Showing rider-turned dressage fan Louise Bell has bought her first purpose-bred dressage horse.
The five-year-old Zack-Ki Rosenlund is a former licensed stallion, having been approved as a three-year-old in his native Denmark when he belonged to Blue Hors stud.
He was imported in the spring of this year by Astrid Bolton Sport Horses in Lancashire.
Louise, who took up dressage in 2011 following an H&H challenge, said she was “very excited”.
“I have never sat on anything with the scope of stride in all three gaits before,” she told H&H. “It blows my mind every time I sit on him and hope I do him justice in his production.
“He had been leased as a stallion before being gelded and sold, so he’s not quite ready for competition, but not far off.”
Astrid added: “I knew Louise would like him because he looks like a working hunter but moves like a dressage horse.
“When she came to see him, it took her about three minutes to buy him.”
The gelding is by the breeding sensation Blue Hors Zack (Rousseau x Jazz) out of a jumping-bred mare by Leandro x Corland.
“My reasons for buying him were simple,” Louise said. “I was looking for a young horse when Astrid got in touch by chance and, knowing her from working hunter days of old and knowing she has good horses — the breeding the conformation and the movement as a bonus — it was a pretty easy decision to make. I think I’d already bought him before even meeting him.”
Louise admitted that she had “gone out on a limb” with the purchase: “[My trainer] Michael [Eilberg] had been so busy I hadn’t even had a chance to talk to him about it or show him any video. I’d gone out on a limb but I’ve been around horses long enough and I very much know what I want, so I prayed to god Michael liked him — though he did give me a bit of a bollocking!”
Luckily, Michael “very much likes” Louise’s purchase.
Things will not be rushed with the young horse, even though he is showing excellent trainability for his age.
“I’ve just got to treat him as a four-year-old rather than five as his ridden work only started a few months ago — he’s a real blank canvas and a classy bit of kit,” she added.