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Top-priced Bolesworth auction colt goes viral with ‘romantic’ gesture

A pair of colts sold by Great Britain’s showjumping performance manager Di Lampard were the top lots at the Bolesworth Elite Foal Auction on 21 August.

Bids were taken both live at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships and online, with offers coming from as far afield as Australia and the United States.

The 18 lots, which included two embryos, made an average hammer price of £16,643 and just three foals and one embryo went unsold on the night.

The top two lots, Casalljack and Conthargo, are both out of Di’s great mare Ruby VII, who has jumped at top level for both Louise Whitaker and Holly Smith and whose dam, Equity, was a five-star winning ride for Di.

Casalljack is by the prolific winning stallion Casall Ask, the former mount of Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, and made the highest price of £33,000. The March-born Conthargo is by popular stallion Conthargos and was sold for £30,000.

Casalljack has already made a global name for himself as the auction video of him picking out a flower from the arena decorations and cantering off with it — perhaps as a romantic gesture for his new owner Emma Phillips — has since gone viral.

“Jack is a real character, such a show-off and I thought under the lights he would be a real crackerjack,” said Di, who was sad to see her foals go, but is thrilled that they will remain on home soil: “Hopefully flying the flag for Great Britain in the future,” she added.

“I love breeding them and have always sold them, but always produced them, too, which means that you have some say in who they go to and can find them a suitable partner,” Di told H&H.

“So it really hit me last year when we put our first foal, Superstar, in the auction, that I’d have no say in who would buy them.

“But it’s worked out very well and last year’s foal sold very well to Old Lodge, while this year we’ve been very lucky that they’ve gone to British producers in Emma Phillips [Casalljack] and Ian Dowie [Conthargo], who has horses with Ronnie Jones and owns Holly Smith’s Denver.

“Conthargo is a super foal, very correct and straight,” she added. “The stallions, Casall Ask and Conthargos, really complement Ruby and we have three more embryos for next year.”

Emma Phillips told H&H she thought Di’s foals were “both gorgeous and I’d love to have taken both home!”

“My preference was just for Casalljack because of his sire — Casall has had a very long and successful career,” said Emma, who also bought an unsold Tinka’s Serenade embryo. “It’s very early days, but we’ll use them in the stud and hopefully when they reach four-year-olds and with the help of Di Lampard we’ll pick a path for them together.”

Emma and her husband Mike have also been building a good crop of youngsters out of the dam of Tripple X III, who they previously owned, and have sent the eight-year-old H Quainton Xtra Factor, a full-sister to Ben Maher’s Olympic 2012 ride, to Ellen Whitaker.

“We’re not committed to a particular rider this time, but we’re tentatively building and Ellen is riding one while William Whitaker has a six-year-old,” she said.

Also of interest at the auction was Lot 4, a daughter of Cornet Obolensky out of a half-sister to Scott Brash’s great winner Bon Ami. This filly was sold for £18,000.

The combination of Big Star and Tinka’s Serenade has proved a popular pairing and has sold well here in the past; this year’s offspring from Billy Twomey’s Olympic ride, a filly named Starlight Serenade, made £27,000.

In a first for Bolesworth’s Elite Auctions, two embryos also went under the hammer, with one from Michael Whitaker’s grand prix-winning mare Wild Rose, by Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve, making £14,000 after a fierce bidding war.

Bolesworth organiser Nina Barbour summed up: “We were delighted with the result and it is hugely encouraging to see the strength and breadth of British breeding which continues to improve year on year.

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“Although operating strictly under the Covid-19 guidelines, it was fantastic to be able to present the foals live at the event, and we wish all buyers the very best of luck with their future stars!

“Bolesworth will continue to champion sport horse breeding in the UK working with British breeders and vendors to select and prepare horses for future sales,” she added. “Our ethos of only selecting youngstock with world class “black type” dams (either elite performers in their own right to 1.45m level and above or with close relations who have performed to a similar or higher elite level) in the pedigree as well as incorporating the highest performing sires will cement Bolesworth’s position on the world stage for performance horse auctions.”

Bolesworth elite foal auction sale prices

Lot 1: Khaleesi, 2020 filly (Plot Blue x Quidam De Revel) £7,000
Lot 2: Glasgow’s Prince HD, 2020 colt (VDL Glasgow van’t Merelsnest x Germus R) Not sold
Lot 3: Brittas Verifee ASH, 2020 filly (Verdi x Winningmood) £7,000
Lot 4: Aredis Corrida, 2020 filly (Cornet Obolensky x Lord Z) £18,000
Lot 5: Ashdale Direct Star, 2020 colt (Big Star x Luidam) £16,000
Lot 6: Conthargo, 2020 colt (Conthargos x Balou Du Rouet) £30,000
Lot 7: Millfiled Social Isolation, 2020 colt (Cardento x Plot Blue) £10,000
Lot 8: Carrickview Ubalou, 2020 colt (Untouchable x Baloubet Du Rouet) Not sold
Lot 9: JTH Cromwell, 2020 colt (Derby x Quannan R) £8,500
Lot 10: Wild Child HF, 2020 filly (Big Star x Oklund) £21,000
Lot 12: Millfield Divinity, 2020 filly (Diarado x Contender) £11,500
Lot 13: Casalljack, 2020 colt (Casall Ask x Balou Du Rouet) £33,000
Lot 14: Starlight Serenade, 2020 filly (Big Star x Tinka’s Boy) £27,000
Lot 15: Puerto Rico NS, 2020 colt (Verdi x Padinus) £10,000
Lot 16: Nomara Casall, 2020 colt (Komme Casall x Larino) Not sold
Lot 17: Con Amora, 2020 filly (Conthargos x Con Air) £20,000
Lot 18: Unnamed embryo (Chat Botte Du Ruisseau Z x Tinka’s Boy) Not sold
Lot 19: Unnamed embryo (Tangelo VD Zuuthoeve x Oklund) £14,000

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