Expected 2023 foals
Despite a hard summer we are looking forward to the 2023 foaling season with 2 special foals
2022- What a hard and sad summer…
Never having had to deal with any horse in my care colicing before (well nothing serious- some gas colic that passed on their own) I had two surgical case of colic in the summer of 2022. Two cases that could only be resolved by surgery.
We sadly lost Rascalina to what looked like a post foaling colic just 12 hours after the birth of her filly. She was never quite right after the birth and it just got worse with every hour. She tried so hard to take care of her filly it was heartbreaking.
We thankfully were able to find a nurse mare for little Sierra almost immediately because another breeder had to face the tragedy of loosing a young colt. It was bitter sweet for both of us but in time we learned to rejoice in seeing Sierra well taken care of and Gemma, the nurse mare, doing what she clearly knew how to do so well.
Sierra grew up very well under her care and we were so thankfully for Gemma’s owner for lending her to us.
Not two quite a month later, completely out of the blue, while out on pasture and living the good life, Zigami showed sign of colic. The vet determined that there was a pretty severe impaction that needed surgery. They acted fast, while her vitals were still quite good.
Thankfully, Zigami made it.
Post operative care required something that we dont do much around here: confinement. However between multiple walks a day and creative fencing everyone remained mostly sane and we were able to provide plenty of exercise for her colt. I did manage to twist my ankle pretty severely on one of those walks but other then that everyone benefited.
It gave us plenty of opportunity to handle her and her colt and it was overall not too bad an experience. Zigami settled relatively well in the new routine and was always easy to handle for medication. After her operation she had a bit of facial paralysis that slowly resolved and is now completely gone. Under the advice of the veterinarian we tried to re-breed ( She was 13 days post insemination when she went into colic surgery and obviously did not catch) but it was not meant to be, so she is open this year and we will re-breed in the spring.
Ok enough with the sad updates and on to the good news: we are expecting two really cool foals this year!
Divine (Wolkentanz II X Ferro)
Divine is a filly, now a mare, that we bred. She is the only filly out of our Ferro mare; Déesse, that produced so spectacularly for us. Below are the foals she gave us at Formosus. Divine was as stunning as her brothers, very much stamped by her mom and one of the most beautifully moving foals we had here.
When her owner contacted us because she wanted to focus on her other horses as well as to give Divine an opportunity to pass on some of her great qualities, we jumped at the chance.
Being by Wolkentanz II and out of a Ferro mare, Divine’s sensitivity came as no surprise. It makes her light to the aids and very much in front of the leg. She has an uphill marching walk, a floaty trot and a very jumpy round canter. She collects easily and is good in the bridle. Overall she is a dream to ride according to her owner and rider. She has very powerful gaits with plenty of elasticity and she enjoys lateral work. Not a fan of jumping however; she is all dressage.
She is not a giant but like all Deesse’s foal she has a presence and a neck that make her look larger then her 16.2hh. She has good bone, a deep chest, a wide strong loin without being overly heavy. She has great feet and has never been lame or off.
For her first foal we wanted first and foremost a stallion that passed on kind and forgiving temperament.
Next came the need for some added elegance and refinement without loosing the quality of the movement and the power.
We also wanted to preserve the elastic movement- most modern stallions have that, but we were not looking for a freak mover. Finally and not the least with a maiden mare we wanted a fertile stallion with proven frozen semen.
For her we chose Finest (Furstenball X Wie Weltmeyer).
While researching various stallions something that I kept reading was how well tempered the Finest’s offsprings were: easy, gentle, quiet, rideable and generous. Not hot enough it seems for the big ring. I think Divine will bring plenty of spark, presence and reactiveness to the mix.
The values collected until 2021 and based on 907 offspring by Finest show very positive values. He passes on good gaits for dressage, good rideability (for exemple his value for rideability is 114-De Niro’s is 113), good type and he does not take away from the mare’s good foundation. He also appears not to add height. I think 16.1 to 16.2hh is quite reasonable as an expectation for this foal.
Because Finest is homozygous for black the foal will likely be black or bay- probably with few white markings.
Kreation (Rubinero X Donnerhall)
Kreation has been paired to Sandro Hit this season. But before I talk about the specific reasons there is also a bit of a history to this choice.
When I first acquired Kreation’s dam; Donation, I was very excited to be able to cross her with Sandro Hit. The Sandro Hit/Donnerhall cross is such a proven nick. Donnerhall direct daughter were rather rare and so I was nervous about the frozen semen breeding with an older mare but excited at the potential.
The first season however I wanted to maximise my chance to get a filly so I bred her to other stallions (with fresh semen) One of those was a a custom foal and I did some embryo transfer and got two colt and one filly: Kreation by Rubinero. I retained Kreation for our breeding program because she looked so very much like her dam.
I did breed Donation to Sandro Hit the following season and while she caught right away, sadly, the embryo was gone by Christmas and I was out of Sandro Hit semen. (It was to be the only time Donation lost a pregnancy in 11 foaling seasons.). The following spring we opted for fresh semen and we got two fillies (one by embryo transfer) Manege and Menuet while I saved my pennies to get some Sandro Hit semen because the price of it had suddenly jumped.
Donation was retired from breeding duty and I decided to breed Sandro Hit to Kreation, however because I also had a request for a custom foal that year we opted for an embryo transfer. Kreation did her part and we had an embryo transferred into a recipient mare. Sadly, once more it was not to be, the mare lost the embryo before the 45 days final check. The custom foal breeding did not pan out (not great semen) and we bred Kreation to Fabregas for her first foal to carry.
So finally this year I was able to breed Kreation to Sandro Hit and *touch wood* all seem well at this point.
Because Kreation has proven to be very consistent in what she produces (not very tall, compact, strong loins, well balanced, correct, easy to handle, good neck and back, average movement), I think pairing her with one of the most prepotent stallion possible is an interesting pairing.
Sandro Hit reputation is no longer in questions: some love him, some don’t. He was heavily represented at the last Olympic Games and his mark on the dressage world is clear like it or not. With so many of his offspring out there everyone seem to have a story. I can say that I bred one by him and that boy is spectacular, level headed and doing very well in dressage (San Raphael is out of a Rio Grande mare and schooling I-1 at 8 years old). I know personally of a few and they are all kind, generous, gifted horses doing very well with both their amateur and professional riders.
Sandro Hit is knows to pass on his modern and leggy look, and good gaits. With almost 1500 offspring in the Hanoverian book alone, his breeding values for conformation, movement, rideability and aptitude for dressage remain all positive across the board after all of those years.
I am very much looking forward to this foal.
With both parent being homozygous the foal will be black or bay. (I say bay because I have seen bay foals by him out of black mare making me think that he might be a very dark bay rather than black.) I do not expect much in terms of marking with both parent almost solid black.
Both of these foals will be registered with KWPN-NA and will need names that start with the letter T.