‘Dream come true’: palomino stallion fulfils late showjumper’s wish

  • Connections are celebrating a “dream come true” as the late Olympic showjumper Kevin Bacon’s wish to breed palominos reaches a new milestone.

    Nicky Nolan’s five-year-old palomino stallion Saturday Night Fever will be the foundation sire for her Pauli Stud, following his registration in Zuchtverband für deutsche Pferde (ZfdP) Stallion Book I.

    The journey dates back to when Nicky first met Kevin, while working as a rider at Hof Kasselmann.

    “[He was] an absolute one of a kind. Flamboyant, brilliant, courageous, funny and with a wonderful empathy for horses. He could communicate with horses and was a gifted equine dental technician,” she said.

    “I learned a lot from him and we became a team. Our collaboration was characterised by a deep understanding of communication with horses, and a special respect and love for them.”

    Kevin met his future wife, Anita, while she was working as secretary at Hickstead. The pair shared a dream of breeding German warmblood palominos.

    “Kevin’s goal was to breed a licensed palomino stallion, but unfortunately the years passed without a stallion being born in this colour,” added Nicky.

    “In 2012 with only two mares left, and for health reasons, Anita and Kevin had to give up their dream of breeding palomino horses.

    “At that time, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, which came as a big shock to me. I told her about Kevin and Anita’s dream, as she loves palominos from Roy Rogers and Trigger days, and always wanted to own a palomino herself. So Anita and Kevin sent her a picture of one of Anita’s mares, called Anita’s Mellow Yellow.

    “The belief in the power of this horse helped my mother through her illness and it was decided to give her Anita’s Mellow Yellow and to breed from this horse, to try and fulfil Anita and Kevin’s dream of a licensed palomino stallion.”

    Nicole started the breeding programme and Anita’s Mellow Yellow had three filles – two chestnuts and a palomino – all of whom are with Pauli Stud today.

    In 2016, they put Anita’s Mellow Yellow to Geuchberg Stud’s Sommertraum (by the Sandro Hit son, Sommerhit), and the result was Saturday Night Fever.

    “Kevin, Anita, my mother and I were beside ourselves with joy and happiness,” said Nicky. “In 2019, at the age of two and after spending his early years in the company of other stallions, he started his training in preparation for the licensing at Kreuth Zfdp Winterkoerung in November 2019.”

    He was licensed in the special breed section, months before Kevin died in March 2020.

    In 2021, Lena Sauberling presented Saturday Night Fever at the stallion centre in Adelheidsdorf and he was accepted. The centre also decided to test special breeds as a jumper for the first time in November. His results mean he is now registered in ZfdP Stallion Book I.

    “Kevin and Anita’s dream has come true, also our foundation stone for the breeding has been laid and I now will continue Kevin and Anita’s dream with the Pauli Stud,” said Nicole.

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