When Jen Vanover invited Shannon Dueck to her facility, Maplewood Warmbloods, LLC in Middletown, New York several years ago to teach a clinic, little did she realize that a wonderful breeding opportunity would later present itself as a result. Jen and Shannon developed a friendship during that clinic which has continued to grow. “I really enjoyed the clinic and we were on the same page. Shannon and I have kept distant contact through the years and I've always admired her riding from afar,” says Jen.
In 2014, Shannon decided to give her International Competition Grand Prix mare, Ayscha, a yearlong break from training, after a trivial injury threatened her competition plans. “I knew she was going to be fine, but she just needed a break.” Shannon had purchased Ayscha (Welt Hit II x Rouletto x Aktuell) in 2007 as a six-year-old in Germany. The original plan was to develop Ayscha and sell her. However, when Ayscha’s talent for Grand Prix became apparent, Shannon decided to keep her. Ayscha proved Shannon right in 2010 when she debuted as an international Grand Prix horse.
Shannon approached Jen to ask if she’d be interested in breeding the mare. “It was a real honor for me. I think Shannon has always liked our horses, farm, and breeding program, so I was happy to be at the top of what I'm sure was a long list,” says Jen. The two quickly arrived at an agreement that included a breeding lease for Ayscha and a partnership for ownership of the foal. Ayscha arrived at Maplewood Warmbloods in March 2014 and was bred the following month. Says Shannon, “Jen got her caught the first time. She (Jen) is really amazing at what she does.
Jen’s stallion of choice for Ayscha was Franziskus, a 2010 licensed Westphalian stallion (Fidertanz X Antara X Alabaster). “My goal in selecting a stallion was to keep Ayscha’s wonderful mechanics but shorten things up a little, particularly the neck and back.” About Ayscha Jen says, “This mare has all kinds of qualities that are natural and make her a grand prix horse even though she doesn’t look like a broodmare,”
The result, born March 27, 2015, is Angelika, a beautiful, flashy bay German Oldenburg Verband filly with beautiful white markings in perfect symmetry. She has fantastic gaits, including a perfect canter, and she is very easy to work with. During Angelika’s first time outside at three days old, Jen snapped a photo that quickly went viral on Facebook, with 2800 likes and shares in 3 countries. Angelika’s superb quality was noted by everyone who saw her. Since that time, Angelika has maintained those outstanding gaits and has continued to develop as an exemplary filly.
Shannon says that her original plan for the partnership was to keep the foal only if it was a colt. “Competition-wise, mares can be more difficult to manage.” However, when she saw the great potential in Angelika, she quickly fell in love with her and decided to keep her. Four of Shannon’s long time clients, who decided along with Shannon that it would be fun to show together, formed a syndicate, Ayscha’s Angels, enabling them to purchase Jen’s share of the filly. Shannon says she is very excited to embark on this journey with the new filly and her wonderful group of clients whose company she enjoys.
When asked about the length of time involved with raising a young horse from birth to competition, she says, “I’m learning as I get older that it is fun every step of the way and it really doesn’t take that long. It’s going to be great.” Shannon’s goals for Angelika are the FEI 4 & 5-year-old classes and the World Breeding Championships as a 5 & 6-year-old.
Jen started Ayscha back under saddle prior to returning her to Shannon, and currently she is in full-time work with Shannon and headed to the competition arena as soon as she’s fit.
Maplewood Warmbloods is only eight miles from the Newburg’s quarantine facility, and Jen and co-owner Tommy Pushkal invite you to stop to meet them and see their lovely horses if you are in the area. To learn more about Maplewood Warmbloods, visit www.maplewoodwarmbloods.com or call Jen Vanover at 845.649.7160.