Mount St. John, a breeder of exceptional dressage and sport horses in the United Kingdom, is set to introduce their renowned breeding program to dressage enthusiasts in the North American market. Emma Blundell, managing director of Mount St. John, will attend a symposium, view horse shows, visit stud farms, and meet riders, trainers and breeders in the California, Florida and Nevada areas. Mount St. John is also sponsoring the California Dressage Society’s Annual Meeting and Symposium in Burbank Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and Blundell will visit the area then. Blundell recently sold a foal to California, so she knows there are riders and trainers there eager to learn about quality breeding.
“California has a super developed dressage industry and I love to see how different studs and riders operate worldwide,” she said. “What better way to meet key people in the area than to sponsor the CDS’ annual symposium and event weekend.”
Next, she’ll travel to South Florida March 14-20 to engage with an international audience at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s CDI-W in Wellington, then head to the 2015 Reem Acra World Cup in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 15-19. Throughout her tour, she will be keen to discuss Mount St. John’s top quality dressage and sport horses as well as future plans for the stud and forthcoming elite foals.
Blundell supervises all aspects of the stud and competition management, including the careful selection of world-class stallions to complement the genetic makeup of their mares. Her knowledge of current trends in equine reproduction, especially in embryo transfer, as well as her excellent relationships with top European breeders ensures success in creating exceptional foals. As a dressage competitor, Blundell has a keen working knowledge of the traits required in elite sport horses.
“I love America and the passion of the people I've met,” she said. “They are ambitious and highly competitive, which I think sits well with the top class horses and young stock we are producing.”
Mount St. John foals have already gained praise far and wide amongst elite dressage competitors including Charlotte Dujardin, Emile Faurie, Michael Eilberg and Heath Ryan.
“Charlotte is dedicated, passionate and a complete perfectionist!” Blundell said, “She really loves her horses and we were naturally so proud when she bought MSJ Charmer, our first colt born in 2014, whom she fell in love with at first sight. His exceptional movement and expressive character in front of an audience won her over! She then went on to buy a second foal, a Negro x Donnerhall colt who was born famously on the morning she won the World Cup final in Lyon [France] on Easter weekend.”
Blundell said Dujardin bought the colt sight unseen after a few phone calls because she loves the colt’s dam, Tia Roma, and was thrilled to own a Negro colt. Not only is Dujardin keenly interested in dressage breeding, her input has altered some of Blundell’s stallion choices.
“As a result, she already has her eye on a few in our 2015 line-up, so I hope her other half, Dean, has expansion plans to build more stables for her!” Blundell said.
Dujardin has spoken several times to the British media about why she has invested in foals from Mount St John.
"Mount St John is breeding world class foals and I am proud to now own two of them,” she said. “I chose them for their impressive movement, balance, bloodlines and their super temperaments. I look forward to producing them into competition horses that I hope one day will be part of the British Team."
Mount St. John individually selected some of the very best mares from top producing and competing families in Europe. They match the mares with the most interesting stallions worldwide to create consistent exceptional offspring. Mount St. John breeds with about 30 dressage mares per season, including a high proportion of embryo transfers from elite sport mares currently competing. They retain most fillies, training them to be ridden sport horses available for purchase. All colts are sold as foals and Mount St. John boasts scores a host of satisfied clients.
Blundell said Mount St. John will host an “Open Day” in July where visitors can tour their facility, based out of a stunning manor house, as well as see their new sport horse barn, scheduled for completion in March. They will also welcome guests to their first foal show on Thursday, April 30, where visitors can see a number of the mares with their new foals and tour the full stud and facilities.
“It’s the perfect stop-off spot for anyone headed to Europe in April or to the Horses and Dreams show in Hagen, Germany [April 22-26],” she said.