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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Offspring of US Thoroughbred Sea Lion Begin to Span the Globe

Sea Lion at the Rolex 4* CCI in 2012

Sea Lion is a 1998 Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred by Sea Salute out of Ivory Today (Caveat). He is that rare animal: an American Thoroughbred stallion approved and sought-after in Europe. He was approved in 2015 by the American Hanoverian Society and the Hanoverian Verband, and was invited to stand for a year in Germany. The AHS judges believe Sea Lion’s score may be the highest ever awarded to a Thoroughbred. Sea Lion had already received approved status in 2013 from the ISR/Oldenburg, and the American Trakehner Association in 2014 with scores of mainly 8s and 9s.

Sea Lion was also the only stallion in North America to be included in Tom Reed’s short list of thoroughbred stallions that “should be considered for an eventing breeding program.” (Tom Reed of Morningside Stud and the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland, from his article, “A Critical Shortage of Blood,” published in Horse International, 2015 Volume 3, pp 56 – 57.)

The interest in breeding to Sea Lion has come from several countries, and he now has been bred to mares in Germany, Australia, and Canada, as well as the United States. The oldest of his offspring is the 2013 Seacret Agent. We'd like to share his progress as an international sire by sharing reporting on a few of his offspring.

Sea Lion Featured offspring

Seacret Agent, 2013
Seacret Agent is a 2013 Oldenburg gelding bred by Gale McCreary (USA), out of a mare by Selle Français stallion Jamestown. Seacret Agent won Future Event Horse 2 and Future Event Horse 3, and qualified in both classes for Nationals. His owner reports that he is very intelligent, easy to teach, willing and charismatic.

Sea Lion's first foal in Germany was bred by the Niedersächsisches Landgestüt Celle (the German State Stud, Celle), and was born in 2017. Photos will be posted when available.

Sea Wolf, 2017
Sea Wolf is a Hanoverian colt born in 2017, bred by Meredith C Michelfelder (USA). He is out oFuerst Flight R, by Fuerst Gotthard.

Sea Sea Babcock, 2017

Sea Sea Babcock was born in 2017, bred by Dave Coleman (Australia). She is out of a Lord Pezi (Oldenburg) mare, and is a registered Australian Warmblood.

Sunsprite Sargasso Sea, 2015
Sunsprite Sargasso Sea was born in 2015, a Hanoverian colt out of a mare by Olympic Concorde. He was bred by Pamela Duffy of Sunsprite Warmbloods (USA).

For more about Sea Lion, read his Stallion Profile: click here.

Monday, January 22, 2018

American Horse Publications Launches Fourth Equine Industry Survey, Sponsored by Zoetis

JANUARY 22, 2018 – Today American Horse Publications (AHP) launches its fourth Equine Industry Survey at Horse owners who live in the United States, are 18 years of age and older, and who currently own or manage at least one horse are invited to complete the survey by April 1, 2018.

The survey, which is hosted every three years, will gauge participation trends and management practices in the U.S. equine industry, identify critical issues facing the equine industry as perceived by those who own or manage horses, and better understand issues pertaining to horse health.

The online survey is made possible by a sponsorship from Zoetis, the leading animal health company dedicated to improving equine wellness, every day. Zoetis has sponsored the survey since its inception in 2009.
“We are proud to once again sponsor the AHP Equine Industry Survey,” said Sally Amtmann, senior equine marketing manager, Zoetis. “We hope that the survey will continue to help identify successes and opportunities for improvement in the equine industry that horse owners, veterinarians and professionals can unite to resolve.”

“AHP is grateful for its partnership with Zoetis to provide ongoing and vital data on the trends in horse care, management, and welfare of horses in the U.S.,” said Christine W. Brune, AHP executive director. “We appreciate the cooperation of our members and the industry in promoting this survey and will strive to maintain or exceed responses in 2018.”

The study is anonymous; this means that no one – not even members of the research team – will be able to associate information that is given with respondents. When the survey results are tallied, only aggregated results will be presented.

The survey sponsor and AHP members who promote the survey will receive complete results of the 2018 survey to release through their own channels up to 60 days prior to release of the survey results to the AHP membership. The general equine industry may request a summary of this new information by contacting the AHP office at after September 15, 2018.

Horse owners and enthusiasts are invited to promote the survey by sharing this link with horse-owner groups and individual horse owners. The more information we collect, the better we make our world for horses.

The 2018 AHP Equine Industry Survey is being conducted by American Horse Publications (AHP). Dr. C. Jill Stowe is providing consulting services for data collection and analysis to the AHP. Dr. Stowe is an associate professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky.

American Horse Publications is dedicated to excellence in equine media through education and communication. AHP strives to be the primary source of education, resources and networking for the equine media community. We believe a proactive approach in an ever-evolving communications-driven world allows us the flexibility and opportunity to promote, support and reward excellence in equine media. For more information, please contact Chris Brune, American Horse Publications at or 386-760-7743 or visit the AHP website

Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

German Breeding Values 2018 - on The Horse Magazine

Escolar, one of the two top-ranked Young Horse Sires.

The Horse Magazine has posted their annual analysis of the German Breeding Values. Author and publisher Chris Hector gives an in-depth analysis, including the new division into two sections: one for the sires of young horse stars, and one for sires of "competitors in open competition," i.e. sires of Grand Prix horses. He states that the Germans "are now recognizing two streams within their dressage population, and why not?" And yet in his article he has strong reservations about the sires of horses who do well only in young horse competitions. 

In the last ten years or more, Germany's love of flashy movement in young horses has only grown. Weanlings with flashy trots sell well, and are scored well in young horse competitions. But the big trot may not be the best indicator of a young horse's ability to move on to the "big sport" later on. There is some concern about this focus on flashy movement in foals and youngsters that is reminiscent of North American concerns about the judging of in-hand classes. We have a way of morphing young horse classes into something that is an end in itself, rather than an indicator of future performance ability - and apparently that is a German tendency also.

Dividing the sire rankings may be a way of allowing the appreciation - and sales - of flashy youngsters, while separating their sires from sires of performance horses.

In this article, Chris Hector analyses the effect of this change on the rankings - the good and bad. He then goes on to discuss some of the ranking stallions, from Follow Me (Fürstenball / Donnerschwee) and Escolar (Estobar / Fürst Piccolo), tied for first at 169, on down.

Read the full analysis on - click here.

"Marketing is Enthusiasm Transferred ..."

I was on LinkedIn today and saw a post by Jamie Samples, who is a marketing consultant for the horse industry. She had posted one of her all-time favorite quotes: 

"Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer," 

which was attributed to Gregory Ciotti, a marketing expert specializing in software.

Wait, what? To me, marketing often seems like big business trying to convince us all to buy things we don't need.

I learned at a young age to be pretty cynical about marketing, so this definition sounds a bit naive to me. So often marketing has just been a way of whitewashing dubious products and making them sound appealing to people who shouldn't be buying them. Often the companies know the product doesn't have much value, but they do it anyway because they see $$$. From cheap toys that were marketed during Saturday morning cartoons, to cigarette companies that continue to make money by selling a product that has killed tens of thousands, we are surrounded by dubious marketing. The toy companies know their toys will break within a week. And I can't believe cigarette companies are really enthusiastic and excited about their newest product that will rope in new segments of the market. It's a job and they do it to make money. Actually, I think it would be even more disturbing if they were truly excited about selling cancer to teens.

So marketing really deserves its bad rep. 

And yet... I LOVE this! 

"Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer."

Because in my world, it's true. 

Marketing within the sport horse breeding community is most of what I do. I help stallion owners market their stallions; I design websites, ads, and other marketing pieces; and of course I market my own services. 

And this is a really great definition of what I do, what stallion owners do, and why we do it. 

I don't think I've ever talked to a stallion owner who didn't love her stallion and believe he's great. If she's a good horsewoman, she knows he's not perfect, and would never claim he is - but she loves him because of very real qualities that shine: temperament, movement, conformation, athleticism, intelligence, beauty, bloodlines, work ethic, kindness. There is something real that made the owner say, "This one's a keeper. This one gets to keep his parts, because he could amount to something." 

I am motivated by working with people who are starting there: starting with a horse they love as well as believing that he's good quality. People who see their stallion as more than just a "product" and a business proposition. 

I think many European breeders laugh at American breeders' love and enthusiasm. Historically they have been more business-like and practical, leaving emotion mostly out of it. 

American breeders can definitely improve in being objective and detached, and in treating a stallion business more as a business. But I hope we can do it without losing that love and enthusiasm. In fact, I think European breeders can learn from us a little about the joys of investing a little emotion into the business.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Advice For Beginning Breeders

Nikki Alvin-Smith recently published a new article on the Horse Studio website that is a good read for anyone thinking of breeding. It's entitled "Finding The Right Mate for Your Horse," and includes some general suggestions for choosing a stallion, but it's really an overview of breeding decisions. This would be good reading for someone who has not bred a warmblood or sport horse before. Ms. Alvin-Smith touches on breeding methods, contracts and expectations, where to look for a stallion, and a little bit on marketing and costs.

Read the article.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

KER: Nutrition For Foals - Birth to Two

Kentucky Equine Research has posted a new article about foals from birth to two years of age. From colostrum for new foals to managing yearling growth, it covers a timeline that is of paramount importance to breeders.

To read the full article on the KER website, click here.