Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association - Stallion Performance Test 2004


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Saddlewood Equestrian Center
Bethany Ontario
September 13 - 19, 2004

2004 Stallion Performance Test

Index Results | Article | Background | Individual Test Results

D'Azante, 2004 SPT Champion, with Test Rider Erynn Ballard up.

by Chris Gould:

Under ideal weather conditions, seven warmblood stallions challenged the 2004 Canadian Stallion Performance Test (SPT). Hosted by the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association (CWHBA), and open to all stallions, the test ran from September 13 to the 19 at the Saddlewood Equestrian Center near Bethany, Ontario. This was the second time in the five year history of the event, the SPT was held at Saddlewood, a riding camp facility which includes accommodation and food service for both stallion owners and judges as well as a complete set of indoor and outdoor arenas and stabling facilities. The hospitality of owners, Jim and Jan Smith, contributed immeasurably to the development of a great sense of camaraderie and friendship amongst the owners, riders, organizers and judges, throughout the week.

The SPT constitutes and intense evaluation of the stallions, starting with a vet check and two and a half days of preparation under the tutelage of Hendrik Gaeble the test riding master brought in from Germany for this week. In the subsequent days a panel of international judges graded their free jumping abilities, gaits under saddle, rideability, jumping under saddle and their interior qualities of temperament, character, constitution and willingness to work.

This year we were honored with the presence of Fritz von Blottniz from Germany, a senior judge for the Hanoverian stallion test and a trainer of judges and Johan Hamminga from Holland. Johan who is a trainer of instructors at Ermelo, was for eight years the stallion trainer at the Dutch stallion test and continues in the role of test rider. These judges with their international experience were joined by Eve Mainwaring and Jennette Coote, members of the CWHBA Stud Book Committee, who added their extensive experience and knowledge of the Canadian breeding industry.

Of eleven nominated stallions, seven actually participated. Two Canadian Warmbloods aged three and five, one six year old Trakehner, one six year old Bavarian Warmblood, two Dutch Warmbloods aged six and seven and one six year old Wielkopolski.

Champion stallion of the test was D'Azante, the six year old Oldenburg by Dunhill, a Donnerhall son. Owned by Ashley Wright of Cedar Valley Ontario, this tall elegant stallion showed special talent for dressage and received an over all index of 123.13 with a dressage index of 133.17.

The reserve champion was VDL Ulando H (pictured at left), a three year old Canadian Warmblood stallion by Corland. Bred by the Hoogendorn family of Kitcherner, Ontario and owned by Tim Millard of Schomberg, Ulando's special talent for jumping brought him the top jumping index of 123.55 and an over all index of 117.37

All the stallions performed very well during the various phases of the test. In some cases the preparation had been more narrowly focused than it should have been, however in every case there was significant improvement in response to the demands of the test, with the expert help of Hendrik Gaeble. All of the stallions will be a credit to the Canadian breeding population, each one bringing particular qualities to our genetic pool.

In interpreting the results it is important to keep in mind that the scores are indexed within a pool of data from the two previous tests, but are not comparable in an absolute sense to indexes from other tests in Europe or Canada. The averages for each category are very high, indicating the high quality of the horses tested over the past three years. In every case the standard deviation is less than 2, so while the index shows a fairly large range it is most important to look at the individual category scores to understand the strengths of each stallion.

Of particular interest, are the rideability scores which constitute 30% of the test results. These scores are in part given by test riders brought in specifically for this purpose. Riders from all three Olympic disciplines were chosen to bring a balanced view to the ride ability scoring.

Judges and Test Riders: left to right - Fritz von Blottniz, judge; Erynn Ballard, Test Rider; Chris Gould; Anne Zander, Test Rider; Eve Mainwaring, judge.

This year the test riders for jumping were Anne Zander, well known event rider and trainer and Erynn Ballard, one of Canada's top young jumper riders. Erynn has been particularly committed to the testing program. The 2004 SPT was her third test. This kind of dedication to our Canadian breeding program is an example of what is necessary to effectively connect our breeders and our professional riders. Erynn is very effusive in her appreciation of Canadian bred horses, having achieved much of her success up to World Cup qualifier level, on horses produced in Canada.

Test riding the stallions on the flat were Jaimey Irwin, a talented young Canadian dressage rider and trainer and Jim Henry. Jim brought his extensive experience instructing the equestrian program at Seneca College and as a former three day event Olympic team member, to the task of assigning ride ability scores.

Overall the 2004 SPT was a success because of the hard work and dedication of Colleen Embree-Jay, President of the CWBA Ontario Chapter. Her skills in organizing and managing the test allowed the owners, judges and riders to focus on the task at hand and to make the experience a positive and memorable one.

Ontario E

Platinum vom Rappenhof

Pacific Star STV

Following the German format, indexes were calculated within the group to provide for an overall general index (GI), a dressage index (DR I), and a jumping index (JU I). A total of 20 different scores covering Interior Characteristics, Gaits, Rideability and Jumping were used.

Please note that indexes are specific to the year and the horses participating - they cannot be compared from one year to another.

Sire/Dam's Sire
General Index
Dressage Index/place
Jumping Index/place
Dunhill/Rio Negro
VDL Ulando H
Ontario E
Rio's Ricardo
Rio Grande/Landgraf I
Pacific Star STV Gregor/Duko
Platinum Carino/Habicht

Individual Indexed Results

See background article on the development of stallion performance testing.

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