Six new stallions were added to SHB (GB) studbook after the grading at Addington Manor.
The grading, judged by Irishman Tommy Brennan, David Walters and Dr Otger Wedekind from Germany, proved a good day for Sam and Linda Barr’s Welton Stud, with three successful stallions having Welton connections.
The Barrs’ five-year-old home-bred Welton Double Cracker, by the Thoroughbred Double Trigger, passed his first-year assessment. He was shown under saddle by event rider Matthew Wright, who will compete him after he finishes this year’s stud duties.
Matthew now has a family of Welton horses to compete. He has Double Cracker’s dam, Baby Welton, by Welton Crackerjack, at advanced level, as well as her full-sister, Welton Snowcat.
“We got it right by breeding from Baby Welton before she went competing,” said Sam Barr, who is now in his 85th year. “She had two colts and the other is another of our stallions, Welton Adonis. We were especially pleased with Double Cracker’s marks under saddle. He behaved impeccably and Matthew rode him beautifully.”
Up With The Lark, last year’s four-year-old winner at the BE breeding championships, returned for his second-year assessment to gain full graded status. The five-year-old is by Welton Apollo out of Sarah Taylor’s advanced mare Magical Lark, by Crested Lark.
Breeder Vin Jones brought forward the two-year-old Treffry for a successful preliminary assessment. By the French stallion Hand In Glove, Treffry is out of the former Burghley event young event horse champion Welton Lady, by Welton Crackerjack.
Another to grade on his first-year assessment was the Selle Francais Take It 2 The Limit. This potential eventer, who has already competed at pre-novice level, was shown on behalf of Hartpury College by Olympic gold medallist Leslie Law. The five-year-old is by Gaub, a son of the Thoroughbred Count Ivor and has Joli Coeur bloodlines on his dam’s side.
Song Song Blue, a purchase from the Brightwells sale last November by Gary and Julie Power, will be aimed at the Burghley Young Event Horse and BE breeding championships. The son of the popular German stallion Sandro Hit out of a Donnerhall mare was ridden by Marcus Reid, with whom he is currently based.
Gary and Julie, who bought a share in an embryo at the same sale, breed sport horses from their Powys base. They met Marcus after buying the eventer Penton Rhapsody as a future broodmare. It was a successful first grading for the stud.
“None of us, including Marcus, had been to a grading and we weren’t sure what to expect. The next one will be much easier,” said Gary, who intends to put six mares to Song Song Blue.
Carl Hester — another dressage rider who is happy to jump his stallions — produced the five-year-old Negretto to pass his first-year grading. The Dutch-bred Negretto, by the Ferro son Negro, was found by Carl’s trainer Anne van Olst. His first foals are due in May.
“I really like Negro and asked Anne if she could keep her eyes open for a stallion by him,” said Carl, who owns Negretto in partnership with Jill Hodges. “And this one’s wonderful. To me, he’s a real grand prix horse as well as a stunning stallion.”
Louise Woof’s three-year-old British-bred Maximillian Maali, by Maximillian Voltucky out of a mare by Saluut, was also graded.
Jane Holderness-Roddam’s 12-year-old home-bred eventing stallion Windsor Heights, by Golden Heights out of the Red Man mare Scarletina, gained approved status.
Another home-bred horse, John and Clare Whitaker’s two-year-old Midnight Man, by their own stallion, Randi, passed a preliminary assessment.