SPOTLIGHT ON THE BREEDERS

The NZWarmblood Association talk with dedicated NZWB breeders to find out where their passion for breeding lies.

GEORGIA SHEARD

NZWA went north to talk with Georgia Sheard at Roseflats Equestrian...

How long have you been breeding?

We bought our first mare at the beginning of 2014 with the intention of getting a foal before I started riding her. She produced a fantastic colt by Capatino GNZ which we have kept entire to breed from, and that kick started our excitement around breeding. Fast forward a few years we now have 5 lovely mares in our broodmare herd, with 3 yearlings and 2 weanlings.

 

What stallions are you using and what appealed to you about them?

This coming season we have two mares in foal to Daminos, two in foal to Carpaccio BDV Z, and one to Bentley van de Heffinck. Part of the choices comes down to bloodlines that would suit our mares, while the rest being the fact that they complement the weaknesses of our mares, such as Daminos’ uphill movement will suit Collette as she is a bit downhill, and Carpaccio will help add size to my smaller mare Optimistic NZPH.

 

Tell us about your broodmares.

Waitangi Hotspot was our foundation broodmare. Her bloodlines mainly consist of TB with Lansing as her grandsire. She suits well to the heavier warmblood types to make a lighter cross. She produced our first foal before I began riding her. Unfortunately, an old accident was causing her issues under saddle so I made the decision last year to retire her back to the broodmare herd.

Our oldest broodmare is Optimistic NZPH. At 17 years old she impressed Gert Kust during this year’s Classification Tour by taking out Champion Derivative. Her Cartell GNZ yearling filly, Chiquita RF, is looking to be very nice.

Collette is my retired junior rider show jumper. She is small, with an awesome trot and big jump. She had her first foal this season by Cachassini II which I am hoping to keep as a stallion if he continues to behave nicely as I think he has very unique bloodlines. 

Above: Collette


Capriole is an interesting young mare we purchased last season by Cassini II out of an imported mare. We have put her in foal to Bentley van de Heffinck.

We also have a TB mare which should produce a nice athletic foal that could end up being ideal as an eventer.

 

What did you like about the Classification Tour this year?

It was great being given valuable feedback on our mares and foals from somebody who has viewed such a large quantity of well bred horses which helps give us insight on how our breeding program is looking so far.

 

What improvements do you think could be made to the breeding scene?

I think that more people should get onboard with registering their horses with NZWA so that as a buyer you know that the horse you are buying has papers to back up that its parentage is correct.

Buyers also need to realise all that breeders go through both financially and emotionally to raise the horses that everyone wants to buy as a 3+ year old for prices that just don’t justify the costs involved. 

 The three yearlings; Super Strike RF (Golden Strike), Chiquita RF (Cartell GNZ) and Lorelle RF (Lordano)

What is your ultimate aim with your breeding program?

The aim is to breed and produce quality horses, which ultimately are capable of jumping World Cup.

 

Are you breeding to sell or retain breeding stock or ride yourself?

In the ideal world I would like to keep all of them until they are under saddle so I have plenty of time to decide which ones I would sell, and which I am the most keen on producing further up the heights. I also want to be able to get a foal out of each of the fillies to retain those bloodlines before they start their ridden careers.

 

What horse has given you the most pride as a breeder?

I am so impressed with my rising four year old colt, Couer de L’Amour RF. It was such a special moment starting to ride him over summer, and I can’t wait until he is ready to get out to shows.


 

What has been your biggest disappointment as a breeder?

Last season was a bit gutting as two of our mares didn’t manage to get pregnant with frozen semen, soon after we lost our best mare to laminitis, leaving one foal orphaned, and followed by two other mares who had scanned positive losing their pregnancy.

 

Any tips for aspiring breeders?

Find a quality mare and make sure you take the time to consider her strengths and weaknesses when selecting a suitable stallion to match.

 This seasons filly; Dynamic RF by Daminos out of Electra NZPH.



BRUGS NICHOLLS

How long have you been breeding?

I have been a breeder for about 9 yrs on and off in NZ.  But more in the UK as we had Ko- Pilot, Kinetic , Klaus, and Huszti all licensed and standing at stud.  Plus when I was a little girl my parents stood a couple of riding pony stallions.

I have always been fascinated with breed lines and constantly research up and coming stallions I have been fortunate to be taken to a licensing in Holland when I was younger and caught the bug then.  I actually am also lucky that this year I am going to the state stud in Germany with a old pupil of mine from the UK who now lives permanently in Germany running a dressage and jumping yard.

 

What stallions are you using thus season and what appealed to you about them?

Furstenball because he has a reputation for being a yard favourite and super easy, plus he scored a 10 for rideability at his licensing.

Secret because I think Zack and Sandro hit are producing international dressage horses off the future. However sadly I did not get a pregnancy this time.

    Furstenball x Sandro Hit 2018 foal

Tell us about your broodmares?

I have a Sandro Hit X Lorenz, (Vinny) who is a super strong stamp, still totally sound, perfect temperament, and I trained her to Grand Prix before she became a broodmare . Sandro hit is no2 on the WBFSH dressage sire rankings and I believe Vinny will produce Grand Prix offspring.

Totilas x Donnerheist (Lulu) was bought to be a broodmare with Vinny so that I had two foals to play together. Totilas is proving to be popular with international dressage riders snapping them up. Edward Gal now has 4 Totilas offspring for himself to ride. Total US, Toto Jr ,Trafalgar and Taminiau. I am thrilled with what lulu has bred so far and they have unflappable temperaments and again I am sure she will breed grand prix horses.

What did you like about the Classification Tour last Year?

The fact NZWA bring in an experienced horseman, who can give good honest feedback to the breeders is just fantastic.

What improvements do you think could be made to the n breeding scene?

I think already since I moved to NZ the breeding scene is more informed and getting better yearly. The NZWA team are so correct in getting proven papers for all breeding mares that is the  right way forward, plus now NZWA has been provisionally accepted into the WBFSH, this is just fantastic for all breeders.

One thing I would say is be fussy about the mares you breed with, be critical yourself on everything , it’s not negative to be truthful about conformation , movement and temperament.

What is your ultimate aim with your breeding program?

To breed international dressage horses for sure!


  Photo below:   Worldly x Totilas 2017 foal


Are you breeding to sell or retain breeding stock or ride yourself?

I will retain a few mares for breeding the family lines on and also keep a few colts to be ridden in the Dressage Academy.  I might sell one or two to keep my partner happy financially as it is expensive breeding and running them all on.

What horse has given you the most pride as a breeder?

It is early days for me in NZ, but in the UK I bred  from a pony mare my mum bred called Rifesyde Valerian who we bred to Huszti my dressage stallion . Valerian produced a colt we called Rifesyde Verdi . He was sold to a student in my yard Kimmie and he was picked to represent GB as a Junior in Ireland CDIY (Level 5) Very  proud of him as we bred and produced him from our yard.

In NZ I have bred Rifesyde Prancer a pony who was  produced from my yard to L4 and  won the World Dressage Challenge twice in South Island and L4 Pony Champion for about 4 yrs running at South Island Champs.

South Island Champs 2018 I was super proud to have 4 homebreds competing up to L5.

Fugato SW x Totilas 2018 foal.

What has been your biggest disappointment as a breeder?

Wasting so much money on frozen semen!  

Any tips for aspiring breeders?

Get the best mare possible. Really think what you want to breed, look at the faults of your mare and what needs improving, do your homework on the stallion. Look up information on what the stallion is best put to which mare. There is a lot of info out there and of course in Europe the foals are bought back for inspections so you can get a lot of info from those results. We also have a lot of good stallions in NZ to choose from ask the stallion owner what would be a good type of mare to cross with, I have always found stallion owners very helpful. After all they also want a good result for their stallion as well.

 

 


JEANNE THOMSON

How long have you been breeding?

Our family have been amateur breeders for about 15 years, from our lifestyle block in Pauatahanui, Wellington.

Are you breeding to sell or retain breeding stock or ride yourself? 

We have bred to give our children, now young adults, the experience of raising young stock, through to producing them as competition mounts.

Tell us about your broodmares? 

Our current broodmares descend from our foundation TB Gabriels Girl, by Justice Prevails.  Legacy, 16.3hh, by Vollrath Lessing has a nice Ramazotti colt foal at foot.  Centavold, by Euro Sports Centavos, is a former Novice level eventer and is in foal  to the exciting new stallion at Euro Sports Stud, ES Diamant B (by Diacontinus).  Gabriels Girl produced four foals for us ~ the eldest is Astronomical, owned and ridden by our daughter Natalie Short in Dannevirke, then our two broodmares, and the last is a 6 year old Lordano gelding, owned and ridden by our son, Douglas Thomson in Tokoroa.

What horse has given you the most pride as its breeder? 

Golden Conquest (by Belmont Golden Boy), produced and ridden by Natalie, has been Pleasure Hack of the Year at HOY in 2016 and 2017.

What do you like about the Classification Tours ? 

We appreciate the opportunity to have world class stud assessors judge our youngstock conformation against what is produced overseas, and then have them able to be included in a world wide recognised breeding registry.  In 2016, Abilene (Anamour/Charaya) got Reserve Champion Youngstock, and last year we got a Merit award for our Corofino 11 colt.


Any tips for aspiring breeders?

Patience, deep pockets, and the best visible fencing you can afford.

What stallions do you use and why? 

Stallions assessed and approved, usually by overseas breeding authorities, as being genetically suitable to pass on their conformation, performance and temperament traits.  Prefer using fresh/chilled semen as works out cheaper than frozen semen, to get a live foal on the ground.





DEBBIE & PETER BARKE– RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – ROTORUA

How long have you been breeding?
Thank you for the opportunity to chat about our breeding, Peter and I bred our first foal together in NZ 2002. A chestnut filly by Witzbola out of our TB Mare Didi. That filly is the mother of RM All About Me the wonderful FEI YR mare of Amy Sage’s.


What stallions are you using at the moment and what appealed to you about them?
So why Fugato SW well where do I start. We wanted to use Foundation to complement our mare but frozen stats on his semen were not good enough for us to risk, so when Stirling Warmbloods imported Fugato SW we were thrilled the sire line is what we wanted and the dam line is superb. The horse himself it exactly what we needed as our mare produces tall horses we didn't want an over tall sire and he has very good shoulder and fore arm action, a point we are aware needs improving a bit with our mare. We bred two Fugato SW in the first year and have returned Ruby to him again as the foal is exquisite and a huge mover. We looked at all the frozen options and for us $ is a factor as we can only risk so many $ on frozen BUT we didn't like anything as much as Fugato SW and the fresh semen and price point is outstanding. As we are primarily breeding for us the lack of "frozen semen" or "latest sensation" premium that you can get for a frozen foal didn't add up for us and at the end of the day his pedigree is as good as the frozen and the proof is in the foals.

  Below:  Mc Arther Santa Ana and this year’s Fugato SW filly

    

Tell us about your broodmares?
Didi Had 7 foals for us and the reason we started with a TB mare is we wanted to breed quality all-rounders as that was what the market needed then and we could breed, raise, start and produce them. Of her 7 foals she had a granddaughter that went to advanced, and three that evented up to 1* RM Limbo also won many championships at regional level dressage. Didi was also the Dam of Lady Mikayla a GP dressage horse.

In 2011 we realized that our goals had changed and that we could effectively and relatively economically "value add" to the foals we bred as we had the facilities and the skills so we thought we would try to breed the best we could for ourselves to ride in the dressage arena. We had limited cash a whole heap of passion and then we worked damn hard to see if our hobby (because its hard to justify it at the beginning to the accountant!) could produce us horses for the future. The broodmare line is very, very important so in 2011 we took the risk and imported our Main Dressage broodmare Mc Arthur Santa Ana and invested in frozen breeding. Ruby had a beautiful black Filly RM Suzie Q who is out competing now (attached photo) she was By Status Quo. Then we bred 3 more by frozen - 2 Don Frederic and a Desperando, This year’s foal out of "Ruby" is RM Fortune by Fugato SW

What improvements could be made to the breeding scene in New Zealand?
My only wish for NZ breeding is that breeders stay honest and buyers begin to understand or appreciate the time, money and emotion that goes into producing a live foal and then a ridden 3/4yr old, and the $ only really account for 50% of the time invested in reality and the emotional cost is only just outweighed by the emotional joy!

What is the ultimate aim of your breeding program? 
Our goal was to produce horses for us that were the best we could afford to breed and were competitive in the ever-improving quality dressage world. Well we are proud of what we have bred, One Merit and one Excellence in the last two classification tours. We really like the horses we have on the ground and look forward to producing them to be the best they can be. Of the total 12 fillies and 7 colts we have lost 4 (abortions/heart issues at 3 months and a paddock accident) the other 15 have either proved themselves in the competition arena or are waiting I the wings to do so that is very satisfying as a breeder. The losses were emotionally very hard, and they do always give me sleepless nights. We have had some good luck with frozen and some bad, again you have to be able to ride the financial loss. Never breed (gamble) with money you cannot afford to lose BUT it is very very rewarding and seeing our home bred horses out there competing and winning is very very exciting. I can tell you where each and every one was born, and I believe they know my voice from those very first minutes of life.

Are you breeding to sell or retain breeding stock or to ride yourself?
Have we sold horses? Yes because we can’t ride them all and some are better suited to other jobs, or different situations - like RM All About Me has excelled with Amy Sage and that was the perfect match all round. RM Limbo and RM Let It Be love to jump. Rm Suzie Q and Rm Astek Glamorous are learning the job of dressage horses and we are very excited about them. In the wings we have RM Donatella, RM Joyride, RM J Luv Me (by GT Jake) Rm Darwin and this year’s fillies by Fugato SW RM Fortune and RM Freedom.
 



RM Freedom by Fugato SW
  



RM Suzie Q the leap of faith into importing mares and frozen semen - 4 yrs old our first frozen for Merit at classification (Photo credit Anne Stewart)





MELANIE HARRIS - Pokeno


How long have you been breeding?
I bought my first warm blood broodmare Vita in 2011 in foal due March 2012, but I had bred a crossbred pony several years earlier.


What stallions are you using at the moment and what appealed to you about them?
This year I’m using Fugato SW over two of my mares, he looks to be a lovey modern type of stallion that should help to improve their conformation and has great movement which I’m looking forward to riding.  My other mare is in foal to GT Jake he too has good movement and a nice active hind and I chose him to try and help lighten my mare (she’s nice and solid but could be refined a touch) and help to improve her hind leg.

Tell us about your broodmares?
My original mare vita is Voltaire II/Gibraltar II she has the most wonderful nature and has given me three very lovey mares one by Doringcourt and two by Worldly and she has just had a colt by GT Jake who is super special.  

My Doringcourt/Voltaire II mare Delite has been lightly competed however I am putting her in foal for the first time to GT Jake.  I’m looking forward to this foal as Delite was awarded a Merit last year in the tour and is a lovely type.  I've had a number of people comment that they want her on their studbook however she is to be my next dressage star so in the future we may look to do embryo transfer.

The last mare to go in foal this season in Willow, Worldly/Voltaire II she is 3 yrs and a maiden, will hopefully get her pink papers in this next tour.  She is also going to Fugato, apparently the W and F lines are a good cross so I’m interested to see what it turns out like.

GT Jake / Voltaire II


What did you like about the Classification Tour last year?
Personally I enjoyed the tour last year as I had the four mares assessed and this has given me guidance in what direction to head with my future breeding.
What improvements could be made to the breeding scene in New Zealand?
I think the NZ breeding scene is still quite immature however with the quality of stallions we have in NZ and the availability of frozen semen from overseas this will help to improve our quality of horses/mares we have.  I think the issue with the breeding scene is the end market where breeders do not necessarily get the reward (financial) that they deserve, I understand this is not limited to nz though.  


What is the ultimate aim of your breeding program? 
My ultimate aim is to bred quality rideable horses for the amateur rider which they can be competitive on and still have fun.


Are you breeding to sell or retain breeding stock or to ride yourself?
I am breeding to retain to ride but as my husband points out I only have one bottom and as I’m putting three in foal I think I may have to sell a couple (unless I can hide them in the back paddock).


What horse has given you the most pride as a breeder?
So far Delite has given me the most pride, she was my first one and she is turning into a lovely riding horse and I’m excited to continue on my journey with her.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment is having to put one down, breeding is risky and there will also be heartache however it is luckily outweighed by the highlights.

Any tips for aspiring breeders?
My tips would be find a quality broodmare that you like and would want to ride as she is the base/foundation upon which your breeding program is built on, there is no point having poor foundations as the house may fall over.  
Also have a husband or supportive family/network around you as breeding can sometimes be hard emotionally and time wise.


Delite