The 6 year old World Championship Final also did not disappoint in terms of food for thought as a breeder. These are some of the rides that caught my eye.
Category: Dressage (Page 1 of 2)
As a breeder, I try and make good use of my subscription to internet channels such as Clip My Horse to watch equestrian events from around the globe, and am always making a mental note of the bloodlines of horses that catch my eye. On this occasion I have been watching the World Young Horse Championships, which for the dressage horses is held at Ermelo in Holland.
Lemieux Grand Prix and Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle
The highlight of the whole week from a breeding point of view has to be crowning of Hayley Watson-Greaves as the new Lemieux National Champion on her British Hanoverian WG Rubins Nite. Although just pipped to the post in the freestyle by Carl Hester and Alcazar and by Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad in the Grand Prix, Hayley’s consistency over the two days, was well rewarded.
Backinaction Preliminary Silver Championship
First in the arena at 7.50 on Thursday morning and the first British bred winners at the BD Nationals, were Abigail Unwin and her buckskin gelding Arleys Dun Deal. Originally bred for eventing by Arley Moss Equestrian, this wildcard entry, is a son of the perlino stallion Burnocks Unqiue out of a mare by the popular coloured stallion Goshka Ringo. Burnocks Unique hails from the blue blooded eventing sire line of 4 star eventer Welton Crackerjack.
The National young horse classes in any discipline, are always a good indication of the strength of that country’s future talent. In dressage, there are always some horses that are not competed until they are older and more established but even so, the young horse classes are still fascinating to watch and can be a source of some incredible talent (think Valegro).
The largest section of stallions forward were being showcased for dressage. There were 25 stallions entered in this section, 3 of which were pony stallions and 1 who did not come forward.
Most of the commentary in this section was provided by Lynne Crowden (Woodlander Stud) whose in depth knowledge of bloodlines means she can ad-lib where the provided commentary notes fall short, and her enthusiasm and passion added greatly to the event. I don’t think the importance of the right commentator can be stressed enough when trying to engage the audience.
It was generally agreed among the spectators that the standard of presentation is improving each year, and there were a few stallions forward that were as good a standard as you would find at the stallion shows in mainland Europe.
The final day of the championships also saw the final rounds of the Shearwater Young Horse Championships which included test rider Eva Moller riding the 4 finalists in each section. As on the first day, the British Hanoverian Hawtins San Floriana shone and headed the 4 year old class, with the licensed AES stallion River Rise Magic Mike in 2nd.
In the 5 year old class, Mount St John’s homebred daughter of Totilas – MSJ Top Secret finshed as the eventual reserve champion and the reserve champion of the 6 year olds was British bred F.J Veryon.
The Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Championship saw a top five placing for the Scottish bred Don Caledonia. Bred by Rea Campbell the 9 year old is a son of internationally acclaimed stallion Don Schufro. Also of interest in this class was the British based and active stallion Don Dante, a stallion carrying the valuable Hanoverian bloodlines of Dancier.
The Childeric Sadles Elementary Gold Championship was won by none other than Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin, but riding a British bred horse – Brioso II. The official program stated she was bred in Germany, when in fact Brioso was bred by Nicole Nelson. She purchased her granddam Worena in Germany and bred her to the sensational sire Dimaggio. That mare – Da Capo Aria was then bred to the German stallion Benetton Dream. Nicole selected him as a 3yo as she was impressed by his long legged modern frame and that all 3 paces were good and that he also had a very solid performance pedigree (Brentano II x Rotspon). He was the 3yo Bundeschampion and is now at Grand Prix. Brioso is owned by Carl Hester and shows super talent for the future so fingers crossed she is on the way to becoming another Grand Prix star for the team.
In 2nd place in the championship was another British bred 6 year old- – F.J Veryon who had done so well in the young horse championships. And completing a strong British showing in this class was the 4th place of MFS French Noir, a 7 year old gelding by French Kiss who was bred by Caroline Ironside of Morayforth Stud in Scotland.
The third day of the championships are among the most interesting for me as they showcase emerging young talent with the preliminary rounds of the Shearwater Young Horse Championships. In both the 4 and 5 year old sections, 50% of the field was British bred. What was even more exciting was that the top four 4 year olds that went through to final judging on the Sunday, were British.
Outstanding from the start was the British Hanoverian Hawtins San Floriana. Judith Hawtin’s breeding program is really reaping the rewards as not only did she have San Floriana competing here but also her homebred dam Hawtins Floriana in the Intermediate I and Hawtins Barolo in the 5 year olds. A further Hawtins bred gelding is covered in our report on the Medium Championship. San Floriana is a lovely big quality mare with active paces and you feel there is even more to come. She is sired by the Sandro Hit son San Amour with Florestan and Weltmeyer further back.
The only other 4 year old to score over 8 points in the first round of judging was the licensed AES stallion River Rise Magic Mike bred and jointly owned by Sarah Tyler Evans and ridden by his other owner Sadie Smith. A modern type, clearly showing his Dutch heritage, the stallion was very active and forward with good jump to the canter. He is a son of the British based stallion T.Movistar who is a son of the hot but potent sire Jazz. Previously competed by Carl Hester up to small tour level he had been covering quite large books of mares so it will be interesting to see if his son proves as popular.
In third place was the Lickley’s Vivaldi son Hennessy T, so another carrying the blood of Jazz. And in 4th was further Dutch sired horse with the Johnson daughter Little Tree J’Adore, bred by the Woolleys.
The 5 year old first round judging did not see such high scores as the 4 year olds. But again 50% of the field was British bred. The highest score from the first round was Mount St John’s homebred daughter of Totilas – MSJ Top Secret. Top Secret is a daughter of the Bundeschampion Deja’vu FBW and there is a younger full sister waiting in the wings. Sadly the rest of the top four at this stage were imported stock.
There were only 3 British bred 6 year olds forward out of the 10 entrants, but this included the hugely talented F.J Veryon, a previous 4 year old champion. Ridden for owner/breeder Fiona James by Paul Hayler, the big chestnut son of Vivaldi was supple across his topline with good elasticity and earned the highest score from day one. The second highest score was another British bred, this time Carl Hester’s mare Brioso II ridden by Charlotte Dujardin. The lovely mare was not presented for the final but her pedigree will be analysed in the Day Four report. The final British horse that did go through to the final four was the Blue Hors Zack x Mooiman daughter Full Fusion ridden by Hannah Moody.
The Lemieux Grand Prix was the highlight of Saturday and it was encouraging to see a number of British bred contestants in the line-up including eventual 4th and Olympic short-listed WG Rubins Nite. The 12 year old son of leading Oldenburg stallion Rubin Royal is out of a Limbo dam. Limbo was a Hanoverian son of Lanthan who stood in the UK for a number of years.
The TopSpec Medium Gold Championship saw 35% of the field bred in the UK, with the highest placed another representative of the fabulous Hawtins Stud. This was 5th placed Hawtins Horatio, a son of the Grand Prix stallion Hotline out of one of Judith’s foundation mares World’s Finest by the legendary Weltmeyer. Worlds Finest is also the granddam of the 4yo champion.
Also worth noting in such a strong class (that was won by the Olympic champion) was the 6th place of the pony mare Ode to Shannon. This neat little mare is a daughter of the little used stallion Washington Postman. He was a Thoroughbred who evented successfully up to intermediate level but didn’t leave that many offspring behind. Ode to Shannon represented Great Britain at the 2016 Pony Europeans.