Chesapeake City, MD - Hassler Dressage at Riveredge has announced the retirement of Rousseau from active breeding. The 17-year-old KWPN stallion (Ferro - Zsuzsa, Roemer) owned by Harmony Sporthorses is known around the world for the remarkable success of his sons and daughters in breeding as well as in sport. Susanne and Scott Hassler of Hassler Dressage have managed Rousseau's career since the stallion was 3. He showed brilliant potential as a young horse, earning recognition on Europe's greatest stages, and then delivered on this promise by becoming an internationally successful breeding stallion. Recently, the physical stresses of years of breeding and a meniscal tear incurred in turnout began to affect Rousseau's ability to breed comfortably. Keeping the stallion's best interest in mind, the Hasslers have decided in conjunction with owners, John and Leslie Malone of Harmony Sporthorses, it is time for him to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
"Rousseau is very fortunate to have owners who want the best for him," Susanne Hassler said. "The Malones have a huge heart for their animals and always support that which is in their best interest. They clearly stated that Rousseau doesn't owe a thing to anyone. He deserves to retire comfortably and to live out his years with joy and dignity."
A very limited amount of Rousseau's frozen semen remains. Given the stallion's exceptional record, the semen is being carefully managed by Susanne Hassler to make the most of this precious commodity and perpetuate Rousseau's legacy.
The Hasslers first saw Rousseau at the 2001 KWPN Stallion Licensing and immediately recognized his potential, recommending him to Hilltop Farm. The U.S.-based farm purchased him, and he was the top selling stallion of the show.
While the initial intention was to bring him back to the U.S and make him available to North American breeders, he made such an impression at the licensing that European breeders were clamoring for the opportunity to breed their mares to him. So he spent the next several years at stud in Europe, first in the Netherlands and then, strategically, in Germany. While in the Netherlands, Nicolette van Lierop rode him to an outstanding series of competitive achievements.
Rousseau was named the champion dressage stallion of his KWPN performance test in 2001. As a 4-year-old in 2002, he won the prestigious Pavo Cup in the Netherlands, and he went on to be named reserve champion the following year. In 2003, as a 5-year-old, Rousseau was the silver medalist of the 2003 FEI World Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany.
The impressive showing in Verden earned Rousseau worldwide recognition, and he was subsequently licensed by the Hanoverian, Oldenburg and Westphalian Verbands. The Hasslers therefore chose to give the German market the opportunity to access Rousseau by placing him in the trusted hands of their close friends at Hengststation Pape in Germany for the 2005 and 2006 seasons before bringing him home to the United States.
When global attention prior to the 2003 World Championships in Verden had commanded economic considerations for Hilltop Farm's ownership of Rousseau, Harmony Sporthorses partnered with Hilltop Farm in Rousseau's ownership prior to the big event. Later, in early 2006, Harmony Sporthorses took on full ownership of the stallion.
Rousseau possesses a rare combination of talent, athleticism and sensibility, and he is a true improvement sire. He stamps his offspring with a beautiful head and expression. His prepotency for producing suppleness, self-carriage and a powerful hind leg readily improves the next generation. Rousseau's offspring are noted for their exceptional character, rideability and trainability.
It was clear from the beginning of Rousseau's breeding career that he would leave an indelible mark on the KWPN breed. No stallion before him had produced two consecutive Champions of the KWPN Stallion Licensing, yet he sired not just two, but three consecutive Licensing Champions: Wamberto in 2006, Blue Hors Zack in 2007 and Ampere in 2008.
These three remarkable sons were from Rousseau's first four foal crops in the Netherlands, and he continued to produce outstanding offspring while standing in Germany and North America. While Rousseau is no longer active in the breeding shed, his progeny on both sides of the Atlantic are carrying on the tradition of exceptional quality and top-class performance.
To inquire about breeding opportunities, please contact Susanne Hassler at (410) 885-3824 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rousseau is also managed by the following:
In the U.S.: Sporthorse Legacy LLC (Nicole Hauseman and Richard Malmgren)
(215) 962-0463, (443) 309-0807 or email@example.com%20
In the Netherlands: Hengstenhouderij Kuypers (Piet and Ricky Kuypers)
+31 40 283 1273 or firstname.lastname@example.org%20
In Germany: Hengststation Pape (Ingo and Susan Pape)
+49 47 71 23 84 or email@example.com
In the U.K.: Elite Stallions (James Crawford)
+44 01837 880100 or firstname.lastname@example.org