Sacha Shaw’s blog: breeding goals and foal shows

  • So much as happened in the last month that it is difficult to know where to start this blog entry. The most exciting news has been my super advanced eventing mare Desert Storm, aka Gerty, finally holding onto a pregnancy past the 14 day stage, and so it is going to be an anxious wait now till the spring.

    Gerty was one of the highest graded mares with the SHB the year we presented her, proved her athleticism and toughness and desire to win under saddle, has proven she produces outstanding stock in her only living foal, Volatis Hurakan, now a five-year-old starting his own eventing career.

    She also has a pedigree to back this up, being a daughter of the Holstein show jumper Landino — a son of the legendary Landgraf and creator of a famous sire line in Germany in his own right. Her dam line has been successful in the show ring and produced other advanced eventers, but all this cannot describe how important a role she has played in the creation of Volatis Stud and what another foal from her would mean.

    We have used the Holstein stallion Carousel, sire of Burghley winner Carousel’s Quest. The aim is to breed a ‘forever’ horse for myself, that is very Holstein in type, powerful and with good size and bone. But also a foal that carries inherent jumping ability, braveness and the will to win. Only time will tell if I am lucky enough to get all of this.

    Also scanned in-foal are two Trakehner mares, the beautiful Holme Grove Venezia, who I have bred to a purebred Arabian stallion standing in the UK this year — H Tobago. Having been very impressed with this horse in the way he stamps his foals, I have purposely aimed to breed a smaller, hopefully very beautiful and athletic horse, that could be successful in both the show ring and dressage arena.

    And Harmsworth Elfinesque has been scanned back in foal to eventing stallion Weston Justice, for a full sibling to this year’s filly foal, bred by Weston Stud, who by all accounts is rather special. Finally my perlino mare Hakni is confirmed in foal to Goshka Ringo, a stallion I have used a number of times before, with super results. At least I know that foal will be colourful in some shape or form!

    However it has not all been good news, as I am sadly making the decision to cut back my breeding interests in the UK considerably as I have no plans to leave Germany at present. This is causing some real soul searching, as downsizing also means really focusing on a specific direction — be that stallion ownership, or just breeding mares. Do I bring them to Germany or leave them in the UK?

    Volatis-bred stock are having a very good month with Volatis Diva (Vincent II-Broadstone Dingle Dell) winning at county level again this month, the three-year-old Volatis Oriana (Samaii-Catherston Orange Grove) winning at CHAPS Midlands and I have just heard that Volatis Parthian (Goshka Ringo-Persia VS) was awarded a First Premium at the BEF Futurity. So it would be a pity to lose those bloodlines that have served me so well in the past. I am sure I will still be procrastinating about this in a few months time.

    Here in Germany, I managed to get a few hours at the local Oldenburg foal inspection and as usual saw some very exciting foals. My favourite of the day was actually a Breitling colt, who has so much charisma and presence, was bold as brass and really powered over the ground.

    The Diarado foals again really impressed with their athleticism and beauty, very modern types. Sadly I missed the Furst Romancier foals, which I had been really hoping to see. What was interesting is how these foal inspections can also be a good market place for breeders. One very nice filly by Hanoverian sire Danone I was pretty much sold there and then as the gentleman sitting next to me was very impressed with her trotting round and was immediately on the phone to a client, and then went to speak to the breeder to see if a deal could be done. These annual events are certainly a good shop window for breeders, as they do attract spectators — something that is still lacking in the UK versions.

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