Not Dead Yet, Part One

by Scot Tolman

Scot Tolman Thoughts on Breeding

This is not my first attempt at an introduction for this piece. I’d written what I thought was a funny, self-deprecating beginning treatise demonstrating my mental stability and general awareness of reality. It ended with a statement of verification: “Just ask Karen, my wife, or any of my three children.” Well, evidently, my attempt at humor was unsuccessful. Carol, the love of my life, read my previous introduction, and said, 

“My name’s not Karen.” Pause. “And, you have two children.” 

Of course, now, I find this much funnier than my original assertion of sanity, so it’s my new introduction. 

I bought a horse. 

Yes, that’s reason enough to question anyone’s sanity. There are not many things more insane than subjecting yourself to the life of expenses and frustrations that come along with horse ownership, especially when you know what you’re getting into. “You buy horses all the time,” you might say. This is true. I bought this horse to ride, however. As Hamlet says in perhaps Shakespeare’s most well-known soliloquy, “Ay, therein lies the rub.” “To be, or not to be” may very well have been the question at hand in this decision. 

You see, when I was in my late 20s, I had my life mapped out. Not that I’m an obsessive planner nor compulsive control freak, because I’m really not—it just looks that way. Nonetheless, I had a plan for my life. It wasn’t specific, more of a general progression that made sense to me: Career, then family, then horses. Well, as most of you well know, life/the fates/God, if you’re not an atheist as I am, has a way of “directing/guiding” your choices. In January of 1989, my last year of graduate school, my younger and only full brother, Gary, was killed in a snowmobile accident. Although I was deeply grieving, what I saw my parents and Gary’s wife going through was much more profound than what I was experiencing, so I didn’t really count my grief in comparison. I returned to school, took what little money I had as a graduate student, and went out and bought a horse. Her name was Pretty Mares. She was lovely. She was an older Thoroughbred who had been primarily an eventer and lower level dressage horse. I started riding again. She was my therapy. My grief counselor. Of course, my friends from graduate school all thought I had lost my ever-loving mind, but they didn’t know me as a horse person. Had they known me as a horse person, as most of you know me, they would have understood buying a horse was the sanest thing I could have done at that time.

Fast forward to about 12 years ago. My good friend, KC Dunn, Dr. KC Dunn, called me on my 50th birthday and told me my birthday present to myself was going to be a colonoscopy. I resisted for a bit, but, eventually, relented. I had stage four Colon Cancer and didn’t know it. In the subsequent couple of years of surgeries and chemotherapy, I reached a point where I was OK if I died. Not to be histrionic, but I remember lying in a hospital bed at Mass General, in more pain than I had ever experienced, not knowing if I’d ever be able to take a shit again, let alone face the treatments and more surgeries ahead of me, and clearly answering the “to be, or not to be” question by selecting the latter. It was a moment of great peace for me. It was also a moment of clarity in my understanding of the impermanence of a human being, in particular, this human being. As this life/these fates/this God I don’t believe in would have it, I went on to a colon resection and six months of chemo, a subsequent cancer and a cardiac arrhythmia most likely a result of said chemo, two more surgeries, too many CT scans to count, multiple upper and lower endoscopies, and more check ups and blood draws than I care to remember—each time, part of me certain that the other proverbial shoe was going to drop. Well, this week, on Tuesday, April 12th, at 1:30 pm, after almost 12 years, I was finally discharged from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer monitoring protocol. 

I sobbed. I could barely get out a thank you to Dr. Takvorian, whom I have come to adore. I couldn’t seem to stop. I kept intermittently sobbing. The people on the elevator down from the ninth floor of the Yawkey Center probably thought I had just received much different news than “No need to make your next six-month appointment.” I paid for my parking in the lobby, and got on another elevator to the parking garage with people who were probably wondering how much longer I had to live. I’m not normally afraid to cry in public—just ask anyone who goes to a movie with me—but heaving sobs and snot pouring out of my nose is a little much, even for me. It took me the hour-plus drive from MGH to my chocolate mint oreo ice cream at Kimball Farms in Littleton, MA, to get myself under control. Come to find out, I’ve been in a 12-year’s long period of grief to which I have become so accustomed that I didn’t even recognize that I’ve been on auto-pilot for more than a decade, just waiting for my Shakespearean ending. 

OK. That was histrionic. You’re going to have to cut me some slack. 

About a month ago, Michaela, my daughter, handed me a cocktail and sat me down for a conversation after she put her kiddos to bed. No one knows me or identifies with me quite like Michaela. She has always been my harshest critic and my most devout supporter. I think it’s a genetic thing; she has a piece of me, realizes it, and knows how to either twist the knife or kick me in the ass when I most need it. The gist of this conversation was, “You’re not dead yet. It’s time for you to live again.” 

Well, this conversation really struck me. I will count it as one of the biggest turning points in my life. So, when Dr. Takvorian said, “I see a strong, well man sitting in front of me,” I was finally ready to hear it. And, because of my conversation with Michaela, I had already begun to take actions to move on with the living of my life. 

I bought a horse.

And, I started painting again. I printed out the 285 pages of my novel I’ve not touched in three years so I can reread it, edit, and finish it. I came up with a smaller version of our riding complex that has been on hold since Covid hit and I am about to commit to a contractor. And, I bought a horse. To ride. 

The point of this piece is not a pity party for me. Although, admittedly, a little self indulgent, it’s a horse story. I, like many of you, have always found my peace and my sanity through horses. Horses, more than people, have buoyed me in the worst times of my life, and brought me great joy in some of the best times of my life. Although my riding aspirations have certainly changed now that I’m 62 and haven’t even ridden a horse in a few years, I’m not dead yet. There is a connection a human establishes with a horse when they are working together that is like no other I have experienced. I think I am finally in a place to hold my own in that partnership. Today, I choose “to be.”


Editor’s note: We are very proud to host Scot Tolman’s “Thoughts on Breeding” series – with its musings and insights and humor – on WarmbloodBreeding.com. This one especially made its way to my heart, and I look forward to Part Two.

Scot’s June column, “Not Dead Yet, Part Two”, will recount his experiences horse shopping in Europe and reexamine some of his previously-held beliefs about breeding for the amateur market, especially given that he was the “amateur” in question in this situation.

An announcement will be sent in our June e-newsletter when the article goes live. If you don’t already receive it, you can sign up here.

To learn more about the three stallions Scot stands at stud, click below:

Gaudi SSF

The most popular dressage stallion in North America!

Jaleet SSF

World-class expression and athleticism!

Floris SSF

Top Character and New Pedigree for North America

The KWPN-NA Online Silent Auction Has Started!

Many terrific items are available for bidding, including breedings to several KWPN stallions, farm tours to exceptional facilities, dressage lessons, feed, clothing and tack, and much more – even a stallion advertising package on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com!

Bid here!

Landgraf 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!

Landgraf I
1966 – 1996 
16.3 hh 
Brown
Breeder: Graf von Kielmansegg

Landgraf I began his breeding career with little success, but over time became a highly-sought after sire and an excellent example of the modern Holsteiner Sport Horse. His international acclaim and exceptional bloodlines are still known today. There is a bronze statue in his likeness in Elmshorn, outside the century-old Riding and Driving School.

In his early days, Landgraf was not initially widely accepted as a stallion in Germany because sons of Thoroughbreds were still regarded with suspicion. It was after the 1975 Equitana in Germany, where Landgraf easily cleared a 6’6″ several times a day that international riders started to buy his offspring.

“Landgraf dominated the breeding scene in Schleswig-Holstein for over ten years. …”

In all, Landgraf progeny have won over €4.5 million.


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

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

Chin Quidam VDL

Approved son of Chin Chin

Dakota

KWPN Approved son of Casall

Don Quichot

World Class GP dressage stallion with World Class jumper lines!

Fairbanks

Oldenburg Licensing Champion in Germany, Exciting Young Sire awarded 1c Premium

HH Radco

Elite BWP Stallion

La Marque

Wonderful Jumper Stallion

Limoncello II

A regal, peerless performer with world-class style and brilliant offspring

Long Island T

Need LEGS (besides MOVEMENT, JUMP and TEMPERAMENT)????

Orbetello

Internationally successful showjumper who passes his jumping talent, easy temperament, and beautiful gaits to his offspring

Quidam Blue

International Grand Prix Jumper, Approved Hanoverian Stallion

Silver Creek’s Validation

Vallado / Lansing / Capitol I

theHorse: Ultrasound the First Phalange to Assess Fetal Growth

It’s useful in some situations to know ahead of time how mature an unborn foal is. For example, if there is a medical reason to induce labor, is the foal well enough developed to survive? Accurately assessing fetal age and development has been really difficult, but now there is a new tool.

“Catherine Renaudin, DVM, Dipl. ECAR (European College of Animal Reproduction), of UC Davis’ Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, explained how to use ultrasound to assess fetal bone maturation of the first phalanx (P1) during the 2021 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Nashville, Tennessee.”

—theHorse.com

At over 240 days of gestation, the front feet are usually pointing towards the back of the mare and accessible for a transrectal ultrasound of the mare, allowing this evaluation of the foal’s foot to be made.

For more details, please read the full article on theHorse.com here.

Image: public domain. Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons.

Welcome to North America, Feinrich!

Feinrich
Fürst Heinrich x Sir Donnerhall I

David Burke and Pangaea Farms are excited to welcome Feinrich to Canada!

Feinrich’s breeding is very special. Through his sire Fürst Heinrich, the paternal line of the great Furioso II is combined with that of probably the most important mare in modern Oldenburg breeding history, El.St. Gesina.

In 2015, Feinrich was the glowing winner of his licensing and completed his stallion performance test with flying colors. In 2018, he won young horse dressage competitions of his age group, qualified for the German championships, has since achieved top placings in intermediate (M**) dressage competitions with Brandi Roenick/USA.

Feinrich produced the 2021 Oldenburg Champion Mare and Regional Champion Faraglioni OLD (ds. Dormello). In addition to Faraglioni’s success, Feinrich’s daughter Nizelle (ds. Everdale) made it to the finals at the KWPN Elite Mare Show in the Netherlands in 2021. Numerous youngsters from his first generations of foals recorded victories and placings in young horse competitions. Impressively, Feinrich has six licensed sons to date.

Feinrich – 2018
Photo by Schockemoehle

His sire Fürst Heinrich was Champion Stallion in 2001, winner of the premium in 2002, World Champion of five-year-old dressage horses in 2003, and has produced over 50 licensed stallions, including Fürstenball, licensing and premium champion, German champion and elite sire as well as Fürst Romancier, premium winner.

His dam El.St. Gesina is a legendary producer of top stallions and mares, including For Romance I OLD (Oldenburg Champion Stallion, Main Premium winner, Burg Cup finalist, VTV Dressage Stallion and successful in Grand Prix), For Romance II (premium stallion placed in international Grand Prix competitions at only seven years old), and For Romance III de la Gesse (licensed stallion). When crossed with Fürst Heinrich, Gesina produced our Champion Stallion Feinrich and the Oldenburg Champion Mare Fürstin Gesine, who produced the licensed stallions Visino PS (by Vitalis) and Montrachet PS (by Morricone I). Bred to De Niro, Gesina produced the licensed stallion Desino; bred to Governor, she produced the licensed stallion Golden Romance Malleret PS; and bred to Bordeaux, she produced Mount St. John Best of All, British Dressage Champion and placed up to Small Tour level, who is the dam of Best of Mount St. John OLD (by Fürst Romancier), Reserve Regional Champion and placed fifth at the German Championships. Gesina’s daughters produced the licensed stallions Sebastino PS (by Secret), Go for Romance PS (by Governor) and the Mecklenburg Champion Stallion Viva Vitalis (by Vitalis).

Feinrich – Conformation

Feinrich’s grand-dam, Gesine, also produced the Reserve Champion Vivaldi’s Schufro (by Vivaldi) and Amadeus de l’Aubois (by Der Designer), who sired in France. Her daughter Sadira de Malleret (by Sir Donnerhall I) produced Helen Langehanenberg’s mare, who is victorious at advanced (S) level, Zaeta de Malleret (by Zonik).

In the third generation is Don Schufro, Danish Champion and Team bronze winner at the Olympic Games in Hong Kong/HKG in 2008 with Andreas Helgstrand.

Feinrich is WFFS N/N (not a carrier). Feinrich will be available for breeding mid-May, after completing his quarantine and CEM testing in the United States.

Pangaea Farms would like to extend a very special thank you to Sebastian Rohde, the new General Manager of the Holsteiner Stallion Ltd, for facilitating this purchase. Over the years, Sebastian has become a good friend of Pangaea Farms, and Feinrich is the third stallion Pangaea Farms has acquired through his mediation.

Feinrich

Fürst Heinrich x Sir Donnerhall I

Sire of SIX licensed Stallions to date!

Vilancio

Vitalis x Lancet

Impressive “Look at Me” Stallion with a “10” Conformation!

Dannebrog

Don Schufro x Brentano II

Beautiful, Elastic Mover with Proven Dressage Pedigree!

theHorse: 5 Types of Elective Reproductive Surgery in Mares

theHorse.com, always a great source of new science that can inform breeders, has just published an article on surgery options that might help your mare conceive.

For mares deemed infertile because of inadequate perineal conformation, elective surgery can allow them to conceive and carry foals again. Having an honest discussion with your veterinarian ahead of the procedure will ensure your expectations are in line with the surgery’s purpose and likely outcome.

-theHorse.com article

The five types include Caslick’s, Deep Caslick’s, Perineal body transection, urethral extension, and endometrial cyst removal. All can be performed with the mare standing and sedated.

If you are thinking your mare might benefit from surgical intervention, this article might help you get started in evaluating your options.

Click here to read the full article.

Photo: Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4 Successful Offspring by Sea Lion xx

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Great reports are coming in from the owners of foals by Sea Lion xx (Sea Salute xx x Caveat xx), whose oldest foal is just 9. Pam Fisher, Sea Lion’s owner, extends special congratulations to the four featured here: Northern Quest Blue Sea, SRF Fair Sea, TGS Lion’s Sunshine, and Sea Lioness!

With Sea Lion’s own impressive career in eventing, as well as post-retirement success in hunters, it’s no surprise that his offspring are succeeding in sport. As youngsters they are winning awards on their potential – and as adults they are proving themselves in performance.

Northern Quest Blue Sea

Northern Quest Blue Sea is a 2015 Irish Draught Sport Horse mare by Sea Lion xx out of Silver Lady. She is owned and ridden by Nick Olijslager.

In February, 2022, she won the Senior Novice Rider division at Pine Top Horse Trials with owner Nick Olislager. Also in February under Nick she was 2nd at jumping BranchHorse trials. In 2021 she was also competing successfully with Nick, winning at Open Beginner Novice at Sporting Days Farm.

Northern Quest Blue Sea was bred by Northern Quest, Marissa Benteli Frazier.

SRF Fair Sea

SRF Fair Sea won the Future Event Horse 3-Year-Old division at Five Points Horse Trials in 2021 with a score to qualify for Nationals.

SRF Fair Sea is a 2018 mare owned by Annie Eldridge, and is a registered Holsteiner out of Vanity Fair.

TGS Lion’s Sunshine

With Jessica Turner as handler, TGS Lion’s Sunshine was Reserve Champion in the 2-year-old division of the Future Event Horse Championships at the 2021 National Central Championships. In 2022 she won the Future Event Horse 3-year-old division at the Texas Rose Horse Park with a score that has qualified her for the national championships.

TGS Lion’s Sunshine was bred and is owned by Ann Shira O’Donnell. She is by Sea Lion out of Windfield All Sunshine, Irish Draught.

Sea Lioness

In 2021 Sea Lioness won the Shepherd Ranch Beginner Novice Horse Trials, and won the Jumper Derby at the Galway Downs National Horse Show with Kristin Hardin riding. In 2020 she was the National West Coast Championship of the Future Event Horse 4-year-old division.

Sea Lioness is owned by her breeder, Pam Fisher, owner of Sea Lion. She is out of the Oldenburg mare Princess Kabbalah.


Sea Lion is a versatile Thoroughbred stallion approved by most major warmblood registries. Sea Lion has won numerous championships and competed at the highest levels of eventing, including at the Rolex 4* (now 5*), and retired sound to compete in Hunters and Jumpers. His offspring are registered in several different registries, and in six countries.

  • Offspring in six countries.
  • Oldest offspring excelling in competition.
  • Available fresh and frozen.
  • Excellent motility.
  • 90% conception rate on first breeding.
  • Live Foal Guarantee.

For more information about Sea Lion, please click here.

To inquire about breeding to Sea Lion, click to contact his owner.

Sea Lion thoroughbred stallion logo

Caletto II 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!

Caletto II
1976 – 1984
169cm Brown
Breeder: Klaus Martin Both, Obendeich
Stood at: Woerden 1981-1983, Wellinghausen 1983

Despite only standing for four seasons, Caletto II may well be the most important son of the jumping super-sire, Cor de la Bryère. In the WBFSH top fifty rankings for 1991-2000, Caletto II ranked 16th thanks to the jumping efforts of 14 progeny.

Considered the perfect Holsteiner type, Caletto II was a sensation right from the start. He was acclaimed Champion of his stallion licensing in 1980. He also showed wonderful jumping technique, and later proved this in the showjumping ring with Herbert Blöcker, where the stallion won many tests for riding horses. …

He was described thus in the Stallion Book of the Holsteiner Warmblood Breed by Dr. Dietrich Rossow: “Significant stallion of Thoroughbred, performance type. Harmonious and deep bodied. Smooth topline, slightly herring gutted. Muscling not well let down through the haunches. Clean, correct legs and feet. Good walk and trot, absolutely marvelous canter. Very good jumper. Extraordinary form over fences, brilliant with knees. Good temperament.”

At a regional show in September 1984, while waiting to go into the arena after being proclaimed best in the show, Caletto II reared up, fell over and broke his neck!


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

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

Cabardino

USEF # 1 Hunter Sire for 2017 and 2018!

Calito

A modern type with excellent technique and movement

Can’t Touch This

Powerhouse Pedigree

Clintord I

1.6m scope, Champion Holsteiner Verband 70-day Performance Test

Dakota

KWPN Approved son of Casall

Darthus

KWPN Stallion by Mr Blue

GK Calucci

Choose Calucci for soundness, character, & scope!

HH Himself

Hunter Stallion by Casall

Imothep

Olympic Stallion by Indoctro

Jac’Pote

International 1.60m Competitor AND Producer

Victor E

Grand Prix stallion by Indoctro

Orbetello, Proudly Presented by Bridlewood Farm

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SAVE THE DATE! Dressage at Devon Returns Sept. 27–Oct. 2, 2022

Devon, Pa. – April 4, 2022 – The highly anticipated annual Dressage at Devon festival will be returning September 27th and running through October 2nd, 2022 at the historic Devon show grounds. A USEF Heritage Competition, DAD will welcome back world-class international dressage competitors to the prestigious performance divisions and the largest open breed show in the world. Dressage at Devon also offers some of the best shopping available at any equestrian event, unparalleled opportunities to connect with other dressage enthusiasts and build brand relationships, and attend spectator and exhibitor parties in a magical setting. Tickets will be available for purchase starting June 1, 2022.

Since its inception in 1975, Dressage at Devon has been hallmarked by its high-level competition, can’t-miss special events, and indescribable atmosphere that is unlike anything else found in North America. As an organization that prides itself on bridging its traditional roots with a modern competition experience, Dressage at Devon is excited to be introducing new events while still representing the time-tested, iconic horse show that has been a bucket-list experience for dressage riders around the country and world for decades. 

Among these exciting new events, Dressage at Devon is proud to host Olympic silver medalist Sabine Schut-Kery for an exclusive masterclass on Thursday night in the Dixon Oval. The masterclass will feature a variety of horses and riders of different ages and levels, making this educational opportunity a must-see.

As always, Dressage at Devon offers competitors of all levels the chance to experience national and international-caliber competition in a wide array of classes. Dressage at Devon hosts the CDI-W, CDI-3, CDI-1, CDIY, CDIJ, CDICh, CDIP, CDI-U25, and CDIAm, as well as the USEF/USDF National Show with Performance and Breeding Divisions. The event will serve as a qualifying event for the 2023 FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Omaha.

Dressage at Devon will also be welcoming back its crowd-favorite competitor party, this time boasting a Roaring 20’s theme, Ladies Hat Day, the Fall Festival, Kid’s Dressage Explorers Day on Sunday, and much more. As part of the Sport Horse Breed Show, Wednesday afternoon will feature “Shopping in the USA,” showcasing young sport horses that are available for purchase.

Have you ever wondered about volunteering? Make this your year! Volunteers help in a wide variety of jobs, many requiring no “horsey” experience, others right down near the action! Visit our website and click the link for volunteers on the top banner. It’s a great group of people and a wonderful experience. Not able to volunteer, or want to double your impact? Consider a donation, or if you or someone you know has a business and would like to consider sponsorship/donating, we’d love to hear from you!

The DAD team is thrilled to welcome the athletes and audiences back to the Mainline, and looks forward to another unforgettable week this fall. While we are hard at work on our new website, stay tuned via email for updates regarding this year’s event.

View 2022 Sponsorship Opportunities

2022 Vendor Information

For sponsorship and vendor inquiries, please contact Lisa Davis Engel at sponsor.vendor@dressageatdevon.org or (908) 310-6248.

Thank You to Our 2021 Sponsors

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