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 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

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

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.

theHorse: Housing Stallions With Other Horses

Hesketh, Jerome; A Grey Stallion and an Attendant; National Trust, Lyme Park; discusses best practices for housing stallions, and new research addressing the question.

In their article “Humane Housing Options for Stallions,” they address the issues with the tradition of housing stallions alone.

“Housing stallions has, traditionally, not been very welfare-friendly,” said Silvana Popescu, PhD… “These deprivations [associated with being denied access to a social life with other horses] can have serious consequences on the horse’s mental, physical, and emotional states.”

The article continues with suggestions, from small changes to large, to safely give stallions more opportunities for social interactions.

In “Safe and Sensible Stallion Housing,” reports on studies that show how stallions can benefit from increased contact with other stallions, including increased fertility.

Can Stallions Live With Other Horses? Short podcast excerpt

Humane Housing Options for Stallions

Safe and Sensible Stallion Housing PDF

Image: Stallion Painting by Jerome Hesketh, 1647
National Trust, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons