Impressions of the 2013 classification tour - Dr. Ludwig Christmann
In 1997 I had my first and so far only inspection tour to New Zealand and so I was very much looking forward to my second trip to this wonderful end of the world (from the view of a European). I was looking forward to see how the breed had developed and to meet breeders and friends whom I have known for many years. I would like to give you my impressions on the horses I saw, on the foals, the mares and also the stallions.
I saw a really pleasing collection of foals with very interesting pedigrees and good qualities. There was a nice group of really outstanding foals. The top colt very clearly was a colt by Don Frederico out of the Anamour/Weltmeyer daughter Adelheid, bred by Matthews Hanoverians.
Don Vito MH
I saw this colt on my first day of the inspection and I thought ‘wow, that is a good start’. Don Frederico has the reputation that he produces top quality dressage horses, but they not always show off already at foal age. But this one is different. A colt with a lot of presence, typey but also with substance, a really good top line and excellent at the trot as well as at the walk.
The top filly interestingly was out of a Don Frederico mother, Donner Summer SW whose dam is by Anamour. The sire of this filly is Limonit. A really elegant and typey filly with very elastic and light footed movements and an outstanding walk. She was bred by Sheena Ross from Sterling Warmbloods.
Highly elegant with very good gaits was a filly by Edward out of the Gymnastic Star/Graf Landau daughter Grandessa, bred by Matthews Hanoverians. The pedigree is very versatile, with lots of jumping blood but sire Edward stands out as a dressage horse himself. So we were not sure, whether this filly should be classified jumping or dressage.
Definitely jumping breeding was a filly by Contendro/Anamour/Distelfink bred by Henton Lodge Hanoverians – feminine and typey, correct and good conformation, good gaits with lots of suspension – everything you want.
A really good example of the value of high quality Thoroughbred mares was a filly by Anamour out of the great Thoroughbred mare Benefit Babe xx from Wendy and Gary Freeman – really long-legged and typey with a good walk.
Benefit Babe xx and 2012 Anamour foal.
These were the top five foals we saw on the tour and four of them have Anamour on the mother side as sire of the dam or the grand dam. This proves the value of Anamour not only as a producer of sport horses for all three disciplines but also as a sire of broodmares. It was obvious, that the use of top stallions via frozen semen brings breeding progress, but it is also necessary to have quality stallions available in the country.
Six out of the 25 foals I saw could be considered as jumping foals with sires such as Stolzenberg, Contendro or Lux Z. I especially liked two Stolzenberg babies out of Thoroughbred mares, who could be very interesting for show jumping or eventing as well.
I really loved the grand parade at Abderry Farm on a nice Sunday. Several breeders had made the effort to bring their mares and also their foals to the central location where we had a joint event with a mare performance test where the daughter of Don Frederico, Parkridge Donnamour from Peter Barke was well presented.
Parkridge Donnamour in freejumping for mare performance test
There was also a studbook classification, mare show and a little foal show. There were quite a few people interested who had come to watch. They saw a show with a good quality level. The champion mare as well as the reserve champion mare were owned by Sheena Ross from Sterling Warmbloods.
Champion Siriana SW and Reserve Champion Sable Hit SW
Champion was the two-year-old Sir Donnerhall/Anamour daughter Siriana SW, also bred by Sheena Ross.
Siriana is a highly elegant and feminine looking filly with good conformation. As a two-year-old at her first show out she demonstrated perfect temperament and showed a good trot and walk and a lot of promise as a future dressage horse. Reserve champion was the Sandro Hit/De Niro daughter Sable Hit, bred by Fiona McCrostie, a well built mare with an expressive trot.
Sable Hit SW
Four out of the ten mares presented were out of Thoroughbred dams and so it was fair to also judge a half-bred class. Top mare here was Stoneylea Dazzle by Dream Boy, bred by John and Angela Smith and owned by Kris Gavin, a Thoroughbred daughter with really long legs, lots of presence and good gaits.
She and Sable Hit were highlighted as Elite Mare Candidates.
Another highlight was the evaluation of mare families. Seven mare families were presented and four out of them could be highlighted as Elite Families which stands for very high quality. Two mare families had the same high score, one as a dressage family, the other one as a jumping/eventing family. The top dressage family was the family of the Don Primero daughter Diva Primero from Matthews Hanoverians. Judith Matthews had bought Diva Primero once at a Verden auction. Her daughter Diva’s Glory by Dream Boy was successful in dressage herself and is a mare of very good conformation. Diva Primero’s two-year-old daughter Panache by Prestige VDL looks like a very athletic prospect for the future with big and powerful movement. The top family for jumping/eventing was the mare family of Delphi by Distelfink, bred by Henton Lodge. We saw Delphi at the age of 22 on the pasture.
She has produced a fair number of eventing and show-jumping horses and went especially well with the Escudo line. Her daughter Exclusive by Escudo was a successful show-jumper herself and her second daughter was a seven-year-old by El Bundy who was performance tested a couple of days later and showed spectacular free jumping which was scored with a flat 10.
Henton Evita Xtreme
Another elite family was the one by Elite Mare Lusenka by Lauries Crusador xx. Angela Smith had imported this great mare out of a Lemon Park/Grand daughter from one of the best mare families in Hannover. Her two-year-old daughter by Fürst Nymphenburg and her 2012 filly by Weltmeyer showed that she has the quality of becoming a foundation mare for the Hanoverian breed in New Zealand.
EM Stoneylea Lusenka Imp. mare family
The fourth elite family was the family of Benefit Babe xx and shows the positive influence of the Thoroughbred on the Hanoverian breeding programme in New Zealand. Benefit Babe xx stands at the farm of Wendy and Gary Freeman and is a fabulous mare herself. Her 2012 filly by Anamour belonged to the top group of foals and her two- and three-year-old offspring are equally promising.
Overall we saw 29 mares for classification. Seven out of these mares were Thoroughbred mares. Two of these Thoroughbred mares could not be accepted, due to a lack of movement and some weaknesses in their conformation. Two other mares were pending, one due to an injury, the other one because of question marks with regard to her pedigree. So 20 Hanoverian and warmblood mares respectively could be accepted, 15 as main studbook mares, one as a studbook mare and four as pre-studbook mares. Of the 15 main studbook mares seven were highlighted as Elite Mares which means they had an overall score of 8.
All the members of our commission were happy that both stallions presented could be licensed. Doringcourt is a Dressage Royal/Glückspilz son who was presented to us by Andrea Bank. Doringcourt is one of the best younger dressage horses in New Zealand and showed great rideability and lots of elasticity in all three gaits as well as lots of talent for collection.
Cassiano is a twelve-year-old grey Holstein stallion by Cassini I/Calypso II and Thoroughbred blood in the next two generations. He is an impressive stallion, long-legged with a beautiful head and a good conformation. He also showed a good trot and good rideability and of course very good jumping talent, which was already indicated by his pedigree.
Of course it was also great fun to see the other boys: Worldly at Renai Hart’s place looked fabulous and he can be a great asset to the Hanoverian breed in New Zealand. Royal Mirage W at Wendy McMahon’s at Invercargill displayed his wonderful temperament and rideability and a very special highlight was the visit to Wendy and Gary Freemen where Anamour still looked great and fresh at the age of 22. He had a tremendously positive influence on the breed and it was a special moment to see all the members of the syndicate who had bought Anamour together at a fabulous meal.
Anamour - and syndicate and some originalmembers
Overall I was really pleased with the quality of the horses I saw. The experiment with many Thoroughbred mares as the foundation for the Hanoverian in New Zealand has worked. I saw many first or second crosses with good legs and good gaits. Maybe the neck sometimes was a bit low set due to the influence of the thoroughbred. So this is something to pay attention to in the future. I had a wonderful time and I would especially thank all the hosts who gave me shelter and excellent food and drinks. Especially I would like to thank Robin Potter who did a tremendous job in putting everything together for the trip and who was very knowledgeable company and fellow judge on the trip, also Bridget Sutton as president of the New Zealand Hanoverian Society, Angela Smith and Eric Ropiha as my judging colleagues on the commission. Working together with you was great fun.