do I need to rethink my breeding goals to be more in keeping with my personal riding goals? Or, can I do both? Breed for the type of equine athlete that takes our program to an internationally competitive level AND breed for a horse more suitable for my, and most people’s, personal riding needs? It’s a quandary. And, I don’t have an answer yet.

Floris

In short, I, like many of us, am an imperfect rider attempting to breed perfect horses. I don’t know if the perfect rider exists. I don’t know if the perfect horse exists, regardless of my never-ending quest to create it. In my heart of hearts, I know that it feels like “settling” for me to compromise my breeding goals. It’s difficult enough breeding horses with the intent of improving one or two traits in each generation without adding the component of “suitable for the imperfect rider AND international sport at the same time” to the equation. This isn’t to say that there aren’t those rare horses in existence who are capable of fulfilling this breeding goal, but they are an anomaly. One might argue that Valegro (who, as it happens, is Floris’s half brother) is one of those horses since he has been both the top dressage horse in the world and the hack mount for an eldery woman in the English countryside. I would counter this assertion with two things: One, that elderly woman was not riding him when he was a fairly difficult young horse, and, two, that elderly woman was not the one scoring over 90% on him at international Grand Prix. In any case, there’s something about a horse like Floris that has me thinking it’s time to either tweak our breeding goals or, at least, focus a couple of our breeding selections each year toward a different goal.

Mutter, mutter. Ramble, ramble. Much more in keeping with my normal writing style! LOL! Just be thankful I haven’t leaned on my penchant for emojis and GIFs in this piece. For now, I’m content with the fact that Floris is mine and seems to be a willing partner in this next chapter of my life. I’ve ridden him three times. He’s a good boy and tolerates me. He has a fancy new bridle that looks amazing on him. I caught a glimpse of us in the arena mirror today, and thought, “imperfect, but not embarrassing.” I’ve bred two mares to him and I’m thinking about a third. We’ll see how it goes. Horses have shaped my life. Specific horses have been my guides through tragedy and transitions. I am willing to be guided on this next journey, and, regardless of the questions posed in this piece, grateful to have found a partner for that journey.


Scot Tolman is the owner, with his wife Carol, of Shooting Star Farm, a family-run, Platinum Level breeding farm with the KWPN-NA. Scot, and Shooting Star Farm, have been written up in several equine publications here and in Europe. As a writer, Scot has delighted readers for years, with his own blog (Scot’s Journal on the Shooting Star Farm website) and other writings and musings. We are proud to host this bimonthly new feature, exclusive to WarmbloodBreeding.com, “Thoughts on Breeding.” His column is both humorous and thought-provoking, and takes on some of the most important issues facing North American breeders today.

Click here to read Scot’s “Not Dead Yet, Part One”

Click here for all the articles of Scot’s “Thoughts on Breeding” series.

HorsesDaily: Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF Success

HorsesDaily.com today posted an article about Alice Tarjan’s European successes with Serenade MF, who was bred in the US by Wendell and Maryanna Haymon of Marydell Farm in North Carolina. Serenade MF is not the first horse bred by the Haymons, by any stretch, but she is certainly becoming a focal point for American-bred success. She is by Sir Donnerhall II out of the Elite Mare Duet MF, who is by Marydell Farm’s stallion Don Principe.

Serenade MF is 9 years old, and described in the article as “bouncy, black and beautiful…”

Serenade MF, ridden by Alice Tarjan at the Nations Cup CHIO Rotterdam this June, competed very well, assisting Team USA to a second-place finish.

For a full report on Serenade MF, Alice Tarjan, and their future plans, click here.

Research On Equine Pregnancy

Dr. Keith Betteridge, a researcher in equine reproduction since 1959, states that 17% of equine pregnancies fail – and 70% of those happen in the first six weeks. He’s very interested in how new technologies might explain why, and help in loss prevention. 

It has gradually emerged since the 1960s that the embryo is a very active participant in pregnancy.” 

—Dr. Keith Betteridge, Researcher, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph

He talks about the two-way “conversation” between the embryo and the mare, how that happens, and why it’s essential if the embryo is to develop. 

“If the embryo is not communicating with the mare, the pregnancy won’t develop.  Understanding the two sides of the conversation between the embryo and the mare is absolutely vital to understanding how pregnancy will develop normally and how, when an embryo is lost, the pregnancy will fail.

—Dr. Keith Betteridge

The conversation happens because of RNA, and RNA sequencing is one of the recently-developed tools that will allow a much deeper understanding of the process, and why it fails.

Below is a press release from Equine Guelph that includes a video interview with Dr. Betteridge and an invitation to take Equine Guelph’s fall online course on managing breeding stock.


The value of long-term studies is well understood by researcher, Dr. Keith Betteridge who has been involved with Ontario Veterinary College equine reproduction studies since 1986. 

Since graduating as a veterinarian from Bristol University, England, in 1959, Betteridge has seen reproduction technology evolve with the introduction of ultrasound in the 1980s and, most recently, RNA sequencing which has been utilized to better understand how the equine embryo develops.  

It is amazing that samples from embryonic losses in early studies (2008) are proving useful in studies decades later (2021).  “Long-term studies gave us an opportunity to really follow those embryos,” says Betteridge.  “The ‘lemons’ from the lost pregnancies in early studies turned into lemonade as new techniques came along which we could use to further investigate those samples.”   

In a fascinating video interview Betteridge takes you on a journey through studies on equine reproduction.  He also describes how the equine embryo is truly unique with its unusual coating (called a capsule) which allows the embryo to move around in the uterus.  With ultrasound, an embryo can be detected as early as 9 days in. Betteridge explains that approximately 17% of equine pregnancies fail and 70% of those losses will occur in the first six weeks of pregnancy.  

“Pregnancy was always looked at as though the embryo was just a passenger in the uterus,” explains Betteridge.  “It has gradually emerged since the 1960’s that the embryo is a very active participant in pregnancy. If the embryo is not communicating with the mare, the pregnancy won’t develop.  Understanding the two sides of the conversation between the embryo and the mare is absolutely vital to understanding how pregnancy will develop normally and how, when an embryo is lost, the pregnancy will fail.”  

RNA sequencing has provided new methods of finding out which genes are active in the lining of the uterus at a particular time.  The ‘dialogue’ from the mare’s side has been examined and future studies will hopefully reveal the ‘conversation’ from the embryonic side.  

With continued research we are gradually building up information that will help the horse breeder reduce the number of pregnancies that are lost. 

Interested in learning more about reproduction?  

Sign up for Equine Guelph’s fall online 12-week course Management of the Broodmare, Stallion and Foal.

AHS Podcast-Young Horse Training with Michael Bragdell and Emily Miles

The May podcast of the American Hanoverian Society focuses on starting young horses, and the conversation is interesting, thought-provoking, and entertaining. It’s worth a listen!

Sole Mio at the North American Stallion Sport Test, 2018, with rider Emily Miles and owner Leslie Waterman. Photo by Allie Conrad; used with permission.

The guests of host Laura St. Claire are Michael Bragdell of Hilltop Farm in Maryland and Emily Miles of Wallywoo Farm in Kansas. Michael is well-known for his work as Training Director at Hilltop Farm, and has twice won the USEF 4-Year-Old National Championships, among many other successes; be brought Qredit Hilltop up through the levels from a yearling to a successful Grand Prix competitor. Emily is a young horse trainer known as a beautiful rider (a German judge at the North American Stallion Test called her riding, “what dressage riding should look like.”); she has won every young horse and developing horse division at the National Championships, and represented the US at the Young Horse Championships in Germany and The Netherlands.

They cover a lot of ground in 50 minutes. As well as some practical training advice, they cover such topics as the state of showing young horses today, the scarcity of young horse starters and how to interest more riders in young horse training, the joys of training young horses, the need for a strong base of US-bred horses, plus when to start a young horse and what a breeder can do to prepare for training.

“The only way we’re going to have a strong horse base here is if our breeders are supported….”

—Emily Miles

You can’t go wrong with these two – click here to listen

Pangaea by Uno Don Diego Best Young Horse at Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Devon, Pa. – June 5, 2022 – Concluding another successful year of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair was the presentation of the coveted Best Young Horse and Leading Handler awards in the historic Dixon Oval. The prestigious award for Best Young Horse was selected from the ribbon winners of the in-hand classes throughout the day. This year, it was Kimberly Sweeny’s Pangaea (Uno Don Diego x Willow by Consul) and handler 19-year-old Hailey Raach who took home the top prize. Pangaea was bred by Ruth Ann Kershaw. Both her sire (Uno Don Diego) and her maternal grandsire (Consul) stand at Iron Spring Farm, Pennsylvania.

Hailey Raach and Pangaea

Pangaea earned the Devon blue in the 2-Year-Old Pennsylvania-Bred Fillies class with handler Jay Raach, and also won the 2-Year-Old Other-Than-Thoroughbred Fillies class with Hailey as the handler earlier in the day. Pangaea was also awarded the Best Pennsylvania-Bred Horse, leaving a lasting impression on the judges to ultimately earn the Best Young Horse of the 2022 Devon Horse Show. Pangaea was also the recipient of the Kenneth Wheeler Perpetual Trophy, donated by B.J. Meeks, and the championship cooler, sponsored by Saratoga Horseworks Ltd. Reserve Best Young Horse was awarded to Susan Tice-Grossmann’s Rougemont (Ribaldi-Lady Calvert), handled by Drew Taylor.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Hailey Raach – Best Young Horse Winner

On receiving the Best Young Horse award:

“This is my first ever Best Young Horse at Devon. Normally I don’t get them, my dad Jay Raach does. I had her today and it was great. This is only her second horse show this year. It’s been a lot for her and she’s been really good today.”

On Pangaea:

“Pangaea is by Uno Don Diego, who is a very big dressage stallion. Her mother is by Consul, who is another dressage stallion, so she has no hunter in her at all. She’s supposed to be 17+ hands; she’s only two years old so it makes it special that a two-year-old won today. She’s really easy to work with, the sweetest horse in the barn, she can be a little big for her size but she’s figuring out how to grow into herself. Hopefully a big hunter career ahead of her.”

On The Devon Horse Show:

“I’ve been coming to the Devon Horse Show since I was two years old so it’s been great to come back and see everyone, watch and be able to have great horses to show. It’s been fun.”

About the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair:

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in North America. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the country fair, which offers world-class shopping, rides, games, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

Uno Don Diego

Uno Don Diego is an ideal stallion: exceptional athletic ability, wonderful temperament, and incredible genetics. As a competitive dressage horse, he won through Intermediate I. As a sire, his offspring are modern sport horses with winning records in both North America and Europe.

Don Quichot Offspring Gallery 2022

Enjoy this gallery of a few of Don Quichot’s 2022 offspring!

Gallery photos by Andras Szieberth, Andrea Hayden, Juli Warfel Bitler, Stephan Wagner.

Don Quichot (Quite Easy x Ramiro) is an International dressage stallion with world-class jumping talent and bloodlines. He stands at LotusTeam in Wellborn, Florida, and is available fresh and frozen for the 2022 breeding season.

For more, including photos of adult offspring in competition, and breeding information, click below.

Don Quichot

World Class GP dressage stallion with World Class jumper lines!