In April, the AES team of international evaluators embarked on a stallion grading tour of Britain where they met the full spectrum of stallion candidates, from colts presented for their first registration to international Grand Prix horses awarded Elite status.
Our tour commenced at Northcote Stud, where we saw two promising young horses at the very first stage of their career and development. Both were awarded registered status in recognition of their quality and potential, and we look forward to following their progress.
The first young horse presented was a lovely show jumper called I Improve by Air Jordan out of a Quidam de Revel mother, presented by Steven Gregory. A horse with a big frame, loose paces and a wonderful positive attitude, he has interesting bloodlines and everything needed to succeed in the sport.
Next came lovely young dressage stallion, beautifully presented by the talented Zara Rose Woods and bred by Mandy Sanderson from her successful stallion Samara Fly out of a Weltmeyer II mother. Longacres Sergio is a very harmonious horse with beautiful conformation and natural topline, as well as three good, balanced paces.
We then paid a visit to Stallion AI in Shropshire where we were given a tour of their outstanding new facilities and caught up with some old friends, such as Arko who was first licensed with the AES as a young horse and who is enjoying his life as a fulltime breeding stallion.
Joris van den Oetelaar was impressed with the new facilities and set up at Stallion AI:
“The new facility at Stallion AI shows a great commitment to the future of British breeding and is becoming a centre of excellence for the very best in AI management. I certainly have not seen anything as impressive as this on the continent.”
At Stallion AI, the team met Michael Whitaker’s famous horse Cassionato (Cassini x Quidam de Revel) who was inspected and awarded Elite status with the AES in recognition of his achievements in international Grand Prix. Cassionato was collected that very evening to resume his competition career with Michael, and we are all excited to see how he gets on this year. One of our evaluators, Marc Mertens, rode Cassionato as a young horse, and it was lovely to see those two old friends meet again:
“It was wonderful to see Cassionato again, a horse with so much personality, athleticism and talent. He has always had the X-Factor, and I am delighted that he and Michael have such a great partnership in the sport.”
We would like the thank Michael and the team at Stallion AI for the great opportunity to be the first studbook to license this outstanding horse, and wish them the very best success with Cassionato’s breeding career.
Continuing the theme of Elite stallions, the next day we met another highlight of our grading tour in the breathtaking Dimaggio son Treliver Decanter who was presented at Quainton Stud in Buckinghamshire.
Bred by Gill Clothier, Treliver Decanter had a very successful career with Matthew Burnett with whom he has built a wonderful partnership that took them all the way to Grand Prix. Following a field injury, Treliver Decanter is now enjoying a second career as a young rider’s horse with Charlotte Smithwhite.
Treliver Decanter has a lot to offer to serious dressage breeders: the looks and star factor expected in a world class stallion, paired with a proven performance record and convincing breeding results with several licensed sons and grandsons. He also has a fantastic attitude to his work and outstanding ability to collect and extend in all three gaits. From his sire, the now sadly deceased Dimaggio, comes wonderful expressive movement.
Breeders will be delighted to know that foals from Elite stallions receive free passports with the AES.
Quainton Stud also saw the presentation of Lisa Maynard’s lovely young stallion Balou for Pleasure (Balou du Rouet x Landmark) who was awarded licensed status. We selected a foal by the same dam for last year’s AES Elite Foal Auction, so it came as little surprise to us that in Balou for Pleasure we saw another harmonious and talented young athlete with true international potential. Another horse to watch for the future!
We rounded off our tour of the UK with a visit to Crofton Manor EC, where we saw three young showjumping stallions.
Baskin Glasgow Red (Glasgow van’t Merelsnest x Clover Hill), owned and bred by Vanessa Alford, came all the way from the furthest corner of Cornwall and presented himself as an athletic young horse with a wonderful, easy temperament, not at all fazed by the journey or unfamiliar surroundings. He was awarded registered status, and we look forward to seeing him develop, as he will undoubtedly mature into a fabulous performance horse.
Edward Bleekman presented two lovely young stallions with interesting pedigrees.
The first was by Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve out of an Orlando mare and convinced with judges with his lovely conformation and type. As the full brother to the international Grand Prix show jumper Bintang II, this horse will have a lot to offer to the sport and to future breeding. He was awarded registered status in recognition of his potential, and we look forward to following his future development.
The second stallion was by El Salvador out of a Cassini mare. A horse with wonderful type and a fabulous jump, this is a real star for the future, and has everything we can wish for in a young competition horse and breeding stallion, including great technique over a fence, three powerful and loose gaits, and beauty to match. He was awarded licensed status, and we are excited to see the offspring he will produce.
We would like to thank everyone who supported this spring gradings tour, the breeders, owners, and of course our wonderful venues and would like to congratulate our successful breeders and owners.