The 2020 Stallion Event was held again at Addington, on a crisp and clear February day. With more stallions than ever taking part, entrants were housed across two barns, and audience numbers appeared on the increase too. In particular the eventing and show jumping stallions were popular, the crowd noticeably thinned later in the day when the dressage stallions were presented. Whether this is a reflection that many dressage breeders in the UK have already decided they are using Continental stallions or that there are less dressage breeders in this country, is an item for further discussion.
There were personal highlights in each of the three sections that I feel would have held their own in any German or Dutch stallion presentation. But also a number of stallions who would have very limited commercial appeal and/or were not presented in a manner that showcased them to their best. Stallion ownership is expensive and it is a highly competitive market, so more thought needs to be given on making the absolute maximum of the 5 minute window given to showcase your stallion.
With so many stallions on the day, I will cover each discipline separately, starting here with the dressage section.
The packed day was rounded off by possibly my favourite stallion of the dressage section with an excellent display by international dressage rider Nikki Barker and her Grand Prix ride DURABLE (Spielberg x Tango). This 17.2hh big boned stallion was a correct stamp with a lovely temperament and was very supple behind the saddle with a big walk. His canter work was a real highlight. With his first competitive Grand Prix under his belt, he will be aimed at making his international Grand Prix debut in 2020. His Westfalen sire Spielberg’s oldest crop are now 12 and include a number of Grand Prix horses such as Steffen Peter’s very talented Suppenkasper. The immediate mare family has produced Alcazar (5 Star Grand Prix competitor for USA) and other international Grand Prix competitors West Side, Legend of Loxley and Odyssey.
Another stallion to catch the eye with more advanced work was Caunton Manor Stud’s BRANDUARDI (Breitling W x Weltmeyer). Already successful up to Inter 1, he showed a really uphill canter and good use of the shoulder. He is more modern in his frame that his pedigree might suggest as his sire Breitling is a heavier stamp but is also a very important sire of Grand Prix horses. But Branduadi does carry a double cross to the 3/4 Thoroughbred Bolero in the third generation and his full sister has produced the 3yo Hanoverian Champion and rising star Feuertanz. Importantly he has an outstanding temperament.
DON DANTE (Dancier x Salvano) has a good track record to Inter 1. He demonstrated he is working towards Grand Prix starting the piaffe and passage work and showing nice clean two time tempi changes. Dancier has been a real loss to the Hanoverian breed and it is interesting to have a breeding son in the UK. Catherston Stud brought four stallions forward, the highlight of which was probably the truly dual purpose TIMOLIN (Totilas x Sion). After showing his jumping talent in the eventing section, Timolin came back out to showcase his dressage talent. Already competing at Inter 1, he showed his development towards Grand Prix with half steps, tempi changes and that impressive shoulder reach.
Woodlander Stud always bring a good selection of stallions to this event. WOODLANDER DOUBLE BUBBLE (Don Frederic x Rousseau) and WAVAVOOM (Weltregent x Longchamp) are both now in training with Luis Principe who rode them here. Double Bubble is only 6 this year but is really catching the eye. A big powerful horse with a ground covering canter, he is already showing talent for the start of piaffe work demonstrating half steps. Wavavoom is a really neat compact little horse with an active hind leg and showing good tempi changes. With sons and grandsons licensing in Germany he is proving to be a real flagship for British breeding.
The full brother to YH World Champion Farouche FRANZ FERDINAND (Furst Heinrich x Dimaggio) looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself. WOODLANDER SUMMERTIME BLUES (Sporcken x Margue H) is a big rangy horse with a very good walk who competed at last years BD Nationals at both Novice and Elementary. The youngest of the Woodlander stallions was the 4 year old WOODLANDER GRAND DESIGNS (Grand Galaxy Win x Florencio) who went very sweetly and is a tall, rangy modern type.
Luke Baber-Davies did an excellent job professionally showcasing his team of three young stallions both under saddle and in the stable area. The highlight for me of those three was the 4 year old VERSACE (Vivaldi x Davignon II). He is stamped by his popular sire in type and front leg expression, and has a harmonious frame. The Krack C son Vivaldi has made a massive impact on German breeding in the last few years so it is interesting to see a quality son standing in the UK. I also am looking forward to following DIEGO (Dimaggio x Londonderry). He was quick and active in the hind leg and will continue to strengthen and mature. Dimaggio is continuing to reign supreme in the BD rankings. Luke’s third stallion was the 18hh KEROUAC (Sezuan x Sorento) who inherited his type from his sire and has yet to develop as much strength in the hind quarter to ensure they are always underneath him.
Another stallion offering the Vivaldi sire line was the 8 year old DEVIVIO (Desperado x Rohdiamant) a very pretty black stallion who is competing at medium level. The international Grand Prix stallion Diamond Hit has a British based stallion son competing at Medium level in the 8 year old DIAMOND CUT (Diamond Hit x Wolkenstein II). He has had a number of top ten placings at Regional level and has competed at both Summer and Winter Nationals at Novice. KL MAC (Larduc x Graf Quidam) is a year older but is really improving each year, with a strong frame and good activity.
A stallion for mare owners not wanting height and looking very trainable was WASHINGTON DC (Wynton x Arpeggio) and if you are looking for something smaller there were a number of pony stallions presented. The purebred Welsh Cob CYNHEIDREFAWR CREME DE LA CREME (Crabbiesden Platinum x Leafycroft Maverick) looked really trainable with excellent lateral work. Already competing at Inter 1, the aim is Grand Prix for this cremello stallion. Young Ella Glennon did a great job showing the 10 year old PLATINUM HONEYS HOPE (Halifax x Marsvogel) who caught the eye with his active and cadenced trot work. 5 year old HAMMERWOOD RITZ (Rembrandt DDH x Blue Hors Cavan) is a son of the European pony medallist Rembrandt. WOODLANDER SIR GORGEOUS (Woodlander Santana x Synod Rum Punch) is a very strong bodied pony combining Hanoverian and Welsh genetics who is competing at Advanced Medium. BATHLEYHILLS COLOUR CREATION (Bathleyhills Monet x Acado) was the youngest pony stallion presented and qualified for the Equine Bridge last season.
FHS DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH (Solitaire x Strong Gale xx) is an interesting stallion who has moved from eventing to dressage. His damsire was a significant National Hunt sire and his sire is a son of the legendary Voltaire. He won his Area Festival at AM and is now competing at PSG. 24 year old OLIVER (Voltaire x Graaf Grande is from the same sire line and although very much has a jumping pedigree, did compete at PSG dressage.
MYSPIRES FIDER HIT (Fidertanz x Sandro Hit) is a refined young stallion very stamped by his damsire. He went very sweetly under saddle and is getting good scores at Novice with rider Amy Woodhead. GRRENLANES JESTER (Negro x Florencio I) has strengthened up since last year’s Event and is deep bodied with a canter showing good jump and rhythm. PLATINUM CABOCHON (Christ x Rotspon) has the look of his sire and again showed a very rhythmic canter. His rider deserves a mention for her lovely seat and sympathetic handling.
Some of the dressage stallions were only shown in hand which limited their impact in the arena. These were mainly young stallions who are not yet competing. These younger stallions encompased a wide selection of bloodlines and included FIRST WORDS (For Romance I x Wavavoom) and LOLLIPOP (Uthopia x Amoureux).
Young stallions that were shown under saddle included: ALLEGRETTO (Antango x Good Times) who was big framed and uphill; DEBUTANTES DREAM (Larkshills Debonair x Woodander Del Amitri) looked very honest looking after his young rider; DIAMOND DELOREAN (Damon Hill x His Highness) who had a good walk and is a interesting combination of bloodlines; FURST ROMEO (Furst William HC x Don Davidoff) went very sweetly on his first outing showing nice tempo and carriage; GENERAL (Governor x San Amour) is the only British based son of small tour stallion Governor, who combines the genetics of Totilas with the full sister to Parzival; KETCHER B (Negro x Stedinger) a very pretty black stallion showed his greenness in the atmosphere; and MAZIMO JLBA (Habanero XLI x Espartaco XIII) was the only PRE stallion presented.
From 4 year olds just under saddle to small tour and Grand Prix horses, the dressage section was filled with a wide variety of bloodlines and types.
All images courtesy of Horse Power Creative