American breeders have been producing top quality sporthorses for some time now. It is remarkable how little the riders and trainers are aware of the presence of these prospects. One look at the winners this year for the Adequan/USDF Horse of the Year, and one can see the predominance of American bred winners. The winning Champions and Reserve Champions, with only 2 exceptions, all scored over 80%. The other two were over 79%. Following through with the premise that “beauty is as beauty does”, the Material (under saddle) winners also had scores up to the mid 80%.
The award for the Dressage Sporthorse Breeder of the Year went to Marion Dresel-O’Conner who was presented with the perpetual trophy “Stallion Expo”. This trophy is on display at the USDF headquarters and will have Marion’s name engraved on it. Marion earned this honor with 5 of her American homebred horses’ standing in the Horse of the Year categories of Sporthorse Breeding and Material.
Another winner was the Maiden/Yeld Mare, White Sun. Her name will be placed on the “Traveling Trot” perpetual trophy for being the Highest Scoring Champion with an 85.875%. White Sun is a Hanoverian by Weltmeyer out of Abendrot and bred in Germany by Heinrich Mohrman and owned by Kim Lampert.
Reserve Sporthorse Breeder of the Year was Maryanna Haymon of Marydell Farm. With three Champions and two Reserve Champion Horse of the Year winners, Maryanna had to have help from her husband Wendell and USDF President, George Williams to pose for the photograph. Even with the help, several awards were not able to be in the photo. Four of the Marydell Farm horses were by their Grand Prix stallion, Don Principe (Donnerhall/Prince Thatch xx) and one was a Quaterback filly.
Donna Hall MF by Don Principe and out of Ulrarubin/Rubinstein, owned by Valerie Cutrer of Florida took the top 3-year-old Filly. One of Donna’s highlights this year was the perfect score of 10 for her walk from judge Janet Foy at the Good Horseman Breed Show in September.
Delacroix MF who is a third generation offspring bred by Marydell by Don Principe, out of a Sandro Hit dam also bred by Marydell, was the 2-year-old Colt/Gelding division Champion. Delacroix MF won the title of Grand Champion at the Good Horseman show in Georgia in July and the Reserve Champion East Coast ABIC Colt at Devon.
Diamond Court MF follows in two of his full brother’s accomplishments as a Champion. Court is the top Colt of 2010, by Don Principe out of Royal Gem/Royal Diamond. Diamond Court was named in honor of Courtney King-Dye who had the ride on Don Principe before her injury earlier this year. Diamond Court MF was also the Southeast ABIC Reserve Champion Foal of 2010. As of October, Diamond Court MF now belongs to Courtney as a future hopeful to follow in his sire’s hoofprints.
Also receiving a plaque was Dawn MF as the yearling filly Reserve Champion of 2010. Dawn MF also won the September Good Horseman Grand Championship under International judge, Janet Foy and was the Southeast Reserve Filly ABIC Champion. Dawn MF by Don Principe and out of EM La Dolce Vita/Londonderry is now owned by Elly Schobel, an enthusiastic supporter of American bred horses.
The fifth winner was a Quaterback filly out of EM Rising Star/Rotspon, Quintessa MF, taking home the Reserve Honors for Filly of 2010. Quintessa MF was the Grand Champion at Dressage at Lexington in Virginia in July and the Reserve Foal Champion at Dressage at Devon.
In addition, the 2-year-old filly, Duet MF by Don Principe out of EM Rotina/Rotspon, won the East Coast ABIC Filly Championship at Dressage at Devon. All of the Marydell Farm horses are Hanoverians, bred and born at their North Carolina farm.
The Sunshine Sporthorse Association Trophy for Highest Scoring Material horse went to “Bad Boy” for a score of 84.0% in the Four and Five year old Division. Bad Boy is a Dutch Warmblood by Olivi out of Lotte. He is owned/ridden by Danitia Benson and bred by M.Tijssen.
Mary Lou Winn of Florida also spent a good deal of time on stage. Her two Hanoverian yearlings that were handled by Andrea Hayden through the year won both the Colt and Filly divisions. Thus Mary Lou went home with two wonderful plaques and coolers. Wonderboy MLW is by Wamberto, a Rousseau son that won the American stallion performance test in 2008 and out of Wintermaske. Wonderboy also won the Southeast ABIC Colt Championship. Fifi MLW is by the German based stallion, Fidertanz and out of Wolkenstanza. Fifi was a superstar during the season winning the Southeast ABIC Filly Championship. Wolkenstansa, Fifi’s dam, was also a demo horse at the symposium on Saturday proving that she can be a shinning star at both performance and breeding.
Mary Lou also represented the American Hanoverian Society and presented the All Breed Winners with their coolers from AHS.
Another breeder with multiple wins was Julie Haralson of Georgia. Her 2010 Hanoverian colt, Sirreal HF was the Reserve colt and her 2010 filly, Florentina HF a Dutch Warmblood by UB 40 and out of Resina was the Champion. Florentina also won the Southeast ABIC Foal Championship.
The 2010 Stallion Champion from Dressage at Devon, De Feiner Star, took home the Reserve Stallion Horse of the Year honors. He is an Oldenburg by DeLaurentis out of Feiner Dance bred by Elizabeth Dorsett and owned by Melinda Brown and Greg Strait.
Both Champion and Reserve Broodmares, O So Friendly and Contendra, were bred and owned by Ken Borden. Ken also had the Stallion Champion, Rashka. Rashka also won the Training level and First level Horse of the Year honors.
In the two year old divisions, Sonneberg Farm had the Champion Filly, Dimora S, by Sir Donnerhall out of Tamora. The Reserve Colt was Dolce S by Quaterback out of Olivia. Both are bred/owned by Lanna Sneddon.
In addition to the Sporthorse Breeder of the Year, the category for Dressage Breeder of the Year featured two Americans, Ken Borden and Richard Freeman. These awards are based on the placings in Dressage Horse of the Year divisions for performance. The winners of the Training, First, Second, Intermediare-I and Intermediare-II were all American bred horses. Winners of the 3-year-old Filly and Colt/gelding along with the four/five-year-old Mare Material were also born in the USA.
Another highlight of the evening was a speech by our USET Dressage Coach, Ann Gribbons during which a very interesting slide show was run of the team members. Ann spoke of the beginning of the year when our team prospects were unknown entities. She spoke of the veteran team rider, Stefan Peters and his horse Ravel and how much help Stefan was to her throughout the year. The USEF team clinics that were held in Florida and California were a very good insight to the up and coming riders who then were invited to compete at Gladstone in August. Ann also pointed out the rapid development of two eventual team members, Tina Konyot and Todd Fletrich. She called Nartan and Katherine Bateson “the Dutch Treat”. The result of our team’s fourth place takes some of the pressure off the Pan Am team members. Ann looks forward to watching the progress of the young talent, both horses and riders, she observed during 2010.
The most moving moment of the evening came from Ravel’s owner, Akiko Yamazaki when she asked the people in the room to raise their glasses in a toast — “to the most important partner that we have, our horses” - the room stood in their overwhelming approval.