Tuesday, September 29, 2020

theHorse: Foaling Date Calculator

theHorse.com has a special tool to help you calculate when your mare will foal. It's a simple but very handy calculator - give it a try. It doesn't know your individual mare, of course, and every mare is different - but it gives you the range of dates that are the most likely for most mares. 

Click here to try the Mare Gestation Calculator.

Photo credit: 10marek.n / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Friday, September 25, 2020

Foundation Sire: De Niro

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 Magazinepublished by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

170 cm
Black (Liver Chestnut)
Breeder: Brigitte Pahl
Licensed for Hanover, Oldenburg, Westphalia, Rhineland, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sweden, Denmark, and France

Donnerhall was the first of the great competition dressage stallions… – a fashion carried on by his son, De Niro. De Niro comes from the Akzent II mare Alicante, who was herself a successful dressage competitor…. At the stallion licensing in 1995, De Niro demonstrated his jumping ability; … overall De Niro finished 2nd with a score of 141.93. By the year 2000, and at the age of only seven, he was already competing in Grand Prix dressage with Dolf-Dietram Keller – and the following year carried Mr Keller to the title German Professional Champion. In 2002, De Niro won international Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special tests at Saumur and Berlin, and in 2003, he was the winner of the German Dressage Derby at Hamburg. Dolf-Dietram Keller has a special relationship with De Niro. “He was the horse that I rode the longest.” He told Britta Züngel for her story in The Hanoverian ((8/2014) “De Niro was very trainable. He learned the one-tempi changes in only two days as a six-year old. He did them every day from then on. We tried Piaffe and Passage very early at home. ….” … As a sire, De Niro has been a huge success. … By the time the 2018 Hanoverian Stallion Book is published, he has 1195 competitors with winnings of €2,967,598 – with 220 S level dressage competitors. Thirty four of his progeny have won more than €10,000, with Desperados FRH still the leader but now with €528,505. His Hanoverian breeding value for dressage is 113, for jumping, 74, and for type, 108. On the 2018 German FN breeding values, he is credited with 128 as a sire of young horse competitors and 137 for open competitors. In 2019, two years after his death, De Niro’s stats continue to swell. … When I interviewed his owner, Burkhard Wahler in 2007, he was rightly proud of his horse: “Some people might disagree, but in my opinion, there is no son of Donnerhall as successful as De Niro. ….” … The story of how Burkhardt Wahler acquired De Niro is entertaining, and bears out Burkhardt’s maxim that with every stallion comes a story... … According to Mr Wahler, De Niro crosses over a wide variety of mare lines: … … On the 2016 WBFSH standings he is once again in first place. I asked Hanoverian breeding expert Ludwig Christmann what made De Niro such an exceptional sire: “I think you should probably talk to the riders and trainers, I think it is the minds that they like. When I talk to Mr Sprehe about Desperados and he says the horse is always fit, even if it is 35 degrees like in Rio, he always does his job. They have the talent for collection and the higher movements, but it is the mind that makes them so special.” … De Niro is once again in first place on the 2018 WBFSH dressage stallion rankings.

There's much more to this article about De Niro on the Horse Magazine website! Click here.
Meet the stallion descendants of De Niro on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com. Click here:

The HorseMagazine also has a tribute to De Niro when he died in 2017, with interviews, photos, and a celebration of his offspring. Click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

US Equestrian: Maplewood Warmbloods Delivers Quality

US Equestrian Weekly, the e-newsletter from USEF, contained a feature story about US breeder! It's called "Maplewood Warmbloods Delivers Quality U.S.-Bred Horses at 2020 Dressage Festival of Champions and Beyond." Breeders don't usually get prominent recognition from USEF, so this is good to see.

Maplewood Warmbloods, owned by Jen Vanover, has been developing her mare band and breeding program for 15 years, and has produced some top competitors. She also stands her own stallions.

Read the article, and the interview with Jen, here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

HorseMagazine: Dressage Breeding at the Bundeschampionate 2020

Kiki Beelitz photo

Once again Christopher Hector, of The Horse Magazine in Australia, has written an analysis of the Bundeschampionate winners' bloodlines. This time he attended virtually, since spectators were not allowed. Luckily for us, photographer Kiki Beelitz was there and provided great images.

Read the bloodline analysis here: Dressage Breeding at the 2020 Bundeschampionate.

For a related article, eurodressage posted in May about the format of the 2020 Bundeschampionate. Read 2020 Bundeschampionate: No Audience, Two Weeks, No Quotum for Qualifiers.

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 https://vimeo.com/457030280 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 dressageatdevon.org.

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 www.dressageatdevon.org 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 www.dressageatdevon.org and click on Silent Auction. Bidding will begin on Friday, September 18 and close Friday, September 25.

For questions, contact onlineauction@dressageatdevon.org.

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 www.dressageatdevon.org.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

HorseMagazine: Apache and Grandson About You

Borgmann youngsters. HorseMagazine.com 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, theHorse.com 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 HorseMagazine.com 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 WarmbloodStallionsNA.com, 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 theHorse.com, 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 theHorse.com 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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

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.