SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2016
October 9, 2016
Whenever I start getting emails and texts from people asking if I’m OK or prompting me to get my ass in gear and write a new journal entry, I know it’s been way too long. Sorry about that. I have no excuses other than the life itself.
As many of you know, my dad died this summer. He was almost 98. He lived alone in his own home until about two months before he died. He lived a long and full life. Although I don’t have any unresolved issues or unspoken conversations with him, his death has left me diving into some unexplored, and unexpected, existential depths. It’s not really an angst in the traditional sense of the word, but I’m unsettled. My mom died three years ago, and my only full brother died in 1989. I’m all that’s left of my nuclear birth family. Of course, life has been kind to me and I am surrounded by boatloads of love and a strong, capable family who buoys me even on my worst of days—so please don’t infer any self pity in this statement. I’m just in unchartered territory, as it were; hence, you haven’t seen a lot of writing from me as of late.
In the horse world, we’ve hit some milestones this year. One, we achieved our Platinum Status with the KWPN-NA. I haven’t filled out or submitted the paperwork yet, but we have the points. Two, we bred the number one foal in North America for the second year in a row—out of different marelines and both out of SSF-bred mares, I might add. Three, this number one foal, LeLiscia SSF (Govenor x Eliscia SSF x UB-40) is the closest is type and movement to the ideal of what we’ve been breeding for for almost three decades. Is she had a little more expression in her trot, I would say we had hit perfection and needed to stop breeding. Four, as it is, after 25 foal crops, I think we’re just hitting our stride with our breeding program. The next two generations are going to blow people away.
Not including poor Last Child SSF (LaVita’s colt who was struck by lightning), out of six foals, we’re keeping the Governor filly and have sold four others. We only have one boy left for sale, Liberto SSF (Sir Sinclair x Werites SSF x Freestyle). We owe many thanks to our friends, repeat customers, and SSF fans out there who believe enough in our program to snatch up these babies before they’re even weaned, year after year. Thank you.
Next year could be a record year for us (hopefully, Carol isn’t reading this post…); I can see us keeping half a dozen babies from the 2017 crop. Colt or filly, we most likely won’t sell the Uno Don Diego out of Galearites SSF, the Totilas out of BoWendy, the Governor out of Gazania, or the Roven xx out of Orchis. Add to these four a Governor filly from ZaVita SSF and a Vitalis filly from either D’Orites SSF or Werites SSF, and we’re up to enough horses to need an addition on the barn next year. Then, if by some miracle, Nemels is pregnant to Donatelli and gives us a pinto filly, we’re completely screwed.
Next year’s sales are already looking good. We have three people interested the Governor x Contango if it’s a colt, one person interested in the Netto x UB-40, and one person interested in the Vitalis x Donatelli—plus, a number of people asking about foals we don’t intend to sell.
As you can imagine, I’m already scheming and planning about my 2017 breeding picks. I’ve actually already purchased three doses of a new stallion! All I’m going to tell you is we’re going to have to use him on my non-Jazz mares. I’m going to hold off buying anymore frozen until after the Stallion Show in February. I’m resigned to the fact that we have almost no option but to go with all frozen semen again next year. Knock on wood we have a similar success rate to this year.
Again, sorry for the long dry spell. Don’t hesitate to give me a shout via email, FB messenger, or text if you’re getting desperate for a journal entry or have something in particular you want me to write about. I appreciate how many of you have followed my thoughts over the years.
Breeding 2016: Updated 9/18/16
SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2016
It’s been a busy breeding spring, and I have the manure-stained t-shirts to prove it! Here’s a list of who’s pregnant and who’s still to be bred and to whom:
- Uno Don Diego x Totilas x Jazz (1st cycle Dream Boy, 2nd and 3rd Franklin w/1 lost embryo)
- Governor x Contango x Elcaro (filly option already sold)
- Governor x Bon Bravour x Santano
- Roven xx x Jazz x Roemer
- Vitalis x Donatelli x Jazz
- Netto x UB-40 x Pass the Glass xx (1st cycle to Chagall, 2nd cycle to Governor–on 3rd cycle)
- Vitalis x Freestyle x Jazz
- Governor x Farrington x Pass the Glass xx
- Totilas x Sir Sinclair x Jazz
- 1Devon Heir x Samber x Lector (pg to Chagall, gone at 30 days; 2nd cycle to Florianus II; can’t remember if there was a Governor attempt, also…; finally, pregnant to DH.)
- Indian Rock x Charmeur x Santano (bred five cycles. PG on the fifth try, but lost it by the 2nd check)
Summary: We have a lot of babies coming next year, knock on wood.
Uno Don Diego x Galearites SSF
Meet Whiskers. This lovely, large girl is carrying a special embryo. Uno Don Diego x Totilas x Jazz! Thanks to KC Dunn for her never-ending support and friendship, thanks to Dr. Deme Erickson from TNT Equine in North Berwick, ME, for the successful flush, thanks to Meghan DeGaray and Iron Spring Farm for all they do for North American breeders, thanks to Dr. Foss and his team at Equine Medical Services for a successful transfer, thanks to Jane Hannigan for her support and willingness to give Mazey a bit of a break, and, most importantly, thanks to Carol Tolman for believing we should give it one more try. Fingers crossed for a happy ending to this story.
Maybe There Is a Santa Claus…
THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2016
We got an embryo today. I was there to personally witness the event. Many thanks to Dr. Erickson and her fantastic staff at TNT Equine, in North Berwick, ME. The microscopic Uno Don Diego x Totilas x Jazz embryo is probably being implanted into, hopefully, a BIG mare in Missouri as I write.
Update on Foals For Sale
MONDAY, MAY 30, 2016
Now that the babies are arriving in earnest, let’s take stock of who’s sold and who’s available:
LeLiscia SSF (Governor x Eliscia SSF x UB-40)
The person who had an option on this filly thinks she is too tall. We think she’s the most perfect filly we’ve ever produced. So, we’re planning on keeping her for our program.
L’Amour SSF (Roven xx x Orchis x Jazz)
We did this breeding with every intention of keeping a filly for the program or a colt as a stallion prospect. As luck would have it, Louie (originally, Lefty) appears to have only one testicle. We’ll give him a little time for the second one to descend, but I’m not hopeful. So, if you’re interested in a cocky, personable, smart, and freakishly athletic future performance partner, give me a shout. I will take $1,000 off the purchase price of this colt to defray the additional costs of gelding a cryptorchid.
Last Child SSF (Florianus II x LaVita x Elcaro)
LaVita fans, this is our girl’s last foal, and he’s a beauty. He is uber pretty. Bright bay, big white star on a dished face, gorgeous uphill conformation, and already a lovely, supple mover. Carol is threatening to keep him—that’s why he is named after an Aerosmith song and his nickname is Smithy. But we both think he’s too fancy to be a weekend trail horse.
Still to come in the next couple weeks:
Sir Sinclair x D’Orites SSF x Donatelli
Sir Sinclair x Werites SSF x Freestyle
—we have an order for a Sir Sinclair colt, so, hopefully, one of these girls will cooperate and produce a little boy! Since we’re keeping LeLiscia SSF and all the rest of the foals are sold or boys, we may keep a filly from one of these two mares so we can raise the two together.
UB-40 x BoWendy x Sir Sinclair—this foal is already sold
Connaisseur x Carpe Diem SSF x Farrington—this foal is already sold
*foal prices are $15,000. Twenty percent discount to repeat customers and FEI-level competitors. Super generous payment plans.
*at least one foal is already reserved for 2017—it’s never too early to inquire about what will be available.
How Many Times Do I Need To Be Kicked in the Head?
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016
I’m an English teacher. I even just finished teaching Slaughterhouse Five for about the hundredth time. In the contest between fate and free will, fate wins. Intellectually and philosophically, I accept this. There are multiple examples of fate controlling things in my life, from career choice, to meeting Carol, to the liquid nitrogen ice cream shop opening within 20 minutes of me. Why, then, can’t I get it through my thick skull that we are not destined to be successful with ETs?
We put Orchis in training after her W foal, deciding we would get her sport predicate and try some ETs. Four or five attempts later, we had multiple embryos, none of which stuck in a recipient mare. Circumstances occurred so that we pulled her out of training, but the repeated flushes and change in jobs for her resulted in a mare who didn’t get pregnant again for two years.
We had the chance to sell Werites (that W foal mentioned above) to a top international trainer. We agreed with the caveat that we get at least one foal from her via ET. Our first series of attempts in North Carolina resulted in multiple embryos, none of which stuck in the recipient mares. We shipped her to a specialist. Three cycles later, she had produced no embryos. We gave up and were shipping her back for training when Jimmy Welsh, of Elite Horse Transport, crippled her while transporting her, basically leaving her injured in a van in Pennsylvania, and finally costing us over $30,000 for her care and rehab at New Bolton. Not only did he never cover the cost of treating her, he didn’t even refund the shipping fee, even though he brought her only half the distance and left it to us to figure out how to get the injured mare to New Bolton.
Fast forward to this year. We were fortunate enough to breed two incredible Totilas daughters from Orchis, Galearites SSF and Honorites SSF. We decided one of the mares belonged in sport and one in the breeding program. As you’ve probably read, Nora fell on the ice, broke her pelvis, and had to be put down this winter. So… Carol and I decided we really wanted to preserve the genetics—we would try ET one more time with Mazey. We pulled out of training, took her to a super vet clinic, paid the reservation for a recipient mare with Dr. Foss, and were already to go. First stallion choice turned out to have crappy frozen. Once cycle down. Second cycle was great, got an embryo, it made it into the recipient mare, was there for the 15 day check, gone at that 30 day check. Third cycle, good frozen, no embryo. Mazey had now been at the vet clinic for almost two months. We bring her back to Jane Hannigans, giving up on the idea of ET. While Jane and I are talking recently, we decide it’s worth trying one more time with fresh cooled, and I will drive Mazey to the clinic for the flush. Mazey comes into heat, vet gives me the go ahead to order semen for Tuesday delivery, I order from the most fertile stallion I can find, and FedEx loses the shipment—we miss the cycle.
I’m not going to go through this diatribe and try to calculate how much money we have spent on our ET attempts over the last 13 years, but suffice it to say, we could have purchased multiple foals in Holland and imported them.
So, I guess I have my answer. I have to be kicked in the head about fourteen times to get it.
Update: FedEx ignored Meghan’s request to return the shipment to ISF and delivered it to Larkspur Farm a day late. Jane decided to have the vet out to check the semen and check and see if Mazey still had her follicle. Uno Don Diego has incredible semen—still lots of swimmers. Mazey still had a huge, soft follicle. We head for TNT Equine on Wednesday night for a 6 am flush on Thursday. Thank you, Jane Hannigan and Dr. Amy.
2016 Breeding Picks (with some foal options already taken for 2017!)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Can you believe it’s March 1st, and I have yet to post my breeding picks for the year? What an outrage! Nonetheless, now that the kids and I have been to the Stallion Show and the family has endured my endless texts about stallion selections, I think we’re ready to go public. Plus, it looks as if a couple of our 2017 foals already have options on them. Of course, it’s hard to tell how things work out eventually, but we certainly appreciate the trust and enthusiasm people have for our breeding program.
Drum roll, please….
Let’s go oldest to youngest
LaVita keur preferent (Elcaro x Belisar)
Our queen bee is 23 this year. She looks and acts fantastic, and is due with a Florianus II foal in May. Am I going to breed her again? I have no idea right now. We’ll have to see how this foaling goes and whether or not she cycles well. Her mareline is so strong and long-lived there’s really no reason to stop breeding if she is healthy and happy. Plus, she’s the grandmother of the 2015 top dressage foal in North America—there’s something to be said for the gene pool.
Nemels elite (Samber x Lector)
We’re going to start with Chagall and deep horn insemination. I have a couple of doses left, and since there have been four pregnancies that I know of from the frozen, maybe our luck will change. If the Chagall doesn’t work, then I’ll try a dose or two of our experimental stallion. We’d love to get a filly from this mare to keep for our program.
Orchis keur preferent and 2 points from prestatie (Jazz x Roemer)
We had a colic scare with Orchis last week. After losing as many horses as we have this winter, it’s hard to describe how emotional it made me at the thought of losing her, too. She’s been the life blood of our program. Right now, I’m just crossing all available digits for a healthy foal come June. If we do breed her back, it will be to our experimental stallion again.
Werites SSF sport/dressage (Freestyle x Orchis)
I think we have access to one dose of Netto. That’s my pick for Werites this year. (I know, Natalie–I keep changing my mind). Werites has produced three fantastic UB-40s for us, and I’m anticipating an equally exciting Sir Sinclair from her at the end of June, so I can be really happy with a couple of ISF options as well.
ZaVita SSF ster (Contango x LaVita)
If this mare can produce the top dressage foal in North America by crossing her with Governor, I don’t see any reason to mess with success.
*filly option is taken on this breeding
BoWendy (Sir Sinclair x Jazz)
Speaking of messing with success, Bo is going right back to UB-40. We’re expecting her fifth UB in June. Every single one of them is an outrageous mover.
Carpe Diem SSF keur-eligible (Farrington x Pass the Glass xx)
This big, perfect conformation mare is going to Governor this year. Her Connaisseur foal due in June is already spoken for.
D’Orites SSF keur (Donatelli x Orchis)
Dior is going to Franklin this season. And, I’m thinking this could be one of our top foals next year. I love what Franklin is producing, and I think the cross on Dior could be super.
Eliscia SSF keur-eligible (UB-40 x Pass the Glass xx)
I continue to be really excited about what Lily can produce for us. I think this year’s Governor foal is going to be awesome, so the plan is to repeat the cross.
Galearites SSF keur (Totilas x Orchis)
After Mazey’s top IBOP and international press, we were considering an ET attempt or two—however, with the loss of her full sister, Honorites SSF, this winter, our decision was made for us. The Totilas x Orchis cross is really important to the future of our program, so we’ll do what we need to do to get a couple Mazey babies on the ground next year.
*first option on a colt is already taken by a stallion station in Holland—fillies will not be for sale.
Gazania keur and NMK top six (Bon Bravour x Santano)
Michaela has called dibs on this breeding to produce a filly for herself, which I’m delighted about. Keep your fingers crossed for a Dream Boy filly in 2017
Hyacintia keur and NMK top five (Charmeur x Santano)
We’ve decided to leave this special mare in Holland so we have access to stallions we can’t get in North America. Keagan really wants some Apache blood in our program, so, since all three of us loved the Apache x Vivaldi x Cabochon Champion of the Stallion Show, we’re going to use Indian Rock to have a foal from his first crop.
That’s a lot of foals… a lot of EXCITING foals!
2016 KWPN Stallion Show: Last updated 3/6/16
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016
As I mention every year at the start of my Stallion Show Report, the following observations are just that, observations. We don’t stand a stallion or broker frozen semen. I’m just trying to feed that insatiable need for more information we all crave when it comes to breeding KWPN horses. My opinions are just as fallible as anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, I didn’t do so well in the “pick the top three” competition among the KWPN-NA attendees. We had to make our final selections before the third round of the last group of horses, so we knew some of the selected stallions for the Championship Ring, but not all of them. I picked the Champion and Reserve Champion, but my choice for third (Davino x Wynton) wasn’t even aangewezen—he was tossed out in the final selection. The jury’s reason was that he doesn’t have enough sport horses in the mareline. Hmmm. Neither does the Champion, Igor (Apache x Vivaldi)… but more about that later.
Overall, it was a fantastic year for dressage horses. The horses described below are selected to go to testing.
The Apaches, in particular, were really strong. They seem pretty hot, but, then, I clearly remember Apache as a coming three year old spending half of the presentation standing on his hind legs, screaming, with a constant erection. None of his sons were as badly behaved as he was at this age. It’s also striking that the Apaches are getting better and better each year. My guess is that it’s taken breeders a few years to take their best mares to him. At any rate, whatever the reason, he’s producing some really top horses now.
Apache x Houston x Purioso
Super mover. Really nice riding type. The Houston comes through quite strong in the conformation, especially of the hind end—quite round and a little short in the croup.
Apache x Rousseau x Farrington
This was one of my least favorite Apaches. He was super hot and seemed difficult. I also thought he was stiffer in the use of his body than the other sons. He is from a famous mareline that has produced Grand Prix horses and approved stallions, so my guess is that’s why he went through. Still, would not have been my choice to select him.
Apache x Ferro x Calypso
This boy is out of the full sister of the approved stallion, Osmium. He has always been my favorite Ferro son, but he was never used that much, nor did he do much in sport. His sister, the dam of this horse, the NMK Champion in 2005, however. Super mare. I loved this colt. Great sit. Maybe a little chunkier than some of the other Apaches, but has upper level dressage horse written all over him. He was invited to the Championship Ring.
Apache x Flemmingh x Sultan
Does this pedigree sound at all familiar? The dam, Roxanne, is the mother of Johnson. This colt looks a lot like Johnson did as a young horse. Super supple, smooth, but needs a little more power.
Apache x Vivaldi x Cabochon
I had heard that this was the top horse of the year before he came out. He did not disappoint. He may be one of the best young stallions I’ve ever seen in Den Bosch. Big, long lined, powerful, perfect conformation, WOW mover. His dam was NMK Champion in 2010. She had really high-scoring IBOP and is a keur mare. Behind that, however, are three studbook mares—no predicates—no sport results—one offspring of the Cabochon mare who has gone into sport. I’m not arguing that he should have been accepted and named Champion. I agree completely with the jury’s decision. My only quarrel is that the Davino x Wynton had a star/PROK dam, then three keur mares behind that. Maybe the jury has information we in the audience were not privy to. I don’t know. Igor (the Apache) is a highlight of generations of KWPN breeding. He reproduces himself and his dam, that’s good enough for me.
Blue Hors Zack x Fidertanz x Rubin-Royal
This horse looked better every time he came out. At first, I thought he had the kind of flat-sided look Rousseau can produce and a bit of a heavy neck, though, overall, uphill. In hand, he looked better. In the third ring, he looked better still. Hard to tell much about his mareline since it’s not Dutch, but the blood distribution is important for us—plus, Zack has been producing some really good young horses.
Bon Bravour x Jazz x Variant
Michaela and I are huge Bon Bravour fans. Our Bon Bravour mare was #6 at the NMK in 2014. We love the brain, the movement, and the suppleness he produces, so we were excited to see this guy accepted. He’s out of an STV mareline. Remember Junior STV, Uniform, etc? Good, good mareline. Moves through his whole body. Really nice horse. He could lift a little more in the wither and there are moments when he hits the ground a little harder than I would like, but I’m really pleased the jury accepted him. Two German studbooks have recently approved a couple of Bon Bravour sons. We need them in the KWPN. My guess people will be paying a lot more attention to this colt in about six months when Anky has started competing Bon Bravour. He’s going to make a big splash. That, combined with the fact she chemically gelded him, will make all Bon Bravour offspring hot commodities.
I didn’t think the Bordeauxs were as impressive this year. We’ve really liked them in the past, but the few boys presented this year, although two were accepted, and one to the Championship Ring, weren’t as good as the ones over the last couple years.
Bordeaux x Jazz x Ferro
This colt is out of a good mareline that produced the approved stallions Foundation (by United) and Redford (by Krack C). He was the best of the three Bordeaux sons, but I wasn’t crazy about the way he used his hind legs in the canter, especially on corners. They kind of hopped and stayed together, as opposed to stepping through. Could be just a growth/development thing. We expect an awfully lot from these horses, some of whom are months away from turning three.
Bordeaux x Sandro Hit x Rubinstein I
This horse is powerful and a nice enough type, but he’s significantly sickle hocked and could be quicker with his hind leg. I was surprised he was accepted.
The Charmeurs… first of all, let’s talk about Charmeur himself. What a horse! He is so freaking impressive athletically. He is a mass of stunning power. Of course, along with that mass, comes what appears to be a really difficult temperament. He has all the talent in the world, but I’m not sure what it’s going to take to make him a consistent competition horse. Maybe he doesn’t need to be one. Maybe he just needs to make babies.
His offspring are certainly impressive. In type, they are heavy. The have a lot of power, but could have more suspension in the trot. Their canters are really good. This may sound petty, but my biggest problem with the sons we saw in Den Bosch is that they are all screamers. Holy crap. Screaming behind the stands, screaming in the ring… they are boys and they know they’re boys. Hyacintia, our Charmeur daughter, is not like this at all. In her conformation, she needs more size and bone, and her temperament is a little sensitive, but she’s really smart and workable. She could use a little more suspension in her trot, however.
The committee only took two of the Charmeurs:
Charmeur x Balzflug x Cadmus xx
This is a super pretty colt who completely fits the description above. He’s out of super mareline, but there are other horses out of this mareline who are known to be difficult.
Charmeur x Gribaldi x Clavecimbel
Another big, long-lined horse with lots of power. A super mover. Also a major screamer. This is the mareline that produced the approved stallion and upper level dressage horse, Ziesto. This colt was invited to the Championship Ring.
Chippendale x Jazz x Vincent
This was my favorite Chippendale son of any selection. Good mover, beautiful type. In free movement, he elicited the following comment from a dressage rider who was sitting near me: “I don’t like horses that fall down.” He did have a little trouble keeping his feet under him, but, in hand, he looked spectacular. The mareline on this boy is not that spectacular, so we’ll see how he does or if people breed to him.
Connaisseur x TCN Partout x Rosenkavalier
Since we have our first Connaisseur foal coming this spring, and I’m usually pretty crazy about any horse with Partout close up in the pedigree, I was excited to see this boy. Of the horses in the earlier rounds, he was my favorite. Super mover. Really nice type. He could have been a little freer in the should, have had a little more power, and have had a little nicer neck, but I liked him. Unfortunately, once the Apaches came out, he wasn’t in the same league. Still, I think he’s a nice horse and worth approving. He’s out of the same mareline as Rubels.
Cover Story x Jazz x Casanova
Did you now that Cover Story died? I didn’t until last weekend. This colt looks a lot like him. He has tons of power and is a good dressage type. He’s a little sickle hocked. His mareline is a little mixed, but his great granddam has produced a number of sport horses.
I’m really pleased to see so many Cupido sons presented. Cupido himself was one of my favorites in the C year. It looks to me as if he’s really producing well. His sons have powerful movement, good dressage horse conformation, and especially powerful asses.
Cupido x Special D x Wellington
Liked this colt a bunch. Super muscular butt. Maybe a little heavy in his movement, but powerful. Has Ferro hindleg. He was invited to the Championship Ring.
Three years ago when I attended the first full day of foal inspections all held at the KWPN center in Ermelo, Dark Pleasure’s foals were the talk of the day. He’d bred very few mares and only had eight foals—all of them were at Ermelo that day. My take on them then was that they were super movers and really interesting, but I didn’t like them quite as well as everyone else—they had giraffe necks, and some of them appeared to be horses in two parts. Well, I feel the same way about them as adults.
Dark Pleasure x Blue Hors Zack x Flemmingh
OK. Before I start, this horse was invited to the Championship Ring. Fantastic hind leg. But, for my money, he has a giraffe neck and a hind end and front end that don’t go together. Maybe once he’s under saddle a rider can pull it all together, but I think he’s a little weird looking.
A selection from Davino’s first foal crop was also presented in Ermelo the year I was there for the foal inspections. I loved his foals. Gorgeous types, really rectangular, most lacking power, but super dressage conformation and appeal. As adults his offspring are similar to this description.
For those of you not aware, Davino is half brother to UB-40—same dam. He’s by Hotline, so on a Michelangelo dam, that’s a lot of Trakehner blood.
Davino VOD x Vivaldi x Houston x Donnerhall
The description above fits this colt. Lovely horse. Needs more power. He’s out of the same damline as Edward Gal’s Undercover, so having the Donnerhall back there is certainly interesting, though his dam must have been inspected at home because she has the stb-ext designation, and his granddam is only ster. The important mare is back in the fourth generation.
Davino VOD x Wynton x 00 Seven
This is the horse that I thought should have placed third in the Championship Ring, but the committee didn’t even select him to go past the third ring, let alone the Championship Ring. If I didn’t think Carol would have killed me, I would have bid on him in the Select Sale. Super horse. Best mover of all the Davinos, and with power. Although the committee said they didn’t select him because there isn’t enough sport in the mareline, I think it may have to do with the Wynton. I love Wynton, but there was an absolutely fantastic Wynton on Saturday that should have been selected and wasn’t. All of the Wynton’s presented were pretty fancy. The one I liked the least was the one in the Gelders selection, and he was the only one accepted…go figure. My only guess is that the Wyntons are a little heavy, sometimes a little short legged, and often have lots of knee and hock. They look like upper level dressage prospects to me. Time will tell.
Davino VOD x Jazz x Darwin
This colt is also gorgeous. He has beautiful articulation with the hind leg, but not enough power for my tastes. He was the Davino selected for the Championship Ring.
I should go back and reread my report from that offspring in inspection day in Ermelo so I know I’m not contradicting myself, but, as I remember, I liked the Vivaldi sons’ offspring better than Vivaldi’s himself. Desparado is the sire of the next group. They didn’t mature as well as some of the other Vivaldi grandsons. Not that impressive. The committee only took one of them.
Desperado x De Niro x Warkant
Yup. De Niro x Warkant. That probably has more to do with why this colt was accepted than the Desperado. This colt is a nice enough type, good balance, a little fine boned, and lacks power.
Don Schufro x Ferro x Florestan I
Here we have the best Don Schufro I’ve seen out of a KWPN mare. Granted, I haven’t seen that many, maybe six, but, until now, I haven’t been too impressed with how he’s nicking with Dutch mares. This colt is quite nice. He’s the kind of horse that’s going to look a lot better under saddle. Right now, he needs more power, lacks balance, and is a little weak in the loin connection. I wouldn’t breed to him until I see what he produces, but it’s an interesting pedigree and an interesting horse.
Dreamboy looks fantastic. Now that Hans Peter has the ride on him, this horse should be headed for the international stage. Eye Catcher is still my favorite Vivaldi son, but you can’t deny the talent and charisma of Dreamboy. That being said, his offspring are inconsistent in type in my opinion–they seem significantly and noticeably influenced by their damlines. If they get their sire’s talent for dressage and good temperament, then that’s good enough! Let them look like their damlines!
Dreamboy x Jazz x Goodtimes
This colt went on to be Reserve Champion of the show. He’s a gorgeous type, lots of presence. He looked better and better every time he came out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns into quite a heavy horse as he matures. In keeping with my comment above, the most interesting thing to me is how much the Goodtimes comes through in this horse. The hindend, both in shape and power, is pure Goodtimes. He’s also shorter coupled and has the Goodtimes face.
Dreamboy x Negro x Monaco
This is the only other Dreamboy that was accepted. He’s nice, but he didn’t blow me a way. You can really see the Negro in him, probably because he’s double Ferro, or, again, because Dreamboy offspring seem to take after the dam in type. The mareline is really interesting; the great grandmother produced the approved Chippendale son, Giovanni.
I loved the Everdales as foals. Every single one of them was a dressage horse, demonstrating adjustability and real sit even as foals. The adults were not as impressive. The committee didn’t accept any of them.*****My mistake! Natalie DiBarardinis emailed me to say I screwed up on the Everdales; two were accepted. Not sure how I missed that. My system is to circle the ones selected, then check them off when they’re aangewezen…. ADHD must have been in full force:
Everdale x Johnson x Variant
Fantastic motherline. The dam is just studbook, but behind that are three keur preferent prestatie mares in a row. This horse was the most complete of the Everdales. The Johnson in him is really obvious, especially in the hind leg usage.
Everdale x Don Romantic x Furst Heinrich
Interesting horse. Good leg technique. A bit giraffe-like. There’s almost no information on the German mareline, but there’s three times Donnerhall in the dam’s pedigree.
Eye Catcher x Lorentin I x Cor de la Bryere
The selection committee must have really wanted to give an Eye Catcher a chance. This is a nice horse, but I don’t think he’s a breeding horse. He’s supple and balanced, good mover, but he’s off type a bit. The pedigree isn’t especially interesting either. Nonetheless, I’ll be he makes a hell of a fancy dressage horse.
The next few horses are by foreign sires. Although it’s crucial we find new blood to cross with all the Ferro, Flemmingh, and, particularly, Jazz, I’m not sure we always look in the right places. If you watch the video of the Champion of the KWPN dressage horses this year, then watch the champions of other studbooks, the differences are striking.
Furst Wilhelm x Don Frederico x Wolkenstein II
The most interesting thing about this horse is motherline. It produced the German superstar dressage horse,Desperados, and Don Diego Ymas. The horse himself isn’t that interesting. His hocks are out behind him, he’s not carrying, he’s completely horizontal in conformation and movement. We’ll see.
Furstenball x Lord Sinclair x Montmarte
Another outcross for us. Good canter, nice front, could be a little more rectangular. Not a stand out in any way.
Furstenball x Sandro Hit x Silvano N
Again, an outcross. This Furstenball son is out of a better mareline; his dam is full sister to the approved stallion Santano. Again, the horse himself is not a stand out. Way too much Sandro Hit in type and movement for my tastes—really lacks power.
Hofrat x Zhivago x Ferro
This boy was clearly the best of the Hofrats. Of course, the mareline is one of Holland’s best. It’s produced multiple approved stallions, top mares, and Grand Prix horses.
Hofrat x Del Piero x Madison
OK. Not special. Would not have accepted him.
Johnson has certainly proven himself as both a sport horse and sire. He produces a distinct type; they’re smooth conformationally and really look like riding horses—good depth of body—the hind legs tend to be well placed but slow.
Johnson x Farrington x Flemmingh
Johnson type. Good mover. I think this is a horse that’s going to look better under saddle.
Johnson x Tuschinski x Scandic
Good mover. A little stiff laterally. Really free in the front, especially interesting in that his shoulder is fairly straight.
Johnson x Kennedy x Farrington
This was my favorite Johnson. Best mover of his sons and best type. Beautiful horse.
The KWPN continues to look for Negro blood.
Negro x Jazz x Ulft
I missed this horse. Someone came over to the table and needed to talk to me.
Negro x Lord Leatherdale x El Corona
I saw this one! Really nice dressage horse. He may be my favorite of all the Van Olst young stallions I’ve seen come through the Stallion Show. Super balance. Great type. I was surprised he wasn’t invited to the Championship Ring.
This next horse is a Nijhof horse, so we’ll have access via frozen semen next year. When the Nijhofs hit with a dressage stallion, they really hit. Think about Johnson, Florencio, Cocktail, and a number of others. I think this horse is going to be really good for them.
Sir Donnerhall x Krack C x Rohdiamant
This horse is out of the famous German mareline that produced Bordeaux, Gunter Seidel’s U II, and a number of Grand Prix dressage horses. It’s one of Germany’s best marelines. The dam of this horse is only studbook and PROK. The great granddam is studbook and preferent. Close up, this is a lovely, lovely horse. He looks quite young and immature. He’s super supple and free in the movement, but has no balance in the hind end right now. In hand, he looked fantastic. I’m definitely interested in breeding to him next year if makes it through the testing.
United x Welt Hit II x Ulft
This guy looks a lot like his half brother, Bordeaux. He’s a little lateral, nicer trot than canter. Even though Welt Hit II makes some beautiful horses and has some upper level competitors, he’s also known for producing really difficult temperaments.
Finally! We have a Voice son accepted. I’m a HUGE Voice fan, but the Stallion Committee has had difficulty finding a Voice son they could accept. Congratulations to my friend, Emmy de Jeu, who bred this colt.
Voice x Florencio x Rubinstein I
He looks a lot like Voice. Could use a little more power from behind, but beautiful front. It’s a good German mareline.
Winningmood x Oscar x Adonius (Apollonios xx x Maykel–NRPS stallion) x Cabochon
Recognize the names in this pedigree? Who has to be the owner of this horse? Yup, GW van Norel and family. This is the best Van Norel horse I’ve seen in years. Big, strong, powerful. SUPER mover. This is another horse I thought should have been selected for the Championship Ring over some of the horses that were selected. This is a fantastic horse.
There were five Wyntons presented, four really good ones, all out of really good marelines, including a full brother to Dark President–and the brother is better. The Wynton x Ramiro x Pion, a Wynton x Krack C x Sultan (out of an outrageously good mareline), a Wynton x Flemmingh x Nimmerdor, a Wynton x Citango x Gribadi (out of Tuschinski’s mareline), and a Wynton x Flemmingh x Wolfgang (super hind leg and a real stallion type). Four of the five were fantastic horses, all good and/or fantastic movers, really good riding types, powerful, muscular–I just don’t get why none of them was accepted. When I look at Wynton sons, I see future Grand Prix horses. From what I could gather, the Stallion Committee thinks they don’t lift enough in the wither and don’t move through their bodies enough. Hmmm. Not my observation.
****That’s it for the young stallions. I’ll continue with some notes about the newly approved and older stallions when I get a minute.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016
I have a lengthy first journal entry of 2016 in the works, but the emotions of the day and the events of late cause me to post a different entry. Carol, the kids, and I have spent the last month being reminded of the balance of joys and sorrows that comes with breeding horses. We produced our best crop of foals ever this year, we had enormous keuring success both here and in Holland, culminating in our oldest Totilas mare being featured in In de Strengen, and we were recently nominated for Breeder of the Year by our peers. That’s a lot of joy to balance. But, as those of you who’ve been doing this as long as we have know, it’s going to be balanced sooner or later. Within the last month and a half, we’ve now lost five horses. Our coming three-year-old Don Tango colt moved to his new home. He had a freak accident in the pasture and broke his leg. Our two-year-old UB-40 x Vincent colt tried to jump a gate while he was racing around playing, got caught on it, and fractured his pelvis. Mistral, our 22-year-old Vincent mare, dam to the two boys I just listed, pulled both suspensory ligaments so severely that she was having difficulty getting up and down, so we euthanized her to alleviate the pain. This week, our beloved younger Totilas daughter from Orchis, Honorites SSF, fell on the ice and fractured her pelvis. We’ve been treating her all week, but she aborted her 9-month-old fetus this morning—and, when she went down to deliver, she displaced the fracture and couldn’t get back up. We are saddened by all of these losses, but losing Nora is the most difficult. She was a special mare, and just at the beginning of a brilliant career producing the next generation of SSF superstars.