KWPN-North America Horses Among the Best in the World

Mon, 02/12/2007 - 00:00
KWPN Breeding News

KWPN-NA horses once again proved their mettle with numerous grand prix wins in both dressage and jumping, as well as high rankings by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH.) Dutch horses topping the charts included Authentic, Madison, Popeye K, Idocus and Lingh, among hundreds of others.

The KWPN finished first in the studbook World Rankings in jumping and second in dressage for the second consecutive year, as well as in the top ten for eventing. The WBFSH ranks both studbooks and individual horses in the three Olympic disciplines—jumping, dressage and eventing, and Dutch horses have been among the best since the world rankings were created.

“North American Dutch breeders have worked to educate themselves not only on bloodlines, but also the best way to raise young horses,” said KWPN-NA Chairman of the Board of Directors, Christine McCarthy. “The results of these efforts are starting to show.” North American breeders are proving that the study and diligence is paying off. Idocus, bred by McCarthy, is by Equador out of a mare by Zonneglans, and represented Holland in the 2004 Olympics. Idocus was the Dressage at Devon Breed Show Champion in 1994, and came back to win the Devon Grand Prix in 2006. Other top North American-bred horses are also rising to the FEI-level dressage ranks, including Lascar, bred by J. Ashton Moore, Kamuela and Ijsselmeer, bred by Deborah P. Harrison, and Mirage, bred by Lee and Wendy Brown.

The famous hunter Popeye K was bred in North America by Peter Karneef of Ontario, Canada. The bay stallion, by Voltaire out of a mare by G. Ramiro Z, has won championships at prestigious shows throughout North America, including the 2006 Grand Hunter Championship at the Washington International Horse Show. In addition, he was the Get of Sire winner at the Royal Winter Fair in both 2003 and 2005. Popeye K’s owner Rachel Spencer sought KWPN-NA approval in order for mare owners to have another opportunity to register their foals. “I wanted to help raise awareness that registering your offspring is important,” Spencer says. “It is valuable to track performance of the bloodlines and the crosses.”

This tracking and reflecting on bloodlines is part of what has made Dutch horses so successful in all of the Olympic disciplines. Beezie Madden’s Olympic team Gold Medal mount, Authentic, is by the successful sire Guidam out of the Ster mare Gerlinda by Katell. “Dutch breeders carefully consider the best athletic bloodlines,” McCarthy states. “A horse like Authentic is the result of the analysis of what constitutes a good cross.” Authentic was named the 2006 USEF Horse of the Year and is owned by Abigail Wexner.

Alexa Weeks’ multiple Grand Prix winner Madison showcases not only bloodlines that produce jumping ability, but also that something extra that makes a winner. Rider Kent Farrington explains, “She’s a great horse with a big heart. You can’t train a horse to have a heart like that. Every time she went in the ring, she always wanted to win.” The mare, by J Liberato out of an Equador mare, was named the American Grand Prix Association 2006 Horse of the Year and was the only horse to win more than one Sunday Grand Prix during the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

The diversity of bloodlines is part of the key to success of the Dutch horses. This includes not only outcrosses with foreign studbooks, but also crosses with the types of Dutch horses. Donna Richardson’s Jazzman reflects the mix of the Dutch horse’s heritage. His sire Amethist is by Nimmerdor, one of the most famous warmblood jumping sires, and his dam Eronica is by Wilhelmus, a harness champion. The result, Jazzman, is one of North America’s most successful Dutch dressage horses. With Richardson, Jazzman earned the team gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games, as well as top ten finishes at the USEF Grand Prix National Championship, and numerous Regional and USDF titles. Richardson recalls, “Jazzman took me places I only dreamed of going.”

The inspiration for success, whether in the show ring or simply the connection between horse and human, is what drives Dutch breeders to continue to pursue finding that ideal match. North American breeders have gotten a boost in the form of the Flemmingh son Lingh, who was recently imported to the United States. Lingh is the number one ranked dressage stallion in the world.

Lingh’s new owner, Karin Reid Offield, believes that North American breeders’ desire to learn how to train and ride the young horses will help them reach their goals. “American breeders have dedicated their lives to researching bloodlines, but that’s just the start,” Offield says. “It’s in the early stages of training young horses that riders find and allow the potential in their horses’ gaits and movement that shows off the amazing bloodlines.” Offield says that seeing is believing, and has found attending symposiums and visiting training centers to be invaluable.

Offield continues, “I see more competition owners/riders investing the time to learn about their horse’s bloodlines and purposefully seeking out young horses whose sires and dams we have known and shown. Riders need to feel confident that these young horses are started correctly. With the increased interest in educating riders who specialize in training young horses, the quality of horses produced in North America continues to improve. I am so happy to bring Lingh to the U.S. to be a part of what is really an exciting time.”

Photo copyrighted: Astrid Appels / Eurodressage

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