is the only American-based stallion with three offspring in the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships being held later this week. Pikk Elena HU, Pikko del Rio HU and Pikko del Cerro HU each qualified in the four, five and six year old divisions respectively. Born and licensed in Germany, but U.S.-based for the past eight years, Pik L has competed in two Pan American Games, been named USDF Horse of the Year, helped riders win two National Junior Team Championships and competed through Grand Prix.The bay stallion, by Pik Bube II out of an Abajo xx mare, has also become a world-renowned sire, with offspring bringing high prices in European auctions, earning USDF Horse of the Year awards, USDF Regional Championships and more. “Pik L has been a really special horse for us,” says owner Anne Sparks of Horses Unlimited. “We were impressed with his athletic ability when he was a young horse and he has far exceeded our expectations as a sire.”
Before his importation, the licensed stallion sired offspring that have had successful performance careers in Europe. Son Paradise Valley qualified for the Bundeschampionat and sold for 180,000 Euros in the 2003 PSI auction.
In the U.S., there have been many standouts, including Pikko del Cerro HU. The six year old stallion is out of Rohweena, a Rhodiamant mare. Cerro began his career in hand at Dressage at Devon in 2005. There he claimed the overall Born in the USA Breeders’ Award with a score of 90% after winning the two year old stallion class. He has returned to Dressage at Devon under saddle with wins in both USEF 4-Year-Old classes with scores above 80% in 2007 and victories in both FEI 5-Year-Old classes with scores above 85%. Last year he finished in fourth place overall at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships, making him the highest placed American-bred in the 5-year-old division. “It has been fun to watch Cerro’s development,” Sparks explains. “Watching him grow from a foal into a successful competitor has been rewarding.”
Cerro’s full brother Pikko del Rio HU will also be competing this week at Lamplight. This is the second year that he qualified for the championships. The youngster has competed from coast to coast in his young career, often winning with scores above 80%. Sparks continues, “To have full brothers competing at the championships is extremely special.” Back at the farm in Albuquerque, two full sisters await their turn to shine. “We are actually going to sell one full sister this fall in our auction, as well as their dam Rohweena, since we have her daughter to take her place in our broodmare band,” she says.
Four-year-old Pikk Elena HU was barely under saddle when she qualified for the young horse championships with scores over 8.0. The youngster is a full sister to Pikturesk, owned by Karen Williams, who was the 2007 Palm Beach Dressage Derby Overall High Point, as well as a two-time USDF Regional Championship winner.
Pik L isn’t the only Horses Unlimited stallion having a great summer. Flagship sire Noble Champion has had winners in competitions as diverse as breed shows, eventing and dressage. Noble Chapeau, out of the Thoroughbred mare Tiny Chapeau, was named Grand Champion Colt after winning the yearling colts class at Dressage in the Rockies in Parker, Colorado earlier this month. Noble Chapeau is owned and bred by Katherine Pettus. At the same show Noble’s daughter, Novia Mia HU, owned by Christine DeHerrera, won the High Point Lower Level with a score of 73% in First Level Test Four (show II) and Reserve High Point Lower Level with a score above 70% (show I). The mare also was named High Point First/Training Level with a score above 70% at her horse show debut in May. Mia, out of Gera by Garibaldi I, has now qualified for the USDF Region V Championships.
Buck Davidson, riding Sharon Will’s No More Rocks, an Oldenburg gelding by Noble Champion, won the four year old division of the Young Event Horse program at the Waredaca Horse Trials in Unity, Maryland earlier this summer. The big chestnut finished with a score of 83.71. “The young horse programs are a wonderful opportunity for breeders, as well as owners, of talented youngsters. They allow you to see the potential at an early age, which is really exciting,” Sparks says.
To learn more about Horses Unlimited, visit www.horsesunlimited.us.