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Below are some excerpts from news items in the April 2013 issue
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Great diversity and wealth in SF genetic stock

France (by Maïté Ganzin) During the final weekend in October, St Lô in Normandy was the place to be for Selle Français horses during the annual stallion championship. The facilities of the local ‘Centre de Promotion de l’Elevage’ (promotion centre for breeding activities) had been entirely refurbished to welcome the best two- and three-year-old colts seeking approval to become future breeding stock. Following eight national qualifiers in the Spring, 32 two year olds and 65 three year olds were presented.

The names of their sires surely rang bells for Selle Français connoisseurs: Quaprice Bois Margot (three finalists), Diamant de Semilly, Salto de l’Isle, Ready Boy des Forêts, Quite Easy, Ensor VDH Plevill (two each) for the two-year olds, plus Diamant de Semilly (eight), Lamm de Fétan (five) in the three-year-old age group. However, these were not the only fathers represented, as the two-year-old group was sired by a total of 25 different stallions, with 40 for the three year olds, representing a great diversity and wealth in Selle Français genetic stock. In fact, the offspring of some of the younger, relatively un- known stallions certainly impressed the jury. This overall breeding health was also evidenced by the fact that the SF studbook finished third in the year-end WBFSH ranking list.

The St Lô competition began early on the Friday morning with the fr jumping g test for both age groups. The score awarded to the young stallions during this test represented 35 and 30 percent of the final scores for two and three year olds, respectively. Four qualities are assessed in order to establish the free-jumping marks: balance and adaptability (33 percent), jump- ing capacity and trajector y (33 percent), respect, style and understanding of the obstacle (17 percent) and, finally, speed and energy (17 percent).

On Saturday morning, the horses were again gathered together for further testing: gaits and jumping under saddle for the older age group, and in-hand for the youngsters who are, so far, unbroken. Each horse’s conformation is worth 45 percent of the final score for two year olds and 40 percent for three year olds. The horses were judged on build, limbs, general im- pression, and whether they are stylish.

Following this second and final day of competition for the two year olds, the awarded champion was Bac- chus St. Lois – a fitting name as St Lois is the name given to residents of St Lô. Born in May 2011, Bacchus is by Orlando, out of Sonate St Loise, and was and bred by Odile Paris. This maternal grandson of Quidam de Revel obtained high scores in free jumping (8,21) for an overall score of 8,17. In second place we find Broad- way Concept (Nippon d’Elle - EH Baby x Galoubet A), bred by Frédéric Pouleur. 2 – N° 204 - December 2013 An energetic, flexible and balanced colt who achieved a score of 7,93. Claiming third place, Berdenn de Ker- gane (Quaprice Bois Mar- got/ex Quincy [Holst] - Rosiere de Kergane x Flip- per d’Elle), a relative foreigner because he was born not in Normandy but in Britanny at Louis Menier’s stud farm. Overall score 7,76...

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Predisposition for Grand Prix criteria

Germany (by Dr. Ludwig Christmann) Jonny Hilberath grew up in Kellinghusen, a Holstein town in rural northern Germany and competed up to S level in jumping, eventing and dressage. However, dressage is where he found his true calling. Serving his apprenticeship with the likes of Herbert Rehbein, and winning numerous GP classes as well as the German Professional Championship in 1992, he’s become an iconic figure on the German dressage scene.

As a trainer and coach, Hilerath students have in- cluded headliners such as Mexico’s Bernadette Pujals, Japan’s Yuko Kitai, Natalie Hobday from South Africa, and Australian Hayley Beresford – all of whom have enjoyed considerable success in international dressage arenas. His crowning moment was perhaps the German team’s silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he served as chief coach. As a trainer par excellence, his primary goal is always to develop the most harmonious connection between horse and rider.

According to Hilberath, the key to success is applying the “predisposition for Grand Prix criteria,” a subject that will always be highly popular and one about which he was happy to answer questions: “After all each and everyone of us has the dream to breed a Grand Prix-horse”.

* It is a long way from level A to level S! What is the difference between the S-level dressage horse and the international Grand Prix-horse?

Two criteria are crucial: The physical prerequisites, the strength and a stable connection of the back and the hindquarters as well as the spirit and the ability to learn. The Grand Prix demands great carrying power. The pirouettes are the decisive criteria. Horse breeding has progressed tremendously over the past years, especially in respect to the basic gaits. There are many talented horses that successfully com- pete at the S-level; however if carrying power is required, the number starts shrinking.

* Are there special criteria that the Grand Prix sport demands of the horse’s exterior?

There is no template for physical prerequisites. A back that can carry is important. It is vital for collection. In my experience there is no ‘one ideal hind-leg angle’. It must be constructed in such a way that it allows the horse to quickly develop powerful movement out of its joints. This also depends on the stability and the size. Both are important criteria for serviceability. Often horses that were rather tightly constructed as young horses have a very good connection in the body and, later on, are able to develop power much better. We need this athleticism in the sport. Horses with good and strong backs are in demand. These horses may not move as spectacularly while they are young. Spirit and a good silhouette are important. Most important is that the breeder believes in his horse! It is often said that jumper blood creates athleticism when breed- ing dressage horses. One of my most successful dressage horses was a pure jumper: Fariano by Wanderbusch x Wienerwald. Jumper genes often produce a quick hind leg. Basically, I find the use of Thoroughbreds super. It has already proven its value in breeding.

Thoroughbreds especially pass on a certain toughness to their offspring which helps the serviceability. Originally they were bred for a completely different discipline; for racing. In racing the hind leg does not have to powerfully move off the ground but it must reach as far underneath the body as possible, and as fast as possible. In general one can say that it is not necessary to apply much strength when riding a horse that is strongly influenced by Thoroughbred blood. Thoroughbreds are not constructed with an emphasis on carrying power – that is just not how they were bred....

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WBFSH awards

Qatar Attended by their patron, HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, the WBFSH hosted its annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 20 during a gala evening of the Global Champions’ Tour final in Qatar. It was also attended by WBFSH president Jan Pedersen and prizes weere awarded to the breeders of the year’s most successful horses in dressage, jumping and eventing

Dutch breeders Maartje and Joop Hanse, French breeder Agnès Grosz, represented her son Paul Grosz, and Spanish breeder Ramon Beca, represented by his daughters Maria Beca Trias and Frida Beca, were all presented with personally engraved Jaeger- LeCoultre Reverso watches in recognition of their work.

“Although breeding is ver y closely related to the sport, the breeders of the winning horses are not always mentioned at the prize-giving ceremonies. Therefore, it is a great pleasure to be able to honour the breeders together with Jaeger-LeCoultre tonight, and give credit where credit is due,” said HRH Princess Benedikte.

The gelding Valegro (KWPN) was born in 2002 at Maartje and Joop Hanse’s stud farm in the Nether- lands. Valegro and his British rider Charlotte Dujardin have an amazing dressage track record. They are reigning European champions as well as individual and team gold medallists from the London 2012 Olympic Games...

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Highest prices in five years!

Germany by Jean Llewellyn/press release) Top quality stallions, fantastic prices – after the three-day Hanoverian stallion licensing and sales, the experts were unanimous. Hans-Heinrich Meyer zu Strohen concluded: “The brilliant free jumping presentations with some of the horses performing at international level was due to the outstanding overall quality.

Team Olympic Champion Heike Kemmer summarized by saying, “We saw a huge variety of upper-level horses with different pedigrees, showing extraordinary movement.” The Licensing Committee accepted 53 youngsters for breeding, 19 of whom were additionally awarded Premium status: 11 dressage and eight showjumping horses.

A modern and very sporty black colt by St. Moritz Junior x Don Schufro (bred and exhibited by Joachim Wahlers) was the top-priced sale horse after a tremendously exciting bidding duel, conducted by auctioneer Daniel Delius, the likes of which had never before been seen in the Niedersachsenhalle. The stallion eventually changed hands for €580,000 ($787,094), going to Blue Hors Stud in Denmark. And because the Danish appreciate Hanoverian bloodlines, the well-known and approved stud farm had al- ready purchased another sporty stallion – a specially awarded brown youngster by Fuerstenball x Dacaprio (bred by Hans-Heinrich Plate, exhibited by Dr. Ker- stin Klieber), for €460,000 ($624,248). Another Pre- mium stallion by Dancier x Weltmeyer (bred by Georg Struebig, exhibited by Heinrich Giesselmann) was also sold at a top price. Gestüt Bonhomme purchased the impressive black horse for €305,000 ($413,903)....

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