Proof that the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree….
by Jody Hartstone
To say I was thrilled with the results of the 2018 NZWB Classification Tour would be an understatement.
I put forward two foals this year for assessment with Gerd Kuest – The first being the colt Havana who I bred in conjunction with Equibreed NZ who was by the VDL stallion Hennessy and out of Oso Ladylike, a Landioso broodmare of mine. This foal scored over 80% for an Excellence.
The second foal I knew was special from the moment he was born. Wyoming is by Whisper out of my best broodmare Luxor (Landioso / Wesserwolf / Haajjii xx). He is jet black and the spiting image of his sire. I had high hopes for him at this assessment – his elder full brother Wiseman (now rising three) was Champion foal of his Classification year.
Because I had been flat out at the Horse of the Year Show and then straight into travelling with the tour I had had no time to prepare either of the two colts. They were pulled straight from the paddock at 7am for Gerd to assess and were both run together free on the arena alongside their dams.
When Gerd had finished his assessment, I was super nervous – having no idea which colt he would rank highest or if indeed, he thought highly of either of them at all. It was a relief to see the marks and hear the great comments Gerd had to say about both boys – and it made up my mind to geld neither of them for the time being.
Wyoming finished on a score of 85.75% and then it was a exciting wait thought the rest of the Tour to see if his score could be beaten – and luckily for me, although pushed close, he remained the highest pointed foal of the Tour.
A new award this year was for the studbook mare with the highest scoring foal – so this was taken out by Luxor, the dam of Wyoming. She herself got the top marks in New Zealand for the Tour she was presented for Studbook Classification on – so its quite a high scoring family – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as they say. Luxor is by the stallion Landioso, whom I imported from Europe and competed to Grand Prix. Although I broke her in, her movement and type was so good I thought she would be most useful to me in the broodmare paddock – and this is certainly proving true.
And to top off the tour, Whisper was named Stallion of the Tour – this new prize is a great incentive for stallion owners – the top three progeny of each stallion were counted towards a final mark to award this prize.
Whisper was only represented by four offspring – two mares entering the studbook – Waikiki (now owned by Holly Moorman) that I bred out of Luxor’s Dam and Winslet whom I also bred (now owned by Paula Brown) who is a full sister to Wyoming and Wiseman. The fourth Whisper mare was Kelarey Wish who was bred by the ex Registrar of the NZWA, Kelly Mason and owned now by Vanessa Pickens. She went on to be the highest scoring Mare of the Tour and helped to give Whisper the overall Stallion Award despite some fierce competition.
Whisper was a performance tested Hanoverian stallion that I imported and rode at Grand Prix level winning both the National Championships and Horse of the Year show before injury resulted in his retirement and ultimately his early departure from this earth.
I have been very lucky to not only have owned such great competition stallions as Landioso and Whisper, but also to be able to combine the two bloodlines to produce what seem to be extraordinary young horses.
I feel the Classification Tour is a brilliant way to get an independent judge to assess our own personal breeding programs. The added excitement of making it real competition by travelling NZ wide and offering great prizes really adds to it as well – long may it last!