For the second time the Stallion Sport test for sport horse stallions was carried out in the USA. The first station was Hilltop Farm in Maryland, which over the years has become one of the most important centers for breeding and sport in the USA. Nine stallions competed in the three-day test, seven in dressage and two in jumping. With 5 stallions Hanover had the most test candidates, two came from Oldenburg, one from the Rhineland and one from the KWPN Studbook. Leslie Waterman from Franklin, Tennessee, who had two stallions at the start, both ridden by Emily Miles, Kansas, achieved a great success and finished first and second. The winner was the four-year-old dark chestnut Rhineland stallion Sole Mio by Stanford, a son of Sir Donnerhall, out of a dam by Donnerschwee, who is thus inbred to the valuable blood of Donnerhall. His breeder Wencek comes from Moers, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Sole Mio had won the US Championships for four-year-old dressage horses in Chicago, IL two months earlier. With a height of 165 cm, he is a medium-sized stallion who has a great presence in the dressage arena. Spectacular is his trot mechanics with a lot of shoulder freedom, in addition he impresses with his willingness to perform and his rideability. "He gives the impression that he always wants to give 120% for his rider", says Gerd Sickinger, one of the two judges who had been flown in from Germany especially for the two Stallion tests. And Jessica Wisdom, the test rider dressage from Battle Ground, Washington added: "Sole Mio has a lot of balance and a lot of potential in trot and canter. In addition, he is very attentive to the rider and reacts to fine aids." In the five evaluation criteria trot, canter, walk, rideability and overall impression he received without exception marks between 8 and 9 which led to the final score of 8.6.
With a final score of 8.5, Sole Mio's stablemate Daily Show, a Hanoverian stallion by Danciano out of a dam of Stockholm, a son of Stedinger, followed closely behind. He was bred by Kurt Gravemeyer, Rosendahl, the former national coach for the German show jumping team. Daily Show is a very different type than Sole Mio: black, 172 cm tall, long-legged, highly elegant, a real eye-catcher. Of course he also has a great quality in all three basic gaits, which are always uphill, and in rideability. Jessica Wisdom put it in a nutshell: "this is a horse that I would also like to have in my stable". Emily Miles, the rider of the two horses, played a big part in the good results. Her rides were excellent illustrations of exemplary training for young horses. Rider and horse were in perfect balance, with light, almost invisible aids the talents of the two horses were brought to the fore in a relaxed manner. Leslie Waterman, had acquired both stallions at the stallion licensing in Verden in 2016. "My goal is to find talented young horses, preferably stallions, and to bring them up to international level together with Emily," Leslie says. She does not want to run an insemination station, but semen will be frozen in order to safeguard the valuable genetics of her stallions.
The Oldenburg stallion Davos CF by Dante Weltino/Rubinstein, also four years old, also belonged to the top dressage group. With an overall score of 8.3, he passed the third best test, best presented by Anna Keenan. He captivated by his importance and big frame. His movements were always uphill and especially in trot he showed a lot of cadence and already good talent for collection. He is owned and bred by Nancy Holowesko, who runs Crosiadore Farm, an Oldenburg breeding farm in Trappe, Maryland.
Maryanna Haymon's Debonair MF by Doctor Wendell/Rotspon took his second sport test, as usual very well presented by Michael Bragdell. His highlight was the walk, which was rated 9.0 by the judges. With two passed tests within two consecutive years, the five-year-old Hanoverian stallion is now recognized for life.
In the two stallions registered for the jumping test, the four-year-old Hanoverian Baloujoie by Bon Balou/Wonderland surpassed the final score of 7.5, which was necessary to pass the test, with a final score of 7.63. The substantial bay stallion impressed on all three days with an excellent temperament, good rideability and a good jumping ability. The owner Stephanie Hill from Wentzville, Missouri presented Baloujoie herself under saddle. She had acquired him as a foal from his breeder Tara Lambie, who runs a Hanoverian breeding farm north of Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta with the breeding direction of hunters and jumpers.
Unfortunately, two stallions could not pass the test, one each in dressage and jumping. It became obvious how difficult it is for stallions who are trained as hunters to pass this test if they are not specifically prepared for the demands placed on a show jumper before the test. At the age of four, the jumping stallions must master a complete course over a maximum of 1.00 m in such a way that ability, a good jumping technique, rideability and potential as show jumpers can be recognized.
The test was judged by two experienced judges from Germany, Gerd Sickinger from Stuttgart and Matthias Granzow, Münster. Uli Henschke, Bremen, for dressage and Sebastian Rohde, Vechta, for jumping acted as disciplinary experts. Their task is to observe the riders during the training and to give instructions on how the stallions are to be presented. The two test riders have a very important function in giving impressions of how the stallions feel under saddle. This year again the competence of Jessica Wisdom (dressage) from Battle Ground, Washington and Marion Ostmeyer (jumping) from Calgary was used. Both are very experienced trainers who can train horses from a young age to the highest class.
A big thank you goes to the proven team of the Hilltop Farm around the manager Natalie DiBerardinis, who organized the whole again perfectly.
After the test at Hilltop Farm, the caravan of judges, foreign riders and disciplinary experts moved on to California. Two days later, Buffy and Rick Oas started the West Coast Stallion Sport Test at Pollyrich Farm, just outside the picturesque Danish-style small town of Solvang. Of the originally five registered stallions, four competed - three jumping stallions by the studbooks KWPN, Holstein and American Holstein as well as an Oldenburg dressage stallion. The latter was the six-year-old Rohmeo, a typey stallion bred and owned by Carol DiMaggio, Walnut Creek, California, who was presented by Chelsea Sibley. He had already passed the test last year, which he also succeeded in this year with a final score of 7.5. Thus he secured himself the permanent breeding license. Rohmeo comes from the Rohdiamant son Royal Prince out of a dam by Lord Liberty G.
The highest rated stallion was the four-year-old, Dutch-bred, big-framed black Jethro Tull with a score of 8.23. With the pedigree I'm Special de Muze/Voltaire/Heartbreaker he was a very well-bred stallion and fulfilled the associated expectations under the rider. In all five criteria (canter, scope, technique, rideability, overall impression) he received scores of 8 or better, for his scope and the large, but nevertheless practical gallop there was a score of 8.5. Judge Gerd Sickinger's comment on the stallion: "Besides his jumping capacity Jethro Tull is also an important sire with expression and good body proportions.” The black stallion was ridden by his owner Lorrie Jamieson, who travelled about 2800 kilometers from Klondike Victory Farm in Lacombe County in the Canadian province of Alberta to California. Her opinion on the concept: "The whole event was very inviting. The judges were very friendly and we noticed that they wanted to help us. It was informative and instructive. Overall, I was very impressed by the process."
Also from Canada, from Delta just outside the Pacific metropolis of Vancouver, Darlene York arrived with the five-year-old Holstein stallion Centre Point, bred by Kai Gerken. At 165 cm, he is a medium sized, typey stallion by the Chacco-Blue sire Chambertin out of a Cassini I dam and has already been successful in Hunter tests. The fact that he also has considerable ability became clear in this test under his permanent rider Channay Lloyd. Test rider Marion Ostmeyer also praised his attitude and rideability: "It was fun riding him. He was always with the rider, was always safe, confident, and super clever.” His rideability was rewarded with a score of 9.0, the final score was 8.03. It was also the second passed test for Center Point, and he also achieved final recognition.
The fourth in the group was the five-year-old grey stallion Rip Tide, bred by Hope Goodwin in California and owned by Max and Jessica Wilcox from Lakeside, California. With a height of 175 cm the Riverman/Solid Silver son is a striking appearance. He mastered the up to 1.10 m high course very safely and confidently, ridden by Adrienne Tessary, so that he also passed the test with an overall score of 7.78.
The program was supplemented by presentations on breeding and training of sport horses. Sebastian Rohde, Oldenburg Verband, and Dr. Ludwig Christmann, Hanoverian Verband, explained at both tests how linear description works. At Hilltop, the internationally successful dressage rider Catherine Haddad and her husband, Dr. Greg Staller, explained how the athlete horse can be managed in such a way that sporting success and health can be achieved. As decisive criteria the topics shoeing, footing and of course the training of the horse were mentioned.
At the Pollyrich Farm Sebastian Rohde presented the German system of show jumping tests for young horses, followed by Ramon Becerra, who presented Mexican/Californian horsemanship. Afterwards Buffy and Rick Oas, who were once again great hosts, showed with a big barbecue what Californian hospitality means.
A total of 200 spectators may have watched the event attentively over the three days at both sites.