Farewell to top sport horse sire Catherston Dazzler

  • Jennie Loriston-Clarke’s former international grand prix stallion and sport horse sire Catherston Dazzler was put down last week at the age of 25.

    The home-bred British stallion was one of several sons by Jennie’s legendary grand prix stallion, Dutch Courage. His dam was the advanced event mare Welton Gazelle, a daughter of Sam Barr’s prolific foundation TB sire, Welton Gameful.

    Top class performer

    As a young horse Dazzler was a talented and capable jumper as well as a potential dressage horse. As a four-year-old he won the finals of the Masterlock Potential Competition Horse and the special Horse & Hound prize for the best potential jumper. He won the national combined training championships as a six-year-old and also gained points in affiliated eventing, being placed in several novice events.

    The young stallion then specialised in dressage and competed internationally at grand prix with his owner/breeder Jennie Loriston-Clarke. The partnership represented Britain in the 1995 European Championships before winning the National Grand Prix Championship later that year.

    Jennie handed the reins to daughter Lizzie (Murray) after their national win and the new combination was long-listed for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and were reserves for the European Championships the following year. After retiring from competition in 2001, Dazzler returned to jumping and enjoyed a few one day events.

    Successful sire

    His looks, breeding and performance record ensured that Dazzler was in demand as a stallion from early in his career and it soon became apparent that his stock had an aptitude for eventing. By 1992 the eight-year-old stallion had already won a trophy for the highest number of progeny in the potential competition horse championships.

    By 2000 Catherston Dazzler was the leading British event sire and ranked sixth in the world, according to the World Breeding Federation Sport Horse rankings. He was also the youngest stallion in the rankings and had the most progeny competing internationally.

    One of the first specific event horse sires, Catherston Dazzler sired many event horses that were successful at the highest level. In America Broadstone Harvest Moon and Hyde Park Corner were three-day event winners, while back in the UK Midnight Dazzler, Faerie Dazzler and Dazzling Effects were among those making their mark in British three-day events. His progeny went on to compete at the Sydney Olympics, as well as Badminton and Burghley. Last year, Midnight Dazzler completed his fifth Badminton at the age of 19.

    The last six years of Catherston Dazzler’s stud career were spent at Charles Upham’s Langaller Farm in Devon. He remained a popular sire, serving 30 mares last year.

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