Saturday, September 19, 2020

Dressage at Devon Virtual Show Schedule, Silent Auction, Virtual Vendor Fair and More!

September 22-27,2020

September 17, 2020 (Devon, PA) The show will go on - virtually!

Show Schedule
The 2020 virtual show schedule will mimic the in-person show, using past videos plus new interviews from top competitors such as George Williams and featuring the best of the best in the breed and performance divisions.
Visit for George's take on Dressage at Devon.

Tuesday & Wednesday, September 22-23 - Watch the foals and young horses shown in hand PLUS view the USDF training program on handling horses. Can you pick out the current (and future) superstars?

Thursday – The performance show begins with a 4,5 & 6 year-old young horse tests in the virtual Dixon Oval.

Friday – Replay of the 2019 FEI Prix St Georges for Amateurs CDIAm.

Saturday – Replay of the 2019 GP Special CDI3*. Then, on Saturday night at 7 pm, watch Dressage through the Years with approximately 10 exciting rides, including George Williams’ memorable ride on Rocher from 2005, hosted live by JJ Tate.

Sunday – Replay of the 2019 FEI Young Rider GP 16-25.

Links will be posted on social media and

Dressage at Devon Virtual Vendor Fair

Each year, the Fall Festival adds to the experience of Dressage at Devon. Spectators, volunteers and competitors can always find something for themselves, family, friends or, of course, their horse. From tack to clothing, shopping at DAD has always been a big hit. This year, of course is different.

The virtual Fall Festival features some of our favorite vendors including Malvern Saddlery, ShowChic, Dark Horse Chocolates, Equestrian Specialties, Caracol, Equs Courture, Deer Valley Danes, Der Dau, and SnugPups -- each featuring new products and new fashions.
Plus, 15% of all your purchases will go toward helping our non-profit show continue for another 45 years.

Please and support our show.

Virtual Silent Auction September 18 - September 25

Put in your bid for:

Judging from Anne Moss and Debbie Rodriguez

Lessons from:

Dr Cesar Parra
Felicitas von Neumann
Michael Bragdell
Jessica Fay
Jacqueline Brooks
Robert Dover
Kimberly Herslow
Lauren Sprieser
Robert Dover
Kimberly Herslow
Sahar Daniel Hirosh
Sara Spofford
Pierre St. Jacques
George Williams
Anne Gribbons
JJ Tate

Fantastic breeding opportunities from Hilltop Farm and Iron Spring Farm

Additional services and items are also available. Visit and click on Silent Auction. Bidding will begin on Friday, September 18 and close Friday, September 25.

For questions, contact

Last Call for Dressage at Devon Virtual Breyer Horse Show
(for kids only!)

All entry forms must be completed to be accepted and must include the child's name, age, date of birth, valid email address and the signature of the parent. Completed entry forms must be submitted by email no later than midnight on September 21 and all photos must be received by September 22.

For more information on the 2020 virtual show, visit

Thursday, September 17, 2020

HorseMagazine: Apache and Grandson About You

Borgmann youngsters. photo.

Christopher Hector of The Horse Magazine has recently published two articles of interest to breeders. The focus is again on a breeder who does not follow trends, but makes his own breeding decisions based on what makes sense to him. Stephan Borgmann and his father, Norbert, are featured. They bred the 4-year-old stallion About You, who sold for 1,650,000 Euros in August at the Borgmann Auction. About You is by AC-DC, a stallion the Borgmanns also bred, and out of Evita, again bred by the Borgmanns. 

The family’s 25-strong broodmare band is the secret ingredient of their success. Some of the maternal lines have been with the family for ten generations. Stephan Borgmann explains, “After such a long time you know exactly what you’ve got and what characteristics and qualities are passed on. I am not thinking like a lot of breeders today, only to the modern stallion star of this year, and next year we have the next star stallion… I know my mares for ten generations and I know what stallions I need for those mares.”
Both articles are about the Borgmanns and their breeding program and their choices:

The first focuses on Apache, the controversial stallion who is the grandsire of About You. Apache is by UB40, a stallion who stood at Iron Spring Farm and was influential in American breeding, by Olivi. His dam is a descendent of Roemer, another very influential stallion in American breeding.

Click the above links to read more!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

KER: Nutritional Antioxidants and the Late-Pregnant Mare


The metabolic demands of reproduction, specifically late gestation, parturition, and lactation, may trigger an upswing in oxidative stress in mares.

“Oxidative stress signifies an imbalance between the normal production of oxidative products within a body and the ability of the body to neutralize those agents and repair the damage caused by them,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutrition advisor with Kentucky Equine Research. ...

Read the full article: click here.

theHorse: Changing Trends in Equine Reproduction

A year ago, ran an article that tabulates some of the new developments and trends in equine breeding. 
"Current horse breeding trends are characterized by a decline in mares bred and a new focus on well-being of established pregnancies, as well as enhanced genetic selection related to the health and future performance of foals."
It covers new ways to monitor healthy pregnancy, improved genetic selection, and the huge advances in assisted reproduction.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

HorseMagazine: Breeding for Sport, Not Fashion

Jens and his wife, Susanne at their stallion show – photo Kiki Beelitz

If you could be a fly on the wall and listen to frank conversations between European breeders, would you do it? That's often what an article by Chris Hector of reads like. Breeders are nothing if not opinionated - and Chris asks the questions that bring out the most interesting opinions and viewpoints.

Most recent is "Breeding for Sport - Not Fashion - with Jens Meyer." Jens Meyer is a dressage breeder whose goal is to breed for Grand Prix performance potential. He says, "I was always very traditional, Hanoverian...," but today he is looking more toward the Dutch. In the interview he goes into his reasons. 

Damsey, one of the discoveries of Jens Meyer, is owned by Leatherdale Farms, Minnesota. 
Photo: Claes Jakobsson/FEI

Leatherdale Farm stallions on, all standing in the US:

E.H. Herzensdieb
Tambour x Tivano
Trakehner Licensing Champion in Germany and Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.


Flemmingh x Inselfürst

Oldenburg Licensing Champion in Germany, Exciting Young Sire awarded 1c Premium

First Dance

Florestan I x Donnerhall/Old.

Classic Florestan I/Donnerhall Bloodlines, Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.


His Highness x Rotspon

Sought after His Highness & Rotspon Bloodlines; Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Leatherdale Farms Sponsors AHS's Yearling and Two-Year-Old Futurity

Lexington, KY. - Sept. 2, 2020 - Leatherdale Farms is proud to partner with the American Hanoverian Society to sponsor prize money for their 8th Annual AHS Yearling and Two-Year-Old Futurity during their inspection tour! Dedicated to providing breeders world-class Hanoverian stallions with both classic and modern bloodlines, Leatherdale Farms is passionate about high-quality sport horses in the United States. 

"The American Hanoverian Society is thrilled to have Leatherdale Farms sponsor the 8th Annual Nationwide AHS Futurity and we are grateful for Louise [Leatherdale]'s generous support of the Hanoverian/Rhineland horse," said Edgar Schutte, the President of the American Hanoverian Society. "Our futurity has become very popular with our members. With uncertainty about many things due to COVID-19, the AHS is fortunately able to be one of the few registries conducting inspections. It is magnificent to continue to offer this prize money to the top 5 placings nationwide. Leatherdale Farms generous sponsorship will be appreciated by many."

Founded by Schutte in 2012, the AHS Yearling and Two-Year-Old Futurity is judged using a scale from 1-10 with three categories: Conformation/Type, Movement, Foundation/Legs. 

With a total of $3,000 available, participants of AHS's Futurity classes will have the opportunity to win prize money in each of the divisions offered. If interested in participating, the inspection tour schedule for the remainder of the year is located below and check here for the most up to date details. COVID-19 precautions will be implemented at each host site with masks and social distancing required at each event. Please contact the individual host site as they may implement further safety procedures. 

For more information on this year's inspection tour, please click here or call call the AHS office at 859-255-4141.

For more information on the AHS or to learn more about Hanoverian horses in North America, please visit their website.  

To learn more about Leatherdale Farms, click here.

To learn about the Leatherdale stallions at stud, click each link:

E.H. Herzensdieb

Tambour x Tivano

Trakehner Licensing Champion in Germany and Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.


Flemmingh x Inselfürst

Oldenburg Licensing Champion in Germany, Exciting Young Sire awarded 1c Premium

First Dance

Florestan I x Donnerhall/Old.

Classic Florestan I/Donnerhall Bloodlines, Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.


His Highness x Rotspon

Sought after His Highness & Rotspon Bloodlines; Proven Dressage Competitor & Sire.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

COTH: Fracking Linked to Dysphagia in Foals

Good reporting from the Chronicle.

The Chronicle of the Horse September 7 & 14 issue has an article that is pretty scary for its implications for human as well as equine health. It discusses a case where the controversial practice of mining by fracking is implicated in dysphagia in foals.

A breeding farm in Pennsylvania had over half its foals born with dysphagia, where the foal is unable to nurse and swallow properly. Dysphagia is normally extremely rare, and yet, from 2014 to 2016, 17 of the farm's 28 foals were born with it.

After careful research into possible causes, it was determined that nearby fracking was causing very high levels of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) in the two wells used to provide the horses' water on the farm. They were almost certainly the cause of the dysphagia in the foals.

Read the full article in the Chronicle here.

theHorse: Why are Mares Marish?

Is your mare "marish," even "bitchy"? Does she exhibit behavior that you associate with her cycles, and being a mare? Turns out much of this behavior has a completely unrelated cause. 

In mares, unwanted and nervous behaviors often get blamed on estrus. However, that’s often not really the cause. Dr. Jenny Biehunko, on, explains.

Listen to this 3-minute podcast excerpt to hear the latest about what clinicians have learned about marishness.

Click here to listen.

* * *

Another article on addresses this issue in more depth: Is it Estrus or Something Else? The article looks at everything behind mare behavior, including causes of marish behavior, whether estrus or something else. It gives a good idea of the range of possibilities, and the need for each mare owner to evaluate her specific mare. It's not as simple as you might think.

Click here to read Is it Estrus or Something Else?

Photo of crabby horse: Takuma Kimura from okayama, Japan / CC BY-SA (

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Why Be a Breeder?

Breeder Kendra Hansis recently shared a post on Facebook about what it's like to be an equine professional. The post was specifically describing being a trainer, but Kendra asked:

"Breeders: what keeps you in this game?"

Here is the original post (much of which also applies to breeders), by Shannon Eckel, followed by breeders' responses to Kendra's question.

Here’s the ugly truth of what people don’t tell you about going professional:

-You will work 13, 14, 15, 16+ hour days. Not for a lavish vacation, but to put fuel in a truck and a sheepish dinner on the table.
-365. Rain. Snow. Christmas. Funerals. Hot and humid you are there, you are working.
-People will tell you your six figure horses will never be nice enough and those 3-4 figure ones will never be rank enough.
-The biggest shows are the loneliest places. People support you until you become a threat, then they will try and break you down.
-You will see death and hardships. A lot of hardships.
-You will want to give up.

Why don’t people tell you this? Simple. We wouldn’t have an industry.
What people don’t tell you is why you don’t give up:

-When that quirky horse gets it.
-When you get that first big sale, first client horse, first investor, first time your barn fills up.
-When those few people believe in you and you start getting phone calls of people being sent to you.
-When a training client strikes it big.
-When you finish a day and look back at a farm and business you built.

Why don’t people tell you this? Because there’s not a grand enough word to describe that feeling and that’s why we are here.

From breeders:

"When you hear that first gasp of air filling the lungs of a new foal and there is instantaneous love."

—Gary Marquardt, Walkabout Station, TX

* * *

From Kendra Hansis, Runningwater Warmbloods, NJ: "Moments like this:"

EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and her 2020 Glamourdale colt, Paddington Skyfall H2O, bred by Kendra Hansis at Runningwater Warmbloods in Frenchtown, NJ, and owned by Scott Durkin. Photo copyright Kendra Hansis.

* * *

"Those few moments when the result of all your hard work, blood, sweat, tears and money takes their first step, or first win in the show ring or trots down the centre line under the spotlights having been crowned a champion, so you do it all again."

—Sacha Shaw, Volatis Stud, UK

* * *

"It’s a thing of the heart..."

—Valerie Carter, Oakwood Equestrian, FL

* * *

"Moments like this...

Zoraja TSH (Chicardo/ Cathalido/ Riverman) and her colt Barenjer TSH by Bandelero JSF. Bred by Heather McInerney. Photo: Heather McInerney.

...and seeing them grow up to do this:"

2016 mare from Heather McInerney's first foal crop, Little Bit Amped TSH (Ampere/ Maverick RF/ Wendesohn). She was second in her the 3yo Material at Dressage at Devon in 2019, her first show. Ridden by Jessie Hayes. Photo: Heather McInerney.

—Heather McInerney, Timeless Sport Horses, LLC, TX

* * *

"All of it, from the excitement from every 'She's pregnant,' sitting with my mares as they look to me for comfort as they're close to foaling, the adrenaline that comes when the water breaks and then the excitement and humor as they take those first wobbly steps. It's the pride you feel as you watch them grow and mature into those spider legs. It's the feeling of accomplishment when they do well at inspections and breed shows. It's the bittersweet moment you load them on a trailer to head to their new home but the excitement of a promise of a bright future and the smile on the new owner's face as they take that lead rope and thank me for bringing their new partner into their lives. It continues on as I watch them grow up and start their training and go to shows, but also the super excitement as your program continues on when that mare or stallion you bred becomes a dam or sire too! It's a passion for every part of it."

—Gabriella Cottone, Cottone Sport Horses, Union Bridge, MD

* * *

All responses used with permission.

If you are a breeder, why do you stay in it? Please contribute your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

EquineRepro: Evaluating Sperm Motility

How good are you at evaluating sperm motility? Take the test and find out!

Anyone want to understand more about semen motility and how it's determined? I recommend reading "How Progressively Motile Are Those Sperm?" by Jos Mottershead of (link below). It not only has helpful explanations, it even has motility videos - microscope captures - that show how sperm move, how motility is determined, and what things to watch for.

Here is an excerpt from the article, starting with the basics:

A basic semen evaluation will include review of samples under the microscope to determine if and how the sperm are moving. This is typically achieved at a 100x or 400x magnification. Situations where such an evaluation would be performed are prior to shipment of semen cooled; prior to (or following) insemination of semen; or before, during, or after freezing of semen. There are two categories of motility - total and progressive, which are usually expressed as a percentage of all sperm. "Total motility" indicates the overall percentage of sperm that are moving in any direction, whereas "progressive motility" indicates the percentage overall of sperm moving in more or less a straight line. A further category of non-motile is applied to sperm that are not moving. [Excerpt reprinted with permission.]

Learn how motility is determined, when to look at percentages and when to look at absolute numbers, and how to evaluate the numbers you have - as well as about common misconceptions.

Click to read "How Progressively Motile Are Those Sperm?"

Jos Mottershead and Kathy St.Martin have been breeding warmbloods and managing warmblood stallions for over 35 years. Their two businesses - Equine Reproduction and Avalon Equine - have combined to give them a depth of experience and knowledge of every aspect of breeding sport horses. Equine Reproduction is an internationally renowned business offering a wide variety of services related to stallion collection and management and mare management, and also offers short courses for breeders. Avalon Equine is a breeder of top-quality warmblood sport horses for serious competitors and amateurs, and is home to some of the best sport horse and warmblood stallions in North America, listed below. They have sired champions, incredible brood stock, amateur-friendly horses, and the athletes with which to be successful at top levels!

Click on the links below to learn more about Avalon Equine stallions:

Apiro (Argentinus / Pilot / Cyrus)
Argentinus x Pilot/Cyrus
An athletic and blood option for warmblood breeders!
Pulpit x Java Gold/Damascus
Belafonte d’Avalon
Power in a small package!
Hilkens Black Delight - GRP x Mannhattan - Oldenburg/Ideal - Oldenburg
Colorado Skrødstrup
Incredible athleticism with the added bonus of color!
Perikles Christinelyst x Xantos/Apollon
Dracula d'Avalon
Talent, temperament and beauty!
Davidor x Mannhattan/Frohwind
ES Toronto
Imported Celle Hanoverian Stallion!
Now or Never M - KWPN x Belisar - KWPN/Solaris xx
Athletic and refining option for mare owners guaranteeing color!
Glitter Please x Milkie/Barbizon
A dual purpose stallion producing offspring in all disciplines!
Finesse x Wendepunkt/Hill Hawk xx
Silver Creek's Validation
Vallado / Lansing / Capitol I
Vallado x Lansing/Capitol I