Wayne, Illinois – Nancy Holowesko took up breeding just a few years ago with a mission "to breed horses as good or better than what you find in Europe." Considering that she has two horses competing at this year's USEF/Markel National Young Horse Championships, she seems to be on track toward achieving her mission.
Holowesko's four-year-old Oldenburg gelding Sabati, by Sandro Hit out of Rosalea, is this year's American-bred award winner for the Four-Year-Old Championships. The gelding placed third in Saturday's Four-Year-Old Championship test with a score of 83.80. His full brother, the Oldenburg gelding Steinway, is competing in the Five-Year-Old Championships and finished up Saturday's Five-Year-Old Championship test in fifth place with a score of 75.00. Both horses are ridden by Ulla Petersen, of Trappe, Maryland.
The winners of the Four-Year-Old Championship were Karen Monks-Reilly and Aesthete, a KWPN gelding, by Trento B out of Unusual, owned by Betsy Spence, of Unionville, Pennsylvania. Their winning score was 86.80. Behind them in second place were the winner's of Friday's Four-Year-Old Warmup class Caroline Roffman and the Hanoverian gelding Bon Chance, by Belissimo M out of Wintersong, with a score of 86.40.
Holowesko, who spends much of her time living in the Bahamas but has her breeding farm in Maryland, has three foals out of her mare Rosalea. She hopes the younger sibling of Sabati and Steinway will be competing in the national championships next year as a four-year-old. "The dam of all three is the very first mare I bought," she said. "The two competing here this year are both very good horses and I'm thrilled to have two full brothers doing so well."
Holowesko said the plan is eventually to sell Sabati, but Steinway will remain with Petersen as the rider. "Steinway is Ulla's favorite horse on the farm, so she gets to keep him and she thinks he has what it takes to make it to Grand Prix," she said. Holowesko has clearly taken to breeding like a fish to water. Bloodlines have become a subject of intense study for her. "I'm fascinated with bloodlines. I study them constantly. I make trips to Europe to study them and I do the breeding on our horses." Clearly, she is on a crusade to make her American-bred horses some of the best in the world and she thinks with Sabati and Steinway "we've got a good start."
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