Gaspard de la Nuit DG's sire, Ravel (Contango x Democraat) became an international sensation and long-time cornerstone of the U.S. Dressage Team with rider Steffen Peters and owner Akiko Yamazaki. After capturing the heart of America by winning the FEI Dressage World Cup in Las Vegas in 2009, Ravel and Peters claimed the World Equestrian Festival CDIO title at Aachen (GER) and earned two individual bronze medals at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Ravel also competed in two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) before his retirement in 2013. Ravel's sire Contango was legendary as both a performance horse and a sire: a proven champion in not only the dressage arena but also in jumping, Contango produced dozens of Grand Prix athletes for both disciplines which are recognized for their exceptional character, work ethic, powerful movement and ability for collection.
Ravel's strapping son first captured America's imagination for himself shortly after his birth in 2011, when an overwhelming response to a national foal-naming contest yielded his inspirational namesake: "Gaspard de la Nuit" is a piano solo piece composed by Ravel and based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand. The inherent talent of the dark bay colt immediately became evident, as he became the national foal champion during that fall's KWPN-NA keuring tour. "We knew from the beginning that he was special," said Willy Arts of DG Bar Ranch. "Even as a foal he showed a lot of potential."
Now Gaspard de la Nuit DG (Ravel x Ceolieta [elite/Sport] by Sir Donnerhall) has not only grown into his impressive lineage, but also the high hopes of his owners and breeders DG Bar Ranch Breeders, Inc. and Akiko Yamazaki. As a breathtaking three-year-old, he was the undisputed star of the 2014 KWPN-NA keurings, earning praise from the international panel of judges and scores high enough to be crowned national IBOP champion for dressage. He also continued his dominance at the inspections by claiming his age division's prestigious DG Bar Cup, a national competition held at keurings for young Dutch horses to highlight their development for careers in sport.
As a young KWPN stallion born and raised in the U.S., Gaspard de la Nuit DG will pursue final KWPN stallion approval by undergoing two more years of evaluation to prove his excellence both in the performance arena and the breeding shed. After earning his stallion license last fall, he will now go on to compete in the four- and five-year-old divisions of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program with rider Ashlyn DeGroot while also siring a minimum of 10 foals. After fulfilling all of these requirements, he will then proceed to a formal 21-day stallion test in North America and seek final approval as a breeding stallion by the KWPN, on par with other approved stallions in Holland.
Gaspard de la Nuit DG looks poised to follow in his father's footsteps to stardom, and from what he's seen so far, Arts has no doubt the young star will fulfill his destiny. "He has incredible gaits with a phenomenal canter, but I think even more amazing are his character and temperament - he has super rideability and a high ability for collection, just like his father and grandfather," said Arts."I think an additional strong point of particular interest for North American breeders is that since he does not carry Ferro, Flemmingh, or Jazz blood, he is a great outcross for mares from those sire lines. I also think it's a big plus to have the sire lines of Contango and Ravel continued here in America because they've proven they have the ability to do the Grand Prix themselves, so of course you would want to use those stallions for producing a talented FEI-level mount. Gaspard de la Nuit is the only son of Ravel available here, and while we'd like to welcome U.S. breeders to try him this year with a special introductory rate of only $800 (plus a $200 booking fee) via fresh shipped semen, I think once he starts producing and performing like we expect he will, we will see interest from breeders around the world."
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