Equine Genetics Webinar

On Saturday, February 26th at 11:00 AM EST the Education Committee of the American Hanoverian Society is hosting a webinar titled “Equine Genetics – Exploring the Heritability of Size, Temperament and Performance” with Dr. Laura Patterson Rosa, DVM, Ph.D. Our discussion will cover size (the LCORL a/k/a/ H2 gene), temperament (curious/vigilant), and performance factors like muscle type (sprint, mid-distant, endurance) and roaring (RLN). Save this link to join the webinar or you can join via telephone (415) 655-0001. The webinar is open to members of AHS and non-members.

5 Ways to Stallion Shop on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com

WarmbloodStallionsNA.com is dedicated to presenting North American stallions to breeders. Our website makes it easy to shop for stallions! And we have over 130 listed, so you’re sure to find a match for your mare.

Here are 5 ways to find the stallion of your dreams:

Happy Shopping!

Murder Hollow Breeding Season News

Advertisement, Murder Hollow press release

Pax Asgard af Pegasus and a few of his offspring

News Release from Murder Hollow, Early Spring 2022

We are excited to offer both of our Knabstrupper stallions to outside mares for the 2022 breeding season. 

Pax has a busy season and will remain in full time training and showing – as a result, we are unable to accommodate last minute mare additions and last minute semen requests. Please contact ASAP if you wish to book breedings for the 2022 season.

Pax is quickly becoming one of the most prolific sires of high quality Knabstrupper offspring in North America. Pax is incredibly versatile. Standing at 16.3 hands, he is ridden under saddle in dressage as well as driven in harness. Pax has recently begun jumping and is proving to have wonderful form and easily clears 1.20m.

In 2021, Pax competed in the Get of Sire class at the world-renowned Dressage at Devon earning a Bronze with a collective mark of 77.15 points to finish behind serial winner KWPN sire Sir Sinclair and the 7-year-old Oldenburg stallion Davos CF and beating out several traditional Warmblood stallions. This was a huge accomplishment for a rare breed and non-traditional Warmblood. You can read the Eurodressage article on his accomplishment here.

We are universally hearing praise from breeders on the outstanding type and temperament of their Pax offspring. Pax has produced several Premium foals in his first year of breeding to outside mares. He has consistently produced correct and quality type with lovely gaits and long legs.

Pax is unique to the North American Knabstrupper breeding pool. Pax is a homozygous fewspot, meaning Pax is homozygous for LP and PATN1 (LP/LP, PATN1/PATN1). Pax offers mare owners the unique ability to genetically produce leopard offspring when bred to a solid-colored mare.

You can find his breeding contract and additional information on our website: https://www.murderhollow.com/paxasgardafpegasus

You can learn more about our stallions on our website:
https://www.murderhollow.com/knabstrupperstallions

You can also learn more about Pax Asgard af Pegasus on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com.


New and Improved Website

Our Murder Hollow website has been redesigned to include much more detailed information about our breeding program, our stallions & our mares. 

We welcome you to explore the site and give us feedback – we hope to continue to improve the website and provide as much detail to both mare owners and prospective foal owners. 

Foals in utero and Mares for Sale

Murder Hollow has a number of expected 2022 foals that are available in utero, as well as two mares (one Oldenburg and one Holsteiner).

Please visit the Murder Hollow website for details.

Pax Asgard af Pegasus

Pegasus Vom Niehaus-Hof x Ambrosius af Asgard

GUARANTEED LEOPARD PRODUCER – 16.3h Knabstrupper Stallion

First Question:  Ask Me If I Have to Pee

Scot Tolman Thoughts on Breeding

One of the benefits of enduring/surviving/doggedly persisting as long as I have in the horse-breeding business is people new to breeding often see my longevity and modicum of success as something from which to garner some insight. I use “benefits” because I love talking horses, so I’m almost always happy to chat about breeding and the horse business. I use “almost always” because…well, there have been times when I’ve been sitting in my Subaru outside the post office while on my morning errands, for over an hour, eyes glazed over, listening to a voice over my car speakers put me into so much of an hypnotic daze that I nearly have to set a timer on my phone to remind myself at least to grunt or try to squeeze in an “uh-huh” occasionally to be polite. Additionally, by then, after my morning large decaf and 24 ounces of water, I also have to pee. Hard to focus when you have to pee. These are the only times when I don’t see these calls as “benefits”: when I have to pee and when you haven’t really called for a conversation, but, rather, needed a living, breathing body on the other end of the line to listen to you. And, honestly, if I don’t have to pee too badly, I will listen for a long, long time and be cool with it.

So, in this column, I’m going to attempt to do two things: One, give you some advice about how to prepare for calling someone from whom you want advice or simply a conversation about breeding horses. And, two, present an FAQ section of the conversations I frequently have. 

When I first started breeding, back in the days before the blessing/curse of the internet existed in more than some government basements and a few computer geeks’ Dorito-crumbed bedrooms with sticky Mountain Dew stains in the carpet, I researched breeding programs in Holland by looking at the names of the breeders on registration papers, in In de Strengen, and in sport and auction results. Then, I’d sleuth out some poor, unsuspecting Dutch farmer’s phone number, and call them, hoping they spoke English. Only once did I miscalculate the time difference and get somebody out of bed…only once. It was one of my shorter conversations, consisting primarily of my profuse apologies once I realized my mistake. Unfortunately, I had gone through my introduction with my name and farm name before I realized this grumpy Dutchman was, indeed, groggy, and not grumpy. Again, that only happened once. Now, given the advent of the internet and social media, we have access to top breeders worldwide with the pressings of a few keystrokes, and it doesn’t matter what time of day you send the message, because they’ll see it when they see it. So, that’s really the first step, make contact via social media, email, or text before you call. If you’re contacting someone in Europe, WhatsApp is usually the way to go. 

Whether it’s in your original message or initial phone conversation, keep your introduction brief. If the conversation goes well, there will be plenty of time to tell them all about chubby, eight-year-old you on your rescue pony who lay down and rolled every time you tried to canter. Name. One sentence description of who you are. One sentence explanation of why you want to speak with them. Some expression of appreciation for their taking the time to speak with you. Move on to your plan. 

Did I say plan? I did say plan. It’s worth repeating. Plan. LOL! 

I’m not trying to be overly flippant here. If my sense of humor feels at all accusatory or mean, please, don’t take it that way. Finding a mentor and regularly speaking with experts in the field is really key to improving your knowledge base and, consequently, your program. So, before you sit down to make a few planning notes for the conversation you’d like to have, have a conversation with yourself, and make a couple notes about your own program. To begin with, first, try to identify the biggest strength and the biggest weakness. If I take a minute to be metacognitive about my program and my own thought processes around breeding and my goals for my program, I’d say the biggest strength is probably the overall quality of our mares. None of our mares is perfect, but they are all outstanding individuals and out of top, top marelines. The biggest weakness is the lack of availability of stallions to improve them. In Holland or Germany, there are literally dozens of stallions to whom I would be excited about breeding. For my mares in North America, regardless of how objectively honest and critical I am about the weaknesses of my mares, my options are really limited in finding the stallions to improve those weaknesses. Second, write a goal statement. What do you want your program to become? What are the characteristics of the “ideal” horse you are trying to breed? For now, leave both your potential market and the methods of reaching that market out of the equation. The horse market is way too fickle to count on. If all you want to do is sell a foal, then breeding for the market is fine. No judgement from me. If you want to build a program, however, you need to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish. That goal can change or be adjusted, but you have to have an overarching goal to guide your decision-making process. My goal is to breed a naturally balanced, athletic horse with the physical and mental potential for Grand Prix. 

Once you spend a little time talking to yourself, start thinking about two or three things you hope to get from the conversation. The goal here is to make a new friend, a connection, kind of like speed dating to find a mentor. If the person is knowledgeable enough to be worth contacting, you’re not going to be able to “plug into” their brain and get all the information in one shot. Think of it as a biopsy, not an autopsy. You want a sample of what they know to see if it has value to you. If your conversational scalpel is making long slits and digging deep into their gizzards on the first go round, they’re probably not going to answer your call next time. For instance, I’m dying to have a conversation with Willeke Bos. She’s the breeder of three out of the four premium stallions in the most recent KWPN Stallion Show. She bred All At Once, Vitalis, and Jameson. This woman has been breeding a third of the time I’ve been breeding and with far more success. With a little luck, I’m hoping to have this conversation in person next month. The couple things I hope to get from the conversation are, one, what German lines are you most excited about using right now, and, two, how much do you let the KWPN determine your goals. I’m hopeful there will be more conversation than that, but if I come away from the initial conversation with some idea on those two points, I’m going to be really satisfied.

So, before I move on to the FAQ section of this column, let’s reiterate: Reach out and make a connection, have a heart-to-heart with yourself about your own program, biopsy not autopsy. Some of the relationships I value most in my life are the connections I’ve made with people to whom I’ve reached out over the years and people who have reached out to me. One of my initial goals when I first started breeding was to improve breeding as a whole in North America. Lofty, yes. But, although I’ve become a little more focused on more personally self-sustaining goals in our breeding program as of late, it’s still my belief that we become stronger individually by making everyone stronger. If my experiences and base of knowledge can be helpful, I’m always willing to have a conversation, and I don’t think I’m an aberration. The vast majority of breeders area going to be more than happy to have a conversation with you. And, if, for some reason, they’re not, it says way more about them than it does you. 

Without further ado, FAQs: 

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a breeding program” 

Research. Research. Then, research some more, and buy the best mare you can afford, even if you can’t afford her. No other decision is as important as this. A top quality mare allows you to make stupid decisions as you’re learning, and not pay as much of a price as you would with a lower quality mare. Believe me, you’re going to make some stupid decisions. We all do. One caveat: It’s always better to buy a less spectacular mare from a top mareline than it is a spectacular individual from a lesser mareline. Blood will tell. Every time. 

“How do you sell all your foals?” 

Well, to start with, I don’t always sell all my foals. I keep way too many. Occasionally, we’ll have a yearling or 2-year-old gelding we’re not keeping for our program that hasn’t sold, but not that often. The reason we sell most of our foals, and most of them in utero, isn’t that complex, though. One, again, it’s hard to find a higher quality group of mares than ours. Two, I never breed for the market; I breed to improve my program. I always tell people, “I don’t sell horses–I sell myself.” A better way to put that so I don’t end up in the middle of a prostitution sting operation is that I sell my dreams. My vision. My belief in the quality and potential I am producing. If you don’t believe you’re breeding good horses, no one else is going to. 

“How do you make money at this?” 

That’s really simple. A lot of years, you don’t. I’ve used this quotation many times in interviews, columns, and in my journal on our website, but it bears repeating. “How do you make a small fortune in the horse business? Start with a large one.” Breeding is a high-overhead, labor-intensive, risk-laden business. As successful and financially solvent as our breeding business appears on the outside, there have been many years when our biggest benefit was a significant tax write-off. It took decades to reach a point at which we consistently showed a profit. So, long story short, it’s really difficult to break even in this business, let alone make money. Things that help? The big one is to learn to do your own breeding work. It’s time consuming and requires investing in an ultrasound machine and a set of stocks, but the money you will save in one breeding season will cover those expenses. Before you know it, you, too, will be spending most of your summer with greenish brown stains on all of your shirt sleeves and a faint smell of horse shit every time you turn your head to the right.

“Do you make your breeding decisions based on the market?” 

I think I’ve answered this one already, but it’s a question I get all the time. Absolutely not. Breeding something specifically for the purpose of selling it is never on my mind. My decisions are based on breeding for the next great broodmare or stallion prospect. I am continually evaluating and re-evaluating our mares and what they have produced in order to make better decisions. All of these decisions are based on long-term goals. Well, almost all. I will occasionally breed a mare to a certain stallion I hadn’t planned on because a friend or customer wants something specific. Normally, this is a repeat of a cross I’ve already done–someone wants a full sibling. But, specifically breed for the market? No way. If you do what is best for your mares and for the future of your program, you build your own market. 

“With all of the risks and investments, is it worth doing?” 

I can’t really answer that for anyone other than me. I don’t give up easily. One of my gym t-shirts has the Nelson Mandela quotation, “I either win or I learn.” There are certainly times I think I want to quit. One year, between December and June, we lost seven horses. Seven. All freak accidents or old-age related for the most part, but losing seven horses in six months takes an emotional and financial toll on a breeder. We’ve lost mares during foaling. We’ve lost foals. We’ve lost both the mare and the foal. This year alone I’ve spent over $40,000 at New England Equine Medical and Surgical. On the flip side, have I already bought frozen for the 2022 breeding season? Yes. Am I already excitedly keeping a list of S names on the white board in the barn? Yes. Did I still get up at 2 am for a week in December and a couple days at the beginning of the month to see the stallion selections? Yup. When Van Helvoirt, the breeder of Jazz, founder of the Wendy line, and breeder of multiple National Mare Champions, became too old to care for his horses, he sold them–but, as part of the deal, his older mares stayed at his place so he could still see them every day. He was well into his 70s when he bred Jazz, a stallion that changed Dutch breeding forever. I’m not giving up. Breeding horses is part of my soul. If my kids decide to put me into a nursing home a few decades down the road, it better be one with a run-in shed outside my window. 

For those of you thinking about starting a breeding program, or those of you who just feel isolated because the closest fellow Warmblood breeder is a six-hour drive away, I hope there’s something helpful in this piece. Breeding horses can be lonely, frustrating, credit-card-maxing, and emotionally devastating, but it can also bring just enough joy and self-satisfaction to make it all worth it. And, one of the most satisfying aspects of the whole thing is the connections you make with other breeders. These connections can be a lifeline sometimes. So, even if you just need someone to whom to vent who understands, I, for one, am willing to sit outside the post office and listen. For quite a long time. Just give me an occasional pee break.


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 been published most notably in Warmbloods Today magazine (no longer published), and he maintains Scot’s Journal on the Shooting Star Farm website.

Scot stands two Dutch Warmblood stallions. Click to view their Stallion Profiles on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com:

Gaudi SSF

The most popular dressage stallion in North America!

Jaleet SSF

World-class expression and athleticism!

theHorse: Improving Equine Fertility

As this new article on theHorse.com says,

“Few events in a breeder’s life are as exciting as seeing a heartbeat on the ultrasound screen, and few are as frustrating as finding an empty womb.”

—Improving Equine Fertility, on theHorse.com

The article, written by two theriogenologists, gives seven practical tips for improving your chances of seeing that black dot on the ultrasound.

Tip #1, “Start with a healthy horse,” may seem obvious, but the authors point out several factors in the “health” category that you might not have thought of as affecting fertility.

Worth a read by anyone hoping for pregnancy! Click here for the article.

Photo: eXtensionHorses, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses Welcomes Two Imported Stallions

Advertisement

Ryan Pedigo Sport Horses has recently expanded their stallion lineup with two imported additions. PF’s Chardo and PF’s Christer have joined PF’s Diamo Blue in 2022.

PF’s Chardo

PF’s Chardo is a 2017 dark bay Holsteiner stallion (Charleston x Nerrado x Contender) who is licensed with the Holsteiner Verband. Click to learn more about PF’s Chardo.

PF’s Christer

PF’s Christer (Connor x Singulord Joter x Acodetto I) was Reserve Champion at his 2016 Holsteiner licensing and was awarded Premium Stallion. PF’s Christer will be arriving March 1, 2022, and will soon be added to the WarmbloodStallionsNA.com website.

PF’s Diamo Blue

PF’s Diamo Blue (Dorado (Diamant de Semilly) x Chacco-Blue/Landadel) is a 2011 licensed Oldenburg stallion. To learn more about Diamo Blue, click here.

KWPN-NA SSA Report 2022

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone that participated in our very successful 2022 KWPN NA Stallion Service Auction.  

  • We had a very complete selection of quality stallions to bid on, thanks to our incredibly generous stallion owners.  
  • Our auction committee did a fantastic job recruiting donations, organizing the website, promoting the auction to the public and the back of the house work to collect payment, notify the winners and donors of the results. We appreciate you all very much!

Stallion owners who donate receive their choice of a half-price activation for their stallion the year after the auction or a free membership to the KWPN-NA, as well as the promotion during the auction, advertisement in our annual handbook and a unique and special thank you gift.

We had 64 Lots offered for bidding, with 79 total stallions participating: 37 Hunter/ Jumper, 33 Dressage stallions, 6 Harness and 3 Gelders offered either as Fresh, Frozen or a few ICSI breedings from very rare stallions.

Our auction raised $ 57,893.00 for the KWPN-NA.

Funds raised in the auction are put to good uses for our membership;  these will include educational opportunities, member awards and the new KWPN Foal Futurity which we started last year. 

We awarded over $7500 in prize money to the Owners and Breeders of the foals that participated virtually. It is our hope we can continue to grow this futurity program, offering larger paybacks as it grows in popularity. We have a few other perks to our auction bidders: The highest bidder will get a free foal registration, and the top scoring foal produced from an SSA breeding that participates in the 2023 Keuring Tour will also win a cash prize award. 

Due to the overwhelming success of the auction this year, we decided to award a free registration not only to the highest single bidder, but to the top 3 participants by money spent overall as well.

Thank you again to everyone who supported us!

HorseMagazine: Tribute to Diamant de Sémilly

Diamant de Sémilly at Jerez in 2002
HorseMagazine.com photo

“The great stallion is dead but he has changed the shape of jumping breeding and even managed to open up the once closed Holstein studbook…. We look at his bloodlines, career and legacy…”

—from the new article on HorseMagazine.com

Diamant de Sémilly was a super-stallion: a successful competitor and an extraordinary sire. His story is especially poignant because he was orphaned as a foal and was nearly put to sleep by his breeder. He went on to become World Champion, and to sire champions.

“On the 2015 WBFSH standings, Diamant de Sémilly was in first place with 92 international competitors…. In April 2020, he is listed on the Hippomundo database with eight 1.65 competitors from a wide variety of mares and bloodlines. … He is also credited with 165 competitors at the 1.60 level.”

In his new article on HorseMagazine.com, Christopher Hector provides a beautiful and lengthy tribute to the stallion that’s worth reading. Click here.


You’ll find a grandson of Diamant de Sémilly on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com, as well as a half-brother. Click each entry for more information.

Inschallah 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!

1968 – 1990
169 cm
Grey
Breeder – J. Guicheney

Inschallah was a French-bred grey Anglo Arab (36% Arab) who was exported from France to Oldenburg, where he became the most important sire next to Furioso II at the famous Vorwerk stallion station in Cappeln. Inschallah stood from 1970 to 1990 at Gestüt Vorwerk.

In 1972 he won his stallion performance test in Westercelle. Inschallah AA sired 30-some licensed sons, more than 70 premium mares, and a great number of horses that were highly successful in sport. Inschallah was approved for breeding by the Oldenburg Verband as well as Hanoverian Verband, Trakehner, Westfalen, Hessichen (Hessen) and Rhineland Verbands. He sired over 30 licensed sons but has emerged as a more important broodmare sire. Rohdiamant and his full brother, Royal Diamond, are both out of Inschallah mares.

Inschallah was a large-framed horse with enormous gaits, producing a more rounded movement, with higher knee action and a reaching forward stride as opposed to the flat leg movement of earlier times. …


To read the entire article, with pedigree, details of Inschallah’s sons and daughters, on the Horse Magazine website, click here.

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

theHorse: Before Your Mare Foals

We always enjoy recommending posts on theHorse.com that are of interest to breeders. Their Breeding and Reproduction category is a terrific resource for breeders.

“Before Your Mare Foals” is an article published on theHorse.com in December 2021.

“The final 100 days of gestation bring their own unique developments, changes, and challenges. Get tips to help your mare’s third trimester run smoothly.”

The article, written by Lucile Vigouroux, covers:

  • Changes in the third trimester
  • The mare’s general health
  • Nutrition
  • Vaccines and biosecurity
  • Preventive care
  • Preventing abortion
  • Preparing for foaling

Click here to read the article on theHorse.com.

Image credit: 10marek.n / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)