Friday, December 14, 2018

Foundation Sire: Almé

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

165 cm
Breeder: Alphonse Chauvin

Almé was by the great French stallion Ibrahim out of Girondine. Almé’s dam, Girondine, was a daughter of the Irish-bred Thoroughbred, Ultimate, and as well as Almé, she also produced his three full-brothers, all licensed stallions or successful jumpers. 

In the 2003 edition of Annuaire Monneron, Bernard le Courtois, has this to say about the present influence of Almé, describing him as "father of world breeding":

“It is obviously no surprise to see that the line of Ibrahim is influential in French breeding. Almé’s line is becoming increasingly important in many great breeding countries as could be seen during the World Championship in Jerez 2002. I have received from the USA an analysis of the results, which I find interesting and would like to share with you. Among the 92 horses participating, the division between the sexes is relatively well balanced: 32 uncastrated males, not all of them stallions, 34.8%; 31 geldings, 33.7%; and 29 mares, 31.5%. Five stallions had more than one product: Quidam de Revel (5), Capitol I (4), Le Tot de Sémilly (3), Robin Z and Touchdown (2 each). Quidam, Robin and Touchdown are grandsons of Almé and 21 horses in the event (22.3%) were descendants of Almé. At the end of the speed class and of the Nations Cup we could count among the Top 25: 10 stallions, 7 geldings and 8 mares; 9 of them came from Almé (36%). When we arrive at the Top 10 (after two rounds of the individual championships) we find ourselves with four stallions, one gelding and four mares, four of them from Almé (40%). The four horses in the final (where the riders swapped horses) comprised one stallion and three mares, three of them from Almé, 75%! If we were to draw some preliminary, hasty, but nonetheless interesting conclusions we might suggest that if we want to produce horses of high quality the best way would be to invest in mares coming from our leader of the dynasty, Almé. One thing is sure and certain, and that is that Almé remains a valuable asset in the pedigrees of our sport horses. And everything comes together when we remember that the best six-year-old in Europe this year – Mozart des Hayettes – had Almé twice in his pedigree.”

In the 2007-2008 edition of Monneron, Bernard le Courtois, after spending many hours on his computer, produced a list of the top 75 jumping stallions in the world, based on the FEI list of the top 2515 jumping horses in international competition. This survey once again confirms Almé’s pride of place, for he is responsible for 17 of the 57 leading stallions on the leaderboard. Four of these stallions are by Jalisco, the most important of which is Quidam de Revel, who heads the standings with 48 representatives. Quidam himself already has two of his sons on the leader board, Nabab de Reve and Guidam. Another Jalisco son, Papillon Rouge, is ranked equal sixth in the world with 26 winners. Jalisco B, despite his death at a relatively young 19 years of age, is in 30th place on the leaderboard with 10 representatives.

Almé was also influential in Germany and The Netherlands. His grandson Acord II (by Ahorn Z) is in 13th place with 16 winners. In Holland, Almé’s son Animo is 19th with 12 winners. Animo’s son Andiamo Z is ranked 64th with 5 winners.

There was further Almé influence through another son, Jalisco, sire of Quidam de Revel, in turn the sire of Dollar de la Pierre, sire of Rebozo. Quidam was also the sire of Nabab de Reve, sire of silver medalist London. 

To read the entire article, with pedigree, details of Almé's sons and daughters, on the Horse Magazine website, click here.
There are several stallion descendants of Almé in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on

Thursday, December 13, 2018

British Dressage Young Horse Forums 2019

British Dressage has announced a return of the popular Young Horse Forums this winter. The Forums have two regular speakers and also guest experts, and present an array of topics on bringing along 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old youngsters. The goal is correct training to produce the "stars of the future," and includes both evaluation and training sessions.

Click for more information.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Improved Equine Genetic Map Released

Researchers have been working to improve our knowledge of equine DNA, and this research will ultimately have an influence on how we breed. If you're interested in following the discoveries, here's one for you to read. has posted an edited report on new discoveries about the horse's genome, the "map researchers will use to determine the role inherited genes and other regions of DNA play in many horse diseases and traits important in equine science and management."

To read more, click here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WBFSH Sire Rankings 2018 Released

The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses has released its list of top sires for dressage, show jumping, and eventing. Below is the teaser info with the top ten in each category. There's a link at the bottom of the page to the WBFSH site for more information.

The brackets indicate the sire’s ranking position in 2017.

Rolex WBFSH Top 10 Dressage Sire Ranking

1 (1) DE NIRO - 22871
2 (2) SANDRO HIT - 19850
3 (3) RUBIN-ROYAL - 18237
4 (5) JAZZ - 14154
5 (6) DON FREDERICO - 12783
6 (12) JOHNSON - 12783
7 (11) DIAMOND HIT - 9459
8 (43) SAN REMO - 9456
9 (21) DIMAGGIO - 9423
10 (8) STEDINGER - 8635
Rolex WBFSH Top 10 Show Jumping Sire Ranking

1 (1) CHACCO-BLUE – 31387
2 (2) DIAMANT DE SEMILLY - 19405
3 (5) CASALL - 14831
4 (4) CORNET OBOLENSKY - 12985
6 (10) BERLIN (CASPAR) - 12024
7 (16) TOULON - 10943
8 (13) CARDENTO - 9819
9 (9) BALOU DU ROUET - 8500
10 (12) NABAB DE REVE - 8379

Rolex WBFSH Top 10 Eventing Sire Ranking

1 (1) CONTENDRO I - 1298
2 (2) JAGUAR MAIL - 1247
3 (11) COURAGE II - 1137
4 (9) BALOU DU ROUET - 1042
5 (10) GRAFENSTOLZ - 702
6 (4) RAMIRO B - 642
7 (6) HERALDIK XX - 608
8 (3) MASTER IMP XX - 550
9 (24) CONTENDER - 521
10 (12) JUMBO - 485
Please visit the WBFSH website for the complete rankings, the top 100, how they rankings are calculated, and more. Click here.

WFFS Testing Mandatory in German and More EU News

Eurodressage has posted a report today that includes news of interest to breeders worldwide. The report was on the results of a special meeting of the German Equestrian Federation just held, to address some of the new animal regulations adopted by the European Union. Three decisions were in the report, but the most significant for North American breeders concerns WFFS.

The first new ruling is that Germany will have mandatory testing for Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome in 2019. This was prompted by the EU's new requirement for testing for genetic defects, with which Germany, as a member of the EU, must comply. This has significance to any breeder wishing to breed to German stallions. Many German registries and individual stallion owners have so far been reluctant to require testing, which puts mare owners in a bind. Many mare owners around the world would prefer to avoid the risk of delivering a foal with WFFS. They have tested their own mares, but this is only half the information they need. In order to safely breed a positive mare, they need to know that the stallion is not a carrier. It's an important step forward that all German stallions will be required to provide that information in 2019.

Other decisions addressed the status of stallions tested at the Czech Republic State Stud, and the opening of a stallion performance testing station at the State Stud of Marbach.

Read the eurodressage article here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hyperion Stud, LLC - Breeding Discounts

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Now is your chance to save some 💲 money this breeding season. We offer discounts for early booking, return clients, premium / sport record mares and more. Visit the link below for more details.
Hyperion Stud represents 30+ international quality stallions and we are always happy to consult with mare owners to help them make the best stallion selections for their mare(s).

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Article Publicly Available: Changing stallion behaviour may come at a risk!

Breeding News for Sporthorses has opened on of their recent articles to the public. "Changing stallion behaviour may come at a risk!" was published on November 30 and sparked a lot of interest. It was originally accessible only to subscribers, but Breeding News generously opened it to be available to anyone. 

The article, by Cindy Reich, deals with the topic of using drugs to control stallion behavior for competition, and their long-term effects. In the article, and also in some discussions on social media prompted by the article, the use of Regumate in mares was also addressed. 

Bottom line: we like to think that controlling unwanted behavior by drugs is temporary and without long-term consequences - but that's not the reality.

Read the full Breeding News article - click here.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Foundation Sire: Cantus

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

174 cm
Breeder: Ramus Boyschau

Cantus was Caletto I’s first crop in Holstein. His dam, Monoline, was by the tough competitor Roman and out of an advanced showjumper, USA.

Cantus, who died far too early in 1994, was a successful sire of showjumpers right from the start. Come On, his internationally best-known approved son, won many times at Grand Prix and Nations Cup level with Ralf Schneider and the Princess Haya of Jordan.

Cantus produced 25 approved sons, including Cassius Clay (1992 Viernheim champion stallion), Cascavelle, Colbert GTI, Canaletto (both private stallions in Holstein), Cyrano (private stallion Hesse) and Cellestial (private stallion Oldenburg).

At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the Cantus gelding Calvaro won the silver medal with the Swiss team and his rider Willi Melliger.

In 2004 Cantus’s progeny had winnings of €1.35 million.

According to Thomas Mohr, manager of the Maas J Hell stallion station, where Cantus stood:
“Cantus was for 15 years one of the most successful showjumping sires – with horses like Calvaro with Willi Melliger. The horses by Cantus were very powerful and easy to ride, sometimes not the prettiest horses, but very willing to perform.”

To read the entire article, with pedigree, details of Cantus's sons and daughters, on the Horse Magazine website, click here.
There are several stallion descendants of Cantus in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

North American Stallion Sport Test 2018: Dr. Christmann's Report

By Dr. Ludwig Christmann

For the second time the Stallion Sport test for sport horse stallions was carried out in the USA. The first station was Hilltop Farm in Maryland, which over the years has become one of the most important centers for breeding and sport in the USA. Nine stallions competed in the three-day test, seven in dressage and two in jumping. With 5 stallions Hanover had the most test candidates, two came from Oldenburg, one from the Rhineland and one from the KWPN Studbook. Leslie Waterman from Franklin, Tennessee, who had two stallions at the start, both ridden by Emily Miles, Kansas, achieved a great success and finished first and second. The winner was the four-year-old dark chestnut Rhineland stallion Sole Mio by Stanford, a son of Sir Donnerhall, out of a dam by Donnerschwee, who is thus inbred to the valuable blood of Donnerhall. His breeder Wencek comes from Moers, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Sole Mio had won the US Championships for four-year-old dressage horses in Chicago, IL two months earlier. With a height of 165 cm, he is a medium-sized stallion who has a great presence in the dressage arena. His trot mechanics are spectacular, with a lot of shoulder freedom; in addition he impresses with his willingness to perform and his rideability. "He gives the impression that he always wants to give 120% for his rider," says Gerd Sickinger, one of the two judges who had been flown in from Germany especially for the two Stallion tests. And Jessica Wisdom, the test rider dressage from Battle Ground, Washington added: "Sole Mio has a lot of balance and a lot of potential in trot and canter. In addition, he is very attentive to the rider and reacts to fine aids." In the five evaluation criteria trot, canter, walk, rideability and overall impression he received without exception marks between 8 and 9 which led to the final score of 8.6.

With a final score of 8.5, Sole Mio's stablemate Daily Show, a Hanoverian stallion by Danciano out of a dam of Stockholm, a son of Stedinger, followed closely behind. He was bred by Kurt Gravemeyer, Rosendahl, the former national coach for the German show jumping team. Daily Show is a very different type than Sole Mio: black, 172 cm tall, long-legged, highly elegant, a real eye-catcher. Of course he also has great quality in all three basic gaits, which are always uphill. In rideability. Jessica Wisdom put it in a nutshell: “This is a horse that I would also like to have in my stable." Emily Miles, the rider of the two horses, played a big part in the good results. Her rides were excellent illustrations of exemplary training for young horses. Rider and horse were in perfect balance, with light, almost invisible aids; the talents of the two horses were brought to the fore in a relaxed manner. Leslie Waterman had acquired both stallions at the stallion licensing in Verden in 2016. "My goal is to find talented young horses, preferably stallions, and to bring them up to international level together with Emily," Leslie says. She does not want to run an insemination station, but semen will be frozen in order to safeguard the valuable genetics of her stallions.

The Oldenburg stallion Davos CF by Dante Weltino/Rubinstein, also four years old, also belonged to the top dressage group. With an overall score of 8.3, he presented the third best test, well presented by Anna Keenan. He captivated by his importance and big frame. His movements were always uphill and especially in trot he showed a lot of cadence and already good talent for collection. He is owned and bred by Nancy Holowesko, who runs Crosiadore Farm, an Oldenburg breeding farm in Trappe, Maryland.

Maryanna Haymon's Debonair MF by Doctor Wendell/Rotspon took his second sport test, as usual very well presented by Michael Bragdell. His highlight was the walk, which was rated 9.0 by the judges. With two passed tests within two consecutive years, the five-year-old Hanoverian stallion is now recognized for life.

In the two stallions registered for the jumping test, the four-year-old Hanoverian Baloujoie by Bon Balou/Wonderland surpassed the final score of 7.5, which was necessary to pass the test, with a final score of 7.63. The substantial bay stallion impressed on all three days with an excellent temperament, good rideability and a good jumping ability. The owner Stephanie Hill from Wentzville, Missouri presented Baloujoie herself under saddle. She had acquired him as a foal from his breeder Tara Lambie, who runs a Hanoverian breeding farm north of Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta with the breeding direction of hunters and jumpers.

Unfortunately, two stallions could not pass the test, one each in dressage and jumping. It became obvious how difficult it is for stallions who are trained as hunters to pass this test if they are not specifically prepared for the demands placed on a show jumper before the test. At the age of four, the jumping stallions must master a complete course over a maximum of 1.00 m in such a way that ability, a good jumping technique, rideability and potential as show jumpers can be recognized.

The test was judged by two experienced judges from Germany, Gerd Sickinger from Stuttgart and Matthias Granzow, Münster. Uli Henschke, Bremen, for dressage and Sebastian Rohde, Vechta, for jumping acted as disciplinary experts. Their task is to observe the riders during the training and to give instructions on how the stallions are to be presented. The two test riders have a very important function in giving impressions of how the stallions feel under saddle. This year again the competence of Jessica Wisdom (dressage) from Battle Ground, Washington and Marion Ostmeyer (jumping) from Calgary was used. Both are very experienced trainers who can train horses from a young age to the highest class.

A big thank you goes to the proven team of the Hilltop Farm, let by the manager Natalie DiBerardinis, who organized the whole again perfectly.

After the test at Hilltop Farm, the caravan of judges, foreign riders and disciplinary experts moved on to California. Two days later, Buffy and Rick Oas started the West Coast Stallion Sport Test at Pollyrich Farm, just outside the picturesque Danish-style small town of Solvang. Of the originally five registered stallions, four competed - three jumping stallions by the studbooks KWPN, Holstein and American Holstein as well as an Oldenburg dressage stallion. The latter was the six-year-old Rohmeo, a typey stallion bred and owned by Carol DiMaggio, Walnut Creek, California, who was presented by Chelsea Sibley. He had already passed the test last year, which he also succeeded in this year with a final score of 7.5. Thus he secured himself the permanent breeding license. Rohmeo comes from the Rohdiamant son Royal Prince out of a dam by Lord Liberty G.

The highest rated stallion was the four-year-old, Dutch-bred, big-framed black Jethro Tull with a score of 8.23. With the pedigree I'm Special de Muze/Voltaire/Heartbreaker he was a very well-bred stallion and fulfilled the associated expectations under the rider. In all five criteria (canter, scope, technique, rideability, overall impression) he received scores of 8 or better, for his scope and the large, but nevertheless practical gallop there was a score of 8.5. Judge Gerd Sickinger's comment on the stallion: "Besides his jumping capacity Jethro Tull is also an important sire with expression and good body proportions.” The black stallion was ridden by his owner Lorrie Jamieson, who travelled about 2800 kilometers from Klondike Victory Farm in Lacombe County in the Canadian province of Alberta to California. Her opinion on the concept: "The whole event was very inviting. The judges were very friendly and we noticed that they wanted to help us. It was informative and instructive. Overall, I was very impressed by the process."

Also from Canada, from Delta just outside the Pacific metropolis of Vancouver, Darlene York arrived with the five- year-old Holstein stallion Centre Point, bred by Kai Gerken. At 165 cm, he is a medium sized, typey stallion by the Chacco-Blue sire Chambertin out of a Cassini I dam and has already been successful in Hunter tests. The fact that he also has considerable ability became clear in this test under his permanent rider Channay Lloyd. Test rider Marion Ostmeyer also praised his attitude and rideability: "It was fun riding him. He was always with the rider, was always safe, confident, and super clever.” His rideability was rewarded with a score of 9.0, the final score was 8.03. It was also the second passed test for Center Point, and he also achieved final recognition.

The fourth in the group was the five-year-old grey stallion Rip Tide, bred by Hope Goodwin in California and owned by Max and Jessica Wilcox from Lakeside, California. With a height of 175 cm the Riverman/Solid Silver son is of striking appearance. He mastered the up to 1.10 m high course very safely and confidently, ridden by Adrienne Tessary, so that he also passed the test with an overall score of 7.78.

The program was supplemented by presentations on breeding and training of sport horses. Sebastian Rohde, Oldenburg Verband, and Dr. Ludwig Christmann, Hanoverian Verband, explained at both tests how linear description works. At Hilltop, the internationally successful dressage rider Catherine Haddad and her husband, Dr. Greg Staller, explained how the athlete horse can be managed in such a way that sporting success and health can be achieved. As decisive criteria the topics shoeing, footing and of course the training of the horse were mentioned.

At the Pollyrich Farm, Sebastian Rohde presented the German system of show jumping tests for young horses, followed by Ramon Becerra, who presented Mexican/Californian horsemanship. Afterwards Buffy and Rick Oas, who were once again great hosts, showed with a big barbecue what Californian hospitality means.

A total of 200 spectators may have watched the event attentively over the three days at both sites.

Translated with, and further edited for clarity by Anna Goebel.

Read More

North American Stallion Sport Test 2018: East Coast Overview 

North American Stallion Sport Test 2018: Results

eurodressage: Sole Mio Wins 2018 North American Stallion Sport Test

The North American Stallion Sport Test website

The North American Stallion Sport Test Facebook page

Saturday, November 17, 2018

North American Stallion Sport Test 2018: Results

By Anna Goebel
Allie Conrad Photography
With results in from both the East and West Coast locations of the North American Stallion Sport Test, eleven of the thirteen stallions received passing scores. The quality of the stallions varied, but my personal opinion was that the quality was pretty high. According to Dr. Ludwig Christmann of the Hanoverian Verband, there were some "top stallions" presented. 

Dr. Christmann also emphasized the importance of the testing in encouraging breeders to keep colts intact and bring them up with an eye towards presenting them for evaluation, as part of the continuing development of quality breeding horses in the US.

The Stallion Sport Test East was held at Hilltop Farm in Maryland on November 1–3, with nine stallions presenting, seven in the Dressage division and two in the Jumping division. At Pollyrich Farm in California, the West Coast event was held on November 4–6, with three stallions in the Jumper division and one in the Dressage division.

Sole Mio High-Scoring Dressage Stallion

Sole Mio.
Allie Conrad Photography
The two stallions with the highest scores in the Dressage division were Sole Mio (Stanford/Donnerschwee) with 8.60 and Daily Show (Danciano/Stockholm) just behind him with 8.50. Both are owned by Leslie Waterman of Franklin, Tennessee and beautifully ridden in the Test by their trainer, Emily Miles of Kansas. Sole Mio received 9s for his trot (judges commented that it was "well-balanced with a lot of impulsion"), rideability ("naturally eager, willing, and he concentrates on the aids of from his rider"), and overall impression. 

Leslie Waterman's breeding and training program is performance oriented. Her strategy is to breed her own performance horses and also to purchase promising youngsters. "I decided my only chance to buy a great horse was to buy young—before I'd be in competition with Paul Schockemohle," she says. Sole Mio and Daily Show were both bred in Germany and purchased by Leslie as youngsters. 
Daily Show.
Allie Conrad Photography

Both have been started and trained by Emily Miles of Kansas, whose sympathetic riding was a highlight of the Stallion Test. One German expert commented, "That's what dressage riding should look like." Leslie's philosophy is that a horse gains confidence and has the best chance of being successful if he has consistent riding and trust in his rider, so Emily was the one to start Sole Mio, has been training and competing him, and will continue with him to FEI levels.

Jethro Tull.
Patty Wilding photo

Jethro Tull, High-Scoring Jumping Stallion

There were five horses presented in the Jumping division, two on the East Coast and three at the California location. The top-scoring jumper was Jethro Tull (I'm Special de Muze/Voltaire), owned and ridden by Lorrie Jamieson of Klondike Victory Farm in Alberta, Canada. Jethro Tull earned a final score of 8.23. He's a 16.3-hand black KWPN stallion who scored 8.5 for both canter and scope.

Stallion Sport Test 2018 Scores: Dressage Division 

Stallion Sire Trot Canter Walk Rideability Overall
Weighted Final
Dressage Score
Sole Mio Stanford 9.00 8.00 8.00 9.00 9.00 8.60
Daily Show Danciano 8.00 8.50 8.00 9.00 9.00 8.50
Davos CF Dante Weltino 8.50 8.00 8.00 8.50 8.50 8.30
Debonair MF Doctor Wendell MF 7.50 7.50 9.00 8.00 8.00 8.00
Fernandel of Hillock Franziskus 7.50 7.50 7.50 8.00 8.50 7.75
Frisantos Franziskus 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 8.00 7.55
Rohmeo Royal Prince 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50
Joyride Worthy Opponent 5.50 7.00 7.00 6.50 6.50 6.50

Stallion Sport Test 2018 Scores: Jumper Division

Stallion Sire Canter Scope Style Rideability Overall
Weighted Final
Jumping Score
Jethro Tull I'm Special De Muze 8.50 8.50 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.23
[Centre Point]
Chambertain 8.00 8.00 7.50 9.00 7.50 8.03
Rip Tide Riverman 7.50 8.00 7.50 8.00 8.00 7.78
Baloujoie Bon Balou 7.00 8.00 7.50 8.00 7.50 7.63
Fürst Romantic For Romance 7.00 7.00 7.00 6.00 5.50 6.65

The 5-Year-Olds

The North American Stallion Sport Test is designed to fulfill the performance requirements for the American Hanoverian Society and the German Oldenburg Verband if a stallion completes the test with a passing score two years in a row. Three stallions returned this year and fulfilled their requirements, one at Hilltop Farm and two at the Pollyrich location.

Debonair MF.
Allie Conrad Photography
Debonair MF (Doctor Wendell MF/Rotspon) was the first stallion to successfully complete two years of the Sport Test, in 2017 as a 4-year-old and this year at 5. He received passing scores both years and has thereby fulfilled his performance requirements with the American Hanoverian Society, the German Oldenburg Verband, and the Westfalen Verband. Debonair MF was bred by Maryanna Haymon of Marydell Farm, who also bred his sire. Marydell Farm is known for producing competition horses that are internationally sought-after. 
Centre Point.
Hilltop Farm photo

The two stallions on the West Coast to complete their performance requirements by two successful years at the Stallion Sport Test are Rohmeo (Royal Prince/Lord Liberty G), bred and owned by Carol DiMaggio (California); and Centre Point (Chambertin/Cassini I), bred in Germany and owned by Darlene York (British Columbia).

About the Stallion Sport Test

The three-day testing format was developed for North America, and was held for the first time in 2017 at both the East Coast and West Coast locations. It was well-received, and in 2018 more stallions were entered, thirteen in all. Natalie DiBerardinis, of Hilltop Farm, says "I really like the format, in part because it emphasizes good training."

According to the Stallion Test website, "Testing requirements are specific to age and discipline. Each horse attends with their own rider and there is a Guest Rider component to the scoring as well. Stallions must attend two consecutive years of sport testing to fulfill their performance requirements with the AHS and GOV as well as achieve a minimum overall score of 7.5 at each testing."

The Judges

Judges Matthias Granzow, Gerd Sickinger, and Ulrich Henschke.
Hilltop Farm photo.

Read More

Coming soon: Stallion Photo Gallery!

North American Stallion Sport Test 2018: East Coast Overview [Part 1 of this series]

eurodressage: Sole Mio Wins 2018 North American Stallion Sport Test

The North American Stallion Sport Test website

The North American Stallion Sport Test Facebook page

Allie Conrad, Photographer (East Coast location)

Claudia Weeks, Videographer (East Coast location)
Claudia's YouTube Channel (including videos from the Test)

Patty Wilding, Photographer (West Coast location) 

Patty's Facebook page

Sign Up for Avalon Equine's Holiday Breeding Special!

Avalon Equine has, for the last few years, celebrated our own successes by trying to help mare owners be successful as well. Every year we hold a "Holiday Extravaganza" offering all of the stallions we stand at a fraction of their usual breeding fees. We do limit the number of breedings that are sold, and they are on a first come-first served basis.

But YOU get to see and take advantage of those offers FIRST if you subscribe to our email Newsletter! Subscribe now to get early access to those discounted breedings! 

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Happy Holidays, everyone!

USDF Announces New Breeder of Distinction Awards

Lexington, KY (November 15, 2018) – The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) is thrilled to introduce the new USDF Breeder of Distinction Awards. These awards will showcase the cumulative achievements of U.S. dressage sport horse breeders, whose young prospects and breeding stock have proven successful in dressage sport horse breeding and materiale classes. Offered in three tiers of achievement: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, for which varying eligibility requirements will apply, the first awards will be presented at the 2019 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention. Scores earned since October 1, 2000 are eligible to count towards these awards, and breeders can check eligibility status and submit applications online now..
Kristi Wysocki and Natalie DiBerardinis, Co-Chairs of the USDF Sport Horse Committee, had this to say regarding these new and exciting awards, “The USDF Sport Horse Committee is extremely excited about the new USDF Breeder of Distinction Awards. The committee designed these prestigious awards to recognize and acknowledge U.S. breeders for their breeding programs' competitive successes in the USDF Breeders Championship Series competitions, both in-hand and under saddle.”
For more information regarding the USDF Breeder of Distinction Awards, or other opportunities for breeders, visit the USDF website at or contact the USDF office at

Friday, November 16, 2018

Foundation Sire: Caretino

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

168 cm
Breeder: Lothar Völz

When he died at the age of 28, Caretino was the last of the seven stallion sons of Caletto II to enter the Holstein Studbook. The bay Caletto II – Metellus son from the stem 826 revealed his qualities at the stallion performance test, where he received a jumping index of 145 points.

He went on to win numerous young jumper classes showing his outstanding jumping technique. At 5 and at 6 years old, Caretino participated in the Bundeschampionate under Thomas Schöning.

Bo Kristoffersen took over the ride on him a year later and commenced competing at Grand Prix and Nations Cup level. They accumulated 40 placings at S level together.

Then Caretino went to Ludger Beerbaum’s stable, but the shift of stables did not produce the expected success, and after a year Caretino returned to Holstein to be used for breeding only, a decision much applauded by the mare owners.

Although he produced mainly jumpers, he also sired some good dressage horses, including Cockney, who won the 6-year-old title at the Bundeschampionate with Nadine Capellmann before going on to compete successfully at Grand Prix. His son, Carpaccio won the 1994 stallion test at Medingen. The stallion Concord has wins up to Grand Prix dressage.

By 2007, Caretino had produced 650 offspring that were registered for competition with the German FN. At the time of his death, Caretino offspring had earned more than 3 million Euros.

Caridor Z competed with Jos Lansink at the 2002 WEG in Jerez and the European Championships at Arnhem and Donaueschingen. Another outstanding competitor is Cristallo who with Richard Spooner is one of the stars of the circuit in the USA, and winners of the €285,000 Grand Prix of Monte Carlo on the Global tour. America is also the home of Chica’s Way, a great international success under Janne Friederike Meyer.

Right from his first few crops, Caretino made a splash with his offspring. Ballerina won team gold at the European championships in Mannheim under Markus Merschformann, and Charlottenhof‘s Chandra was part of the German team taking home team gold at the European championships in Arnheim 2001, under Sören von Rönne. Caretano Z and Caridor Z with Jos Lansink, the full siblings Crocodile Dandy and Connally (Alison Firestone and Markus Renzel, respectively), Cathleen W with Marc Wirths, Carefina (Felix Hassmann), Carlo Cassini (Franz-Josef Dahlmann), Caresino with Hauke Luther and Celesino (Jürgen Kraus) are other highly successful horses by Caretino.

Chupa Chup with Bernardo Alves won the Hamburg Grand Prix.

There is a younger group of offspring that are also looking impressive: Böttger’s Calandro won a German Championship with Janne-Freiderike Meyer, Caldato with Hugo Simon, Cornwall W with Andreas Ripke, Chianti la Silla with whom Rolf-Göran Bengtsson won the World Cup in Monterey, as well as Chicka’s Way, who carried Janne-Friederike Meyer to a German Vice-Championship in 2007.

The jumping stallions Cheenook and Caretello B have produced excellent progeny.

At the licensing in Neumünster in 2009, Caretino sired one approved stallion, Carlow, who was sold at the auction to Belgium.

The Holsteiner Horse notes, "as a rule Caretino’s daughters are better than his sons; his offspring are considered variable."

Over 50 sons have been licensed, and over 20 daughters have been awarded state premium status. His standout star is the stallion, Casall…

On the WBFSH sire rankings for 2014, he is in 18th place. On the 2015 rankings, he has moved to 14th with his points earners headed up by the mighty Casall. 

To read the entire article, with pedigree, details of Caretino's stallion sons and daughters, on the Horse Magazine website, click here.
There are several stallion descendants of Caretino in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on


Dakota VDL 

HH Himself 

Ulmar Mail   

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Is There a "Height" Gene in Horses and Ponies?

By Anna Goebel

Height is an important trait in ponies and in horses. Sport horse breeders often look to increase the height of a smaller mare; pony breeders often want to produce a "large pony" but not cross the line to produce a horse. It's something we'd like to control, whether we want larger or smaller.

Wikipedia photo, article on sincle-nucleotide polymorphism.
So is there a single gene that dictates horse height? The short answer is "nope." A recent study of ponies in the British Isles determined that there is no single area of the genome for height. There are 222 "highly significant height-associated SNPs...". A SNP (pr. snip) is a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome. 222 SNPs mean 222 places in the genome that can influence variations in height.

To read an abstract of the published research, click here.

To read an analysis of the research, by Kentucky Equine Research, click here.