A Horse & Hound Podcast Advertising Episode with Elite Stallions
Welcome to this one-off Horse & Hound Podcast Advertising Episode, in which H&H’s sport horse breeding editor Polly Bryan chats to Lorna Wilson, managing director of Elite Stallions, and international grand prix dressage rider Anna Ross, who heads up sister company Elite Dressage, on finding your next equine superstar and how to get the most from your breeding programme.
International dressage rider Alex Harrison, who recently sourced a particularly exciting young dressage horse from Elite Dressage, and five-star eventer Sarah Bullimore, who has worked closely with Elite Stallions on her own successful breeding programme, also join in the discussion.
Enjoy a taster of what you can look forward to in this episode…
International dressage rider, accredited trainer and the UK’s youngest List 3A dressage judge, Alex Harrison, recently purchased an exciting daughter of Woodlander Farouche, who Michael Eilberg rode to success at the young horse breeding championships and also won classes at the nationals, from Elite Dressage.
Alex explains the process he follows when looking to buy a new horse: “When I’m looking for a young horse, if I’m watching a video, I’ve got to like it within the first five seconds. I remember seeing a video of Alex Baker riding Newton Vamouche in the outdoor arena at Anna’s and within five seconds I was like ‘God, I love that animal’. I kept an eye on Alex’s social media and the more I watched, the more I liked. So I sent her a message and said ‘Okay, I’ve waited long enough. I need to come and ride it now.’
“The mare’s got a lot to live up to with such a famous mother, but you can see glimpses of her mum in the way she moves through her body, and especially her trot, I think resembles the way her mum went a lot. So hopefully exciting things to come!”
One of the benefits of the service provided by Elite Dressage is that they have many horses available to try in one place. And they know not only the young horses that they are producing, but have often ridden their dam and siblings – and sometimes even the sires as well, as Anna explains.
“We love it when a rider like Alex comes in to try horses, because we know that if Alex says he doesn’t mind a sharp one, he knows what sharp is!” says Anna. “Sometimes people come in and they say ‘I want a really forward-going horse’ and then if you put them on one, they’re like ‘Oh, I’m not so comfortable with that’ and so we work out what might suit them from there.
“The fact the horses are all in one place gives us time to assess the rider and the horses. And I think one of our strengths is that we know the families; often we’ve ridden the mothers, sometimes we’ve even ridden the fathers as well. That can give us a really good insight into the horses that we are selling and their characteristics.
“So I think that having the knowledge of the mares ourselves, and often competed them ourselves, means that you’re not just throwing yourself into this – we’ve got heritage, we’ve got families, we’ve got bloodlines – we can often introduce somebody to the siblings or the mother. Obviously, we’ve also got a full history on record of that horse from a veterinary perspective, which of course is really, really valuable.”
Listen to the full podcast above for more from Anna and Alex about the buying process, as well as Lorna Wilson and Sarah Bullimore for advice on breeding.