Of the 12 stallions forward at Patchetts EC for grading with Equicours, the British daughter society of the Selle Francais, three — Uptown Boy, Marnum Du Hequet and Shingle Hall Tzar — reached the necessary score to make it into the studbook.
This was the second Equicours grading and previous judges Christian Planchon from Normandy and Simon Davies were joined by Irishman Norman Allen, who appeared none the worse for having ridden 78 hunters during his previous days judging at Hickstead.
It was the first time at a grading for former eventer Fiona Cox, who showed Marnum Du Hequet. The French-bred stallion is by Verdi out of the Quidam De Revel mare Etoupe II, the leading mare in France as a five-, six- and seven-year-old.
Marnum, a former winner of the three-year-old loose jumping finals at St Lô, gained 88% for jumping and will combine stud duties and competing with Irishman Mark Dorgan, who found him in France.
I always meant to get into breeding, which I took up after a bad fall meant I couldnt compete any more, said Fiona. She has procured the broodmares Zara, the dam of Billy Twomeys Nations Cup ride Anastasia, and Donna, a full-sister to Dulf, the Sydney Olympics ride of Leslie McNaught.
Edward Brook produced the syndicate-owned four-year-old Uptown Boy, bought out of Holland last year. The son of Koriander gained 86% for his jump and 84% for movement. Uptown Boy, who has been successful in the dressage arena, has also qualified for the style and performance final at Arena UK.
He has a super temperament and is good at both disciplines. Hes an easy stallion to do, said Edward, who runs a 40-box livery yard in Bushey Heath.
Edward also showed Karen Phillipss home-bred Shingle Hall Tzar. The son of Big Time is the first serious horse bred by Karen and arrived after a long, anxious wait.
The mare failed to get in-foal to Big Time the previous year and then he died. Luckily, we were able to have the final dose of frozen semen, said Essex-based Karen.
The first foal by the six-year-old, described by Karen as an absolute gentleman, was born on the day of grading. He will now stay at Edwards yard to be competed.
Crocodile Dundy Z and the home-bred High Offley Bohemian Business, both owned by Pat Morris of High Offley Stud, Staffordshire, were granted one-year licences and will be re-presented in 2006.