The breeding world is preparing to say farewell to one of its most popular sires of recent years, the former international eventing stallion Jumbo
Jumbo has produced a wealth of prix st george dressage horses, advanced eventers and grade A show jumpers. As well as being a hugely successful sire, he was also a top class eventer in his own right – competing to advanced level with Andrew Nicholson, with whom he won the Young Horse Trophy at Lion d’Angers, France in 1991. The pair went on to win the Spillers Dressage and Show Jumping Championships at Blenheim in 1997.
His owner Carolyn Bates names Jumbo’s best known progeny as Headley Brittania, who won Blenheim Horse Trials, and Henry Tankerville, winner of Compeigne, but she is also proud of his other offspring. “He has sired more sons good enough to grade than any other competition stallion,” she told HHO today. “I have had him since he was six months, and now we want him to be able to enjoy life a little more.”
Jumbo can look forward to being put out to grass with Carolyn’s mares, something he has never previously been allowed to do: “Obviously he’s been able to see them, and talk to them, but now they will really be able to itch each other. I know he’d going to have a great time there, just getting on with it.’
However, Carolyn’s decision to keep Jumbo for her own mares from the end of the year will not signal an end to his international success as a sire. Thanks to the use of frozen semen in artificial insemination, Jumbo will continue to be available to breeders for many years to come, while he enjoys taking it easy at home in Devon.
Carolyn had been toying with the idea of retiring him for a while, and has finally made up her mind: ‘I’ve been saying every year for a long time that I’ll retire him soon, but now I’ve finally done it. You get to a certain stage when you just feel the time is finally right… he’s a pet really. We want to enjoy him for ourselves,’ she said.
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