Several years ago, with the inception of the Markel/USEF Dressage Young Horse Program, Judy Yancey became inspired to keep a keen eye on what type and quality of individual she was producing. Yancey, who has been breeding horses in the United States since 1975 determined the purpose and goals of the program were instrumental in tweaking her breeding direction. "I thought (and still think) that the purpose of the program is a positive step for breeders in the U.S. Having always strived to produce athletic, amiable, sound and talented stock for riding and breeding futures, this program gave me a more urgent drive, as results are more readily palpable, a more instant gratification - waiting only until youngsters are 4 years old to begin to see the results of my breeding goal." In 2012 that goal was realized when Christopher Hickey rode Qredit Hilltop to the Markel/USEF Reserve Championship for 4-year-old. This year two of Yancey's "creations" are very capably presented by Debbie Hill, propelled by owner, Leslie Waterman. One boy, Floretienne by Florestan out of Tamarinde (Jazz - Matador II) scored an 80% in his 4 -year-old test for top placing at The Kentucky Dressage Association Spring Show.
His 3 week older brother (by Embryo Transfer) Quintessential by Quaterback out of Tamarinde scored a 75%, coming in right behind little brother! "It was a definite validation for me, and a heartfelt "thank you" to the tenacity of Leslie and Debbie for seeing the boys through raising, starting and development - definitely following the outlined goals of the Young Horse program!" As Hill a veteran competition in the Young Horse Program continues to campaign Floretienne towards the National Championships being held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center August 21-25 Floretienne earned another victory at the Tennessean with an 8.06.
"Every now and then (7 times in all), a special colt was born that I was convinced would become a valuable addition to the genetics in the United States, and they each one subsequently became a licensed breeding stallion," Yancey said. "Such was the feeling I had about Qredit Hilltop. The moment that I saw the stallion Quaterback as a young three-year-old stallion in Germany I knew that I had to breed him with my mare Dream Rubina (by Dream of Glory). They were actually quite a bit alike, the pedigrees blended beautifully, and he had just that extra sparkle. He had a powerful hind, good broad hocks, wonderful freedom in his shoulders, and nice long front legs. We were very organized in getting the semen frozen and imported early into the United States. Dream Rubina cycled early. I used one dose of semen and the result was the fabulous stallion Qredit. It was apparent from the very beginning that this was a significant colt.
He had extra quality; excellent substance, super personality, very good legs, great feet. Just everything about him was really top-quality. However,it was the realization of a dream to have Hilltop Farm take over his management and riding direction. They have done a very thoughtful and wonderful job bringing out the athleticism and talent of this young horse. He has fulfilled every expectation that, as a breeder, I have had for the type,quality and temperament of a representative of my breeding program."
The Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program (for 4, 5, and 6-year-old horses) promotes the importance of selective breeding and correct training of horses in the United States, and encourages participation of breeders, riders, and trainers of young horses in dressage competition. The purposes of this program are to encourage the properly structured development of young dressage prospects through the training scale; to identify and recognize outstanding talent and the training of international-caliber horses; and to prepare these horses for future careers at the FEI level and participation on U.S. High Performance teams.
"This should further help breeders realize that they must HAVE a goal," Yancey adds. "So often, mare owners (usually young hopefuls) contact me to help plan the stallion selection for their mare. My first question to them is always, 'What is your goal for your breeding program?' Interestingly, many have not defined that goal. With the Young Horse program, a goal is already set out, and a breeders needs "only" to follow the idea and create a representation of their ideal youngster to see coming down center line as a 4 year old!
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