Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Dakota VDL Offered For Sale by Hyperion Stud, LLC

For sale: Dakota VDL
Unique opportunity to purchase the highly successful sport horse and breeding stallion Dakota VDL. Born in 2008 and sired by the illustrious Casall, out of a Contender/Landgraf mare and from top Holsteiner stamm 104a.

Dakota has been competing in Europe under Olympic rider Taizo Sugitani since 2015. He has a highly accomplished performance record with top placings up to 1.45m jumpers in the United States and internationally. He is equally suitable for an amateur or professional and is ready to win in the jumper ring with his new rider.

He was recently imported to be made available to the North American market and is currently competing in Wellington, Florida. He will remain there throughout the winter season to be made available to interested buyers.

Photo: sportfot
Dakota is fully approved for breeding with the Holsteiner Verband, KWPN, BWP and OL.

Please contact Hyperion Stud at for additional details or to schedule an appointment.

Click here to view Dakota's Stallion Profile on

Friday, January 25, 2019

Foundation Sire: Darco

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!

166 cm
Breeder: Martinus Paesen

Once again, Darco’s story, is the story of an exceptional broodmare – in this case, his grand-dam, Atoucha. ...According to her proud owner (quoted in Leen Devocht’s excellent article on Darco in Breeding News, January 1997) her qualities were a legion: “very strong, healthy; not a single day of sickness in her book, an immense capacity for recovering; everlasting carefulness, even as an eventer; not a single refusal; always fighting and daring like a lioness – she could eat fences raw.” Darco’s dam, Ocoucha (by Codex by Cottage Son xx) is the eldest daughter of Atoucha’s third daughter, Latoucha (by Faust).

In 1988, Darco won his first World Cup qualifier, at Olympia; the following year he won another Volvo for his rider, Ludo Phillipaerts, this time at s’Hertogenbosch. Darco and Ludo were sixth at the WEG in Stockholm and 7th at the Barcelona Games.

Ludo has this to say about the stallion:

“Together with Darco, I began my international career. He is a horse to remain grateful to for the rest of my life. Darco really has everything it takes to make a unique super crack, as a showjumper as well as a sire. Horses of this outstanding quality will remain the great exceptions in the breeding industry. I will never forget the fine intelligence he so often proved in the showjumping arena, where he always showed lots of power and stamina coming from his high-bred ancestors.”

“I got Darco when he was five years old – he was a breeding stallion. All my success was with Darco, and then he was breeding at my place, and I had many of his foals. All his progeny seem to be very good, and there are lots of people in the area who use Darco, and they also give me horses by Darco to ride. My father was a horse breeder and had horses when he was younger.”

“I think Darco is one of the best stallions in the world. If you look at what his offspring are doing, he is very special – a top jumper and a top breeder. He has been unbelievable for the Belgian breeding. He is a really careful horse himself, and his progeny are very honest horses, with a very good character and mentality.”

Darco commenced his career as a breeding stallion in 1984, and since then has been enormously successful. In the WBFSH standings for 1999-2000, Darco finished 8th, with 35 progeny contributing to his ranking. His most famous offspring is Otterongo who just missed out on an individual medal at the Sydney Olympic Games.

In all, Darco sired more than 3000 foals.

In the survey of the world’s top 75 jumping sires that appears in the French publication Monneron 2007-2008, Darco stars, coming in third best sire in the world, with 35 CSI winners.

On the WBFSH Stallion rankings for 2007, Darco ranks number one, with 5722 points based on all the horses in the FEI/WBFSH Horse Rankings. He has 45 representatives, with eight international showjumpers with 200 + points: Sapphire (Hedjaz), Narcotique de Muze II (Chin Chin), Ublesco (Flamingo), Tauber vh Kapelhof (Pinkus), Sea Coast Wonderful (Cash), Urioso (Had to be You), Thesaura (Lys de Damen) and Rahmannshof’s High Valley (Camus).

On the 2013 WBFSH standings, Darco has dropped to 7th place but still has an astonishing 56 progeny gaining competition points internationally. The most successful representative was Winningmood with the Portuguese rider Luciana Diniz.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New Horse Semen Transport Method

According to PRIME7 News, a new method for transporting stallion semen has reached a milestone of the testing process: a pregnancy was achieved and resulted in a foal being born. According to the news video, the new method involves using a semen extender that allows storage of stallion semen at room temperature for up to seven days. It would be a huge breakthrough in an industry where breeders must have fresh semen cooled, shipped and used within a 48-hour window - or use frozen.

PRIME7 is an Australian news site, and the foal was born at the Tamworth Equestrian Veterinary Centre in New South Wales, Australia.

The technology has sparked a lot of interest, not surprisingly, but will not be available commercially for some time yet, perhaps a year.

To watch the news video, click here.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Editorial: Some Riders Want Pedigree Information

by Anna Goebel
Warmblood Stallions of North America

The prevailing attitude among horse breeders is that riders don't care about pedigrees. Competitors say "you don't ride the papers," and don't care who the sire is, or what dam line the horse is from. I just had an experience that suggests that there might be a fundamental interest after all - and that all we need to do is figure out how to kindle it - or rekindle it.

On my flight back from the USEF annual meeting last week, I had the wonderful good fortune to sit next to Lauren Garvey, an equestrian and entrepreneur who is the founder of She had been to West Palm Beach to attend the Equestrian Businesswomen summit, held all day Wednesday at the Convention Center next door to the USEF meetings. 

Lauren is not a breeder; she's a hunter-jumper rider - and she's young. According to popular belief, she fits the demographic of riders who are unlikely to have much interest in breeding, or knowing her horse's pedigree. You might expect the "you don't ride the papers" response - but you'd be very wrong. 

Lauren and I had a three-hour conversation on a wide range of topics - and breeding was one she was quite intrigued by. She was very interested to learn what I do and what the challenges are that breeders face in the US. Her response startled me, because I didn't expect it.

"As a hunter-jumper rider, I know I would love for there to be some way to track the performance of US-bred competition horses. I used to love following race horse bloodlines when I was little and it would be fun to be able to follow the progress of American-bred horses at the shows!"

Perhaps Lauren is exceptional in this interest. She certainly seemed exceptionally smart, sensible, and thoughtful. But didn't we all do that? When I was a kid, I had a stable of imaginary horses - and I had sire and dam names for every one of them. Some had even longer pedigrees. I loved it; it was part of the romance and the magic. 

Maybe that's worth thinking about. We assume that riders today are not interested in knowing about pedigrees, but maybe that's not true. Perhaps Lauren is the tip of the iceberg. The horse-crazy kids who are lucky grow up into horse-crazy adults - and perhaps they would love to have all the romance and magic of names and pedigrees back in their horse world. Perhaps we should not let the vocal nay-sayers discourage us from sharing our enthusiasm for breeding and bloodlines. I'm thinking the rider audience might be more receptive than we believe.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Foundation Sire: Donnerhall

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!

172 cm
Liver Chestnut
Breeder: Otto Gärtner

Donnerhall’s talent was apparent right from the start, and he scored 131.92 to be second in his performance test at Adelheidsdorf in 1984. Donnerhall’s competition career is the stuff of legend. He won many Grand Prix, Grand Prix Specials and Freestyles for Mrs. Rehbein.

In 1994, Donnerhall was individual bronze medallist (and team gold medallist) at the 1994 World Championships at The Hague. Donnerhall won the European World Cup Freestyle League final standings twice, in 1997 and 1998. He retired from competition in 1998.

What Donnerhall seems to give to his offspring is a trainability and a strength to handle the more collected work, even if their natural paces are not so spectacular. It would seem that the mix of Donnerhall and a large drop of "blood" (Thoroughbred that is) in the dam is more likely to produce competition horses. Donnerhall’s son Davignon is out of a Pik Bube mare and those direct Donnerhall progeny that are going well at FEI level – like the mare Dona Castania – are out of Pik Bube mares. Another son consistently producing exciting looking youngsters is Don Primero, again out of a Pik Bube mother.
The Donnerhall son De Niro (out of an Akzent II mare) started competing at Grand Prix level at the tender age of seven. Perhaps the most exciting son of all is Damon Hill (out of a Rubinstein mare). The stallion has had a charmed life. Twice a world champion young horse with Ingrid Klimke and Helen Langehanenberg, and now one of the top three dressage competitors in the world – he too looks like being a valuable sire.

The 2011 Hanoverian stallion book (the last in which he appears) records that Donnerhall has had 998 competitors, 840 dressage competitors (226 at advanced level) – and even 97 in the jumping ring – for total prize money of €2,137,490. Far and away the most successful of these progeny has been the mare Donatha S, who won €174,242, followed by Don Schufro with winnings of €109,257. At that point, there were 40 horses with dressage winnings of more than €10,000.

Donnerhall had FN dressage ranking of 150, jumping, 77. His Hanoverian ranking is 158 for dressage and 75 for jumping. He was the sire of 50(!) licensed sons at that stage.

Indeed there are those, like the trainer Jo Hinnemann, who believe that it is the second and third generations of Donnerhalls that will produce the goods: “Donnerhall produced a lot of good stallions. You see a lot of very good-performing riding horses by Donnerhall. He makes them pretty – sometimes I think that in his time, like Rubinstein, it was a very, very good generation, but when you see horses like Roman Nature or Fidermark, or Laurentianer, it is a step further on in the breeding. They are always a little more pretty and more elastic. The breeding becomes again a little bit better – but if you didn’t have a Rubinstein or a Donnerhall, there is no going further in the breeding. These stallions were good in their time – perfect – but I think the three stallions I have named are a step further on in the breeding already.”

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Weaning with Concentrates vs Hay

The folks at Kentucky Equine Research posted an article on which is better for weanlings: high-concentrate feed or low-concentrate feed. The study that they are reporting on looked at the digestibility of diets that were either high in concentrate feed (commercial) or low in concentrate feed (foals were fed primarily hay).

Read the report here.

Chris Hector Analyzes German Breeding, at the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal

Chris Hector has just taken a look at Germany's dressage breeding, after watching the young horse classes at the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal, in the article "Breeding Germany’s Dressage Stars of the Future," on In it, he looks at how the German breeders are turning to Dutch breeding, whether tail-swishing can be inherited, and his usual in-depth analysis of the bloodlines represented at this event.

"For a long time, the trade in dressage blood flowed from Germany to Holland, now it seems the tide has turned and German breeders are increasingly using Dutch blood. This trend can clearly be seen at one of the world’s great indoor shows – Frankfurt – and in the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal, a prestigious class for horses aged 7 – 9. ..."