The second day of the Harthill Stud Breeder’s Seminar consisted of a selection of well bred 3 year olds vying for the £1000 first prize in the loose jumping competition. Not only was there a decent prize fund available but the winner would also have the opportunity to be entered in the famous Fences Elite Auction that will be held in France this autumn. The competition was judged by Fences two selectors – Bernard Demets and Jean Fourcart. The day was again sponsored by Equerry Feeds whose representative was on hand all day to answer questions.

L-R Jean Fourcart (Fences), Louise (Equerry Feeds), Bernard Demets (Fecnes), Sue Jagger (Millfield Stud)

L-R Jean Fourcart (Fences), Louise (Equerry Feeds), Bernard Demets (Fecnes), Sue Jagger (Millfield Stud)

The competition was also a good marketing opportunity for the contestants, with a well-produced catalogue accompanying the event, detailing the pedigree of each horse, and contact details for those youngsters that were for sale. Anyone who is looking for a talented young prospect should make sure they are in attendance should the event run again next year.

Each of the youngsters was shown loose, which not only gave the audience chance to view their basic paces, but also gave the horses a chance to warm up before going down the jumping lane. Each horse had the opportunity to jump down the lane a number of times and they were never asked to jump higher than they were comfortable with. The judges gave their commentary after each horse had jumped which was a great way for the audience to understand what the experts were looking for.

All the horses were well presented and had good sport futures ahead of them, and below are details of some that particularly caught the eye:

Balou De Rouet

The first horse to catch our eye was a Balou De Rouet x Caldio filly bred by James Davenport. Although a fairly lightly made and slightly immature type, she was very quick off the ground and was very motivated to go forwards. With time and maturity you could see she was going to be an exciting sporthorse. The filly ended up taking the runners up position in the competition.

Harthill youngsters

Harthill themselves presented a Numero Uno x Indorado filly that a lot of the audience admired for her strong topline and nice outlook. She certainly would not have looked out of place in the show ring and it was interesting to see how that look appealed to the traditional British breeders. The judges agreed with the addition of more blood she would show quicker reactions and more explosive power off the floor.

Another promising youngster that had been purchased as a foal by Harthill was a Cassini II x Chellano Z gelding who is a full brother to Christian Ahlmann’s Casuality Z. He was a very attractive horse with an uphill frame and nice outlook. A very useful type he corrected himself well when he made a mistake and just needed to bascule a little more to get top marks.

Strong British damlines

A British bred colt by the recently retired International competitor Tornesch out of a Carnaval Drum mare who had also jumped internationally, had a very interesting pedigree. The dam was also a full sister to the 4 star eventer Quackers. The colt was well stamped by his sire and was athletic with a good attitude. He was efficient rather than spectacular over the fences but really did not do a lot wrong.

The eventual third place horse was a very blingy chestnut colt by Extreem Vd Bresser x It’s The Business, who has inherited a colt of his dam sire’s type. A solid and compact type, he was very well balanced, but his compact frame did limit his athleticism a little. He was certainly brave and confident. His granddam Gordon’s Twist had been National Ladies Champion on 4 occasions.

Cooper Vd Heffinck

There were two youngsters entered by Cooper Vd Heffinck. A filly that descended from the international speed horse Risk Me showed scope but needed quicker reactions. The other youngster was a colt bred by Millfield Stud out of a Contender mare. Named Millfield Counterfeit he had been licensed by AES last Autumn and was a very attractive modern stamp. He was scopey and learnt when he made a mistake. He could still have learnt to close up his frame a little better, but there was no surprise when he was named the eventual winner.

Millfield Counterfeit

Millfield Counterfeit

Button Sitte and Andiamo

Another eye catching colt was a flashy chestnut by the young stallion Button Sitte out of a Quasimodo Z mare. He had really quick reactions and had a very good brain. This colt took 4th place.

Boy vd Tojopehoeve (by Button Sitte)

Boy vd Tojopehoeve (by Button Sitte)

Danny Dunne presented a very nice big colt by Andiamo x Concorde, from the direct motherline of Carron Nicol’s stallion Hollywood. He was a very big horse and a lovely stamp, who also moved very well, but he found it a little difficult to open and shorten his frame quickly.

Geoff Billington

After the prize giving there was a very entertaining display from ex Olympian Geoff Billington. Geoff was riding a 5yo son of Harthill’s flagship stallion Ramiro B, who also paraded for the audience. The 5yo had been bought in by Harthill from the Goresbridge sales, and had been brought on steadily. Geoff commented on the horse and what attributes he looks for in selecting a young jumper.

Althought the Ramiro B x Hermes De Reve was a stocky horse, he was surprising light on his feet and reactive. Geoff explained how he likes a horse to stay in self carriage and respond to changes in the rider’s body position. He tested him on both reins to test his balance and ensure he was happy to land on either rein. He tested his reactions by riding him both deep to the fence and also his scope by asking him to stand off a big oxer.

The youngster did impress with his lovely temperament, staying relaxed throughout the demo and showing plenty of jump. Geoff concluded the seminar by telling the audience that a top horse needs more than a big jump. It must handle the stress of travelling and competing and stay sound. If we can all breed tough, sound , genuine horses, we will have a lot of customers!