The Annual Meeting of The American Trakehner Association was held in Wellborn, Florida at Valhalla Farm, October 31 through November 2, featuring their annual Stallion Approval, and Mare Inspection. The gorgeous 4-year-old black stallion Kovington, by Enrico Caruso out of the Schwalbenherbst mare Karline was one of only two stallions approved at the Valhalla inspection.
Searching the Internet for a young stallion prospect to bring along, Kumi Smedley of Austin Texas found a yearling advertised on the American Trakehner Association website, and something clicked. Bred by Dr. Susanne Harfst, Marble Hill Trakehners, in Yakima, Washington, Kovington, is by Enrico Caruso out of the Schwalbenherbst mare Karline. Smedley made the trip to Washington to see if her instincts were right. "I spoke with Susanne over the phone many times, but when I saw the video an watched him lift into the trot and tuck his hind-end under while going down a steep hill, I thought, "this one has potential". He showed a lightness in his movement that I had not seen before. And, his temperament was a 10+. He had lived his early years with the mare herd and I'm sure they taught him a thing or two!"
"Toni" began his early training with Russell Oden, of Oden Sport Horses, now located in Fort Worth. In 2002 Oden trained in Florida with Bob Orton, and Kovington went to Orton's Buck Branch Farm, in Gladys, Virginia after the Florida circuit, to be ridden by Sherra Kosch.
They went on to have a successful season winning the Reserve Championship at Dressage at Devon, for the Stallions 4 and Older Under Saddle, and winning their debut at First Level Test 1 Open, at The BLM Championships, where they also placed 3rd in the Championship Finals at Training Level. Orton and Kosch are a well-known team in the world of training and managing young horses and their breeding programs. "It seems lately every nice Trakehner that I have seen has been by Enrico Caruso," commented Orton after Kovington's winning First Level test at the BLM Championships.
Enrico Caruso is by Mahagoni, the sire of Peron among a long list of the breed to make it to Grand Prix dressage, stands at Tylord Farm in Benson Vermont. With the acceptance of Kovington into the ATA registry, the list of his approved sons now makes 9.