Saturday, February 24, 2018

Future Event Horse Opportunities Expand for 2018

According to the US Eventing Association, the Future Event Horse Program has grown every year since its inception in 2007. 2018 will see more events, and a Central Championship in addition to the East and West ones. 

If you have an eventing prospect, this means you have more opportunities to get your young horse out to age-appropriate events and get feedback from judges.

For more information click here.

Mares Show Changes in Dry Matter Intake in Late Gestation - KER Article

Do mares need a supplement in late pregnancy? That's the subject of a recent article by the folks at Kentucky Equine Research.

Read the full article here.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cabardino 2017 USEF Hunter Sire, W Charlot Farm Hunter Breeder of the Year

USEF Hunter Sire of 2017: Cabardino at home enjoying the snow.
We'd like to offer special congratulations to Augustin and Christine Walch and W. Charlot Farms (Stratford, Ontario) on their impressive accomplishments recognized by USEF this year! Their stallion Cabardino (Carpaccio x Gaspari I) was named USEF Hunter Sire for 2017, and Augustin and W. Charlot Farms were USEF Hunter Breeder of the Year as well. It's special in part because it's not the first honor for the farm. W. Charlot Farms has been USEF Hunter Breeder of the Year twelve times since 2004! Congratulations!

W. Charlot Farms has been USEF Hunter Breeder of the Year 12 out of the last 14 years due to the success their offspring have shown in the US. It was Rio Grande, the International Show Jumper and Hanoverian stallion, who first put the farm “on the map”. Rio Grande competed under Eric Lamaze and qualified to represent Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He became one of the most successful hunter and jumper sires in North America, making the top 10 of the USEF Hunter sires for close to a decade. Almost all broodmares at W. Charlot Farms carry the proven bloodlines of “Rio." Augustin started his breeding career in 1968 in his native Germany, and has been established as a preeminent breeder in Canada for almost four decades now. In addition to breeding very successful show hunter, W. Charlot Farms have bred international show jumpers and dressage horses.

The legacy created by Rio Grande now continues thanks to Cabardino, who is the USEF #1 Hunter Sire for 2017. Cabardino is a  Holsteiner Premium stallion by Carpaccio out of Gaspari mare. He is approved by the Hosteiner Verband, AHHA, Hanoverian Verband, AHS, Oldenburg, ISR, CWHBA, and CSHA. Cabardino was a spectacular 4' hunter and is now a sought-after sire. He was bred and started in Germany, where he has an approved son. In North America he initially competed successfully in Young Horse Jumper classes under Erynn Ballard before Erynn started showing him in the hunter ring. Cabardino was campaigned from 2006 to 2008, winning Working Hunter Championships at WEF, Kentucky National, Tournament of Champions and Combined Hunter, Adult/Amateur and Grand Champion Amateur Hunter Championships at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. He is the sire of the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Champion “Sabrina” and has produced many hunter line class champions in addition to countless "A" circuit hunter champions at some of the most prestigious shows in North America. His daughter Socialite (out of a Rio Grande mare) received the Canadian Bred Hunter Award for the third time in a row at the 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Cabardino is retired to stud and as playful as ever when turned out in his paddock. He is the star at the farm and loves all the attention and pampering that he gets. He stamps his offspring with his wonderful disposition and his spectacular jump.

View other stallions standing at W. Charlot Farms:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dorothee Schneider on Young Horses: The Horse Magazine Article

Dorothee Schneider and Horation, by Hochadel, demonstrating young horse training at a seminar.

Read this interesting interview by Christopher Hector with German rider Dorothee Schneider, who has brought young horses from 3-year-olds to successful Grand Prix competition. Lovely perspective on this rider.

Click here to read the article.

Old Data and New Research On Gestation Length: KER Article

A recent article in the Kentucky Equine Research Equinews library of articles points out new research on what the "normal" length of gestation is for mares. I put normal in quotes because - as they mention in paragraph 1 - the foal will only come when it's ready! Mares are not known for reading the same book you did.

The point of the article is that our expectation of normal - 340 days - was determined over 50 years ago. Only with Thoroughbreds. And only in northern European countries. But pregnancy lengths are different all the time, even for the same mare bred to the same stallion with other obvious factors the same. According to Kathy St. Martin of Avalon Equine and Equine Reproduction, "I've bred mares to the same stallion, year after year after year and had completely different gestational length. I had one mare some years ago that went 367 days, despite having foaled at 332 the previous year when bred to the same stallion, at the same time of year. One can only assume that for whatever reason, things cooked slower.

In some ways this is an example of the research finally catching up with what the breeders in the barn already knew. But it should be helpful to many breeders - especially novices - to know that the official word is no longer that mares "should" foal at 340 days. 

It would be simpler for humans if a horse's gestation period were more predictable - the rest of the article talks about how knowing what the gestation "should" be will help determine whether a foal is truly premature or not, and how that's important to know - for example. But it's not clear how that could ever be possible, since the reality is that there is a whole range of normal. 

If you have an opinion, please leave a comment.

To read the KER article, click here.

Kathy St. Martin is well-known and respected in the breeding community, not only as the owner of Avalon Equine, an established and successful breeding farm, but also as part of Equine Reproduction. is operated by Kathy and her husband Jos Mottershead, and provides extensive repro services from collecting and freezing semen to teaching breeding short courses all over the US and Canada.

Avalon Equine has several stallions with Profiles on Click each name to view that stallion's Profile:




Belafonte d'Avalon

Colorado Skrødstrup

Dracula d'Avalon


Hertog Jan v.d. Paddensteeg


Silver Creek's Validation

Smoke Tree Poetry in Motion

ES Toronto

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Leatherdale Farms Wins Second Consecutive Dressage Breeder of the Year Award

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 29, 2017 – For the second year in a row, Louise Leatherdale and Leatherdale Farms received the prestigious Adequan/USDF Dressage Breeder of the Year award. Leatherdale Farms has long-since been recognized for its high-quality Hanoverian breeding program both in the United States and in Germany. In addition to their breeder award, many of Leatherdale Farms’ young horses received recognition in the Horse of the Year awards and American Hanoverian Society year-end awards.
With an impressive media score of 192, which was nearly 100 points higher than the next breeder, the breeding program was rewarded by the impressive averages of several sport horses all sired by Leatherdale Farms’ stallions. Duchess L, Hero L, Hannigan L, Fleur De Lis L and Fighting Chance L had outstanding seasons that contributed to the farm’s success.
Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L
“The Leatherdale horses are very talented and the top breeding is evident in the creation of very intelligent and athletic horses,” Leatherdale Farms’ young rider Mike Suchanek said. He also credits the teams’ success to the pride Leatherdale and her late husband, Doug, had for their operation as well as their dedication and passion for the horses.
“Doug and Louise really took their time and did their research to hand pick the lineages, as they wanted to create a line of horses that were talented but also had great minds,” Suchanek explained. “Louise is a very special woman – she carries on the passion that Doug also had for this sport and for the horses. She wants the very best for her horses and she cares just as much about the people she hires as she does her amazing animals!
Mike Suchanek and Duchess L
“To have found such a generous and passionate owner and breeder that I can ride and train horses for has been an opportunity of a lifetime and a dream job!” Suchanek concluded. “I’m so excited I was able to help earn Leatherdale Farms another Breeder of the Year award! I’m so honored to be a part of Doug and now Louise’s passionate endeavor!”
The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare Duchess L (Damsey FRH-De la Rosa, De Niro) placed third in the Adequan/USDF Second Level Dressage Horse of the Year with a median score of 73.300 percent and placed sixth in the Third Level division with a median of 73.141. The mare also took home a win in the Third Level Open and a second in the Second Level Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society.
Hannigan L (E.H. Herzensdieb-Pia Colada, Pik L), a 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding, secured a third place ribbon in the Third Level Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society with a median 70.962 percent.
Mike Suchanek and Hero L
Earning the reserve championship for the Adequan/USDF Prix St. Georges Dressage Horse of the Year was the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Hero L (His Highness-Waterlily L, Wolkenstein II) with a median score of 74.935 percent. In the American Hanoverian Society’s All-Breed standings, Hero L won the Intermediate I Open division with a median 69.649 percent and won the Prix St. Georges Open division.
“They are happy horses and I try to instill in them a sense of confidence every time I ride so they can trust me and I can trust them. I think that keeps them happy and successful,” Suchanek explained as he expressed his optimism for the coming years. “When the horses are mentally and physically ready to develop, they are eager to learn and it’s a lot of fun to be able to keep training them up the levels and have them keep progressing.”
Leatherdale Farms’ 17-year-old gelding Devon L’s (De Niro-EM Wibranda, Wolkenstein II) experience shone through as he claimed first place in the Grand Prix Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society with a median 68.292 percent score. Devon L has won the award several times during his successful career and in the 2017 season he earned points with the help of both Diane Creech and her daughter, Vanessa Creech-Terauds, who also began competing in the U25 Grand Prix division with Devon L this spring.
Diane Creech and Devon L
“Devon L loves to perform and he has taken me so many places – I will always be grateful to him and to Louise, who has supported us all these years,” Creech said. “It makes it even more wonderful as he now is carrying on his legacy with my daughter in the U25 division. Although it can be at times a little challenging to work with a professor who knows it all, they both are making compromises, bonding and becoming more and more of a team.”
Lastly, the 8-year-old Hanoverian mare Fleur De Lis L (First Dance-EM De La Rosa, De Niro) and Vanessa Creech-Terauds won the American Hanoverian Society’s Prix St. Georges Junior/Young Rider division with a median of 69.167 percent.
Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L with Diane Creech

“Riding and growing with Fleur has been an amazing experience and learning opportunity!” Creech-Terauds said. “At shows, she has such a super mindset and really focuses on working with you throughout all of the movements in the test. She has an amazing natural ability to collect, which is super in the pirouettes and she has a nice hind leg. Fleur is so willing and you know that she will always try her heart out for you!”

To learn more about the Leatherdale stallions, standing at Bridlewood Farm, click on these links:


First Dance



To view the 2018 ad for Leatherdale and Bridlewood Farm stallions, all standing at Bridlewood Farm, click here.

Bridlewood Farm Releases 2018 Ad for Leatherdale and Bridlewood Stallions


Bridlewood and Leatherdale Farms have released their ad and stallion lineup for 2018. Together, the farms offer five stallions: E.H. Herzensdieb, Hampton, Dacaprio, Fairbanks, and First Dance. All five stand at Bridlewood Farm in Kentucky.

To learn more about the Leatherdale and Bridlewood stallions, standing at Bridlewood Farm, click on these links:



First Dance



Or click to visit the farms' websites:

Bridlewood Farm

Leatherdale Farms