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Scottish Sports Horse Stallion Grading 2004

SecundusWhat a wonderful legacy the founders of the Scottish Sports Horse have left for the equestrian population of Scotland! Many breeders, new and established, have been provided with guidelines and helpful assistance to ensure offspring of quality. Of course, this situation might not have evolved to today’s standard without the foresight of breeders such as the Low-Mitchells, Tom Smith and John Dunlop.

The Low-Mitchells introduced (amongst others) the wonderful Grade A showjumper Secundus, one of the first Approved stallions within the SSH and top sire of showjumpers, voted the UK’s leading showjumping sire in 2000, Tom Smith introduced the athletic Dutch Falco to Scotland Grade A showjumper a stallion of repute. Although Tom is no longer with the society, we should not forget the vital part he played in its early days. And of course, John Dunlop, owner of the popular sire and Grade A showjumper Gold hills. A wonderful array of characters have ensured the smooth running of the SSH over the years, and none more hard-working than Margot Kennedy. It was a sad (and somewhat chaotic) day when Margot finally and ‘officially’ retired from the SSH and although she handed over the reins, she is still a familiar face at the ring-side supporting the SSH at their various events. (photo left, Tsjakka highest Graded Stallion 2004)


A thankless task in many ways, the SSH committee members do reap reward for all their hard work - one must simply observe the large choice of quality stallions now standing in Scotland, the improving quality of broodmares and the exquisite young-stock now available for buyers. There is now also a wonderful structure within Scotland to get your youngster out competing and seen – what about the Loose Jumping competition for 3 year-olds which the SSH introduced to Britain in 1997? Harry Aird was among those who originally suggested it and the idea has certainly grown arms and legs. Competitors travel from all over Britain to compete in this illustrious event that always attracts a large audience.


The SSH Summer Show is another excellent opportunity for young horses to show off their form in hand (or loose in the SSH fashion) and in the Age Championships. The Autumn brings forth Robert Donaldson’s North ‘O’ the Border Foal Show which is a wonderful show-case for breeders - and if you are looking to buy a quality foal you must attend its following auction. IBOP testing ensures our SSH horses are not just pretty faces and Gradings, which are strictly judged by K.W.P.N. judges, take place throughout the year, ensuring the quality of our mares, youngsters and even geldings. They provide us with the knowledge we are on the right track with our personal breeding programmes. Perhaps the most anticipated of all the Grading days however, is that involving the stallions. Here we have an insight into the success of the SSH when we see stallions presented, not just from Scotland but from all over the UK.


In the past, we have witnessed stars such as the previously mentioned Secundus, Gold Hills, the exceptional Ludwig H, Dramiro, Kielame M, the Whittakers Calvaro FCS and Tornado FCS being awarded Approved Status. Clyde Cruiser, Craigmancie Gold, Royal Geneve and Schiller are deserved Licensed Stallions (not forgetting ponies Hocki and Kerry’s Boy).
Amongst the worthy Registered we find a 100 Day Performance Tested stallion – the big Friedensherr, Capitalist, Midmar, Jaro Evenaar, Juno/Jaeger, the successful show jumper Champagne H (and sire of winning SSH Champion filly Valdora VU) Newmiln Landini, Out of the Blue, Knight Rider, Linton Lavado, and the ponies Lomondside Emperor (qualified for Olympia 2001) and Nibelungenheld IV. Stars are even to be found amongst the SSH Listed stallions with successful showjumpers such as Pall Mall, the stallion Rob Roy which the KWPN described as simply ‘WOW’ over a fence, Cruising’s Micky Finn (which finished 3rd in the Loose Jumping Final 2002) the Grade A show jumper and number one jumping son of Demonstrator, Dauntless Prince.


This year’s Annual Stallion grading was therefore eagerly anticipated and took place at Ingliston House Stud in Bishopton Saturday 20th March 2004. It was unusual but encouraging this year to see four ‘coloured’ stallions forward for grading, indicating the recognizable national quality of the SSH grading system. Stallions travelled from as far as Essex in England to attend this prestigious event.


Bad weather necessitated the morning trot up to be held indoors, and fortunately the large complex lent itself to the requirement. The event’s KWPN Graders included a welcome return from Mr.A.Heofs and Mrs.I van Deurzen, and the morning introduced the audience to the 20 horse and pony stallions forward for grading.

An impressive list of world class bloodlines was on display with names included in pedigrees such as Concorde, Wellington, Landadel, Lancelot, Donnerhall and Olympic De Nero and Olympic Ferro. The morning smoothly progressed on to the Loose Jumping phase, following which the stallions were rigorously vetted before being allowed to continue. The afternoon’s final parade found the stallions displayed together before the audience as the results were finally announced.


TsjakkaStrict as always, Mr.Heofs awarded only two stallions Registered Status upon this day – all others achieved Listed status although it was mentioned that one or two of them required time to mature and develop. Heading the line-up and awarded Registered status was the athletic Tsjakka. Bred by B.Wentink, The Netherlands and owned by B.Wentink, Erskine, the lovely Chestnut stallion was a worthy candidate. Tsjakka's sire Lancelot is successfully competing international in 1.50m classes, and appears to be passing on the same ability in his young offspring.

Tsjakka's dam Irina (v.Burggraaf) born in 1990, is an KWPN Elite Sport Preferent mare who has herself competed successfully in Holland. Out of her last 17 championship shows, jumping 1.35-1.40m classes she won 10 of these competitions, before returning to stud. There are three sons of Irina Known to be jumping successfully abroad: PLATO: (sire, Glennridge) won the 4-year old Dutch jumping championships (IAN-Trophy) in 2001 under saddle, before being sold to America. LANCER: (sire Goodtimes) jumped international 1.50m classes with Astrid Woss for Austria. MAURITS: (sire, Highline) is successfully competing in 1.40m classes in Canada. Irina has also 3 daughters who have been awarded KWPN 'ster' mare status. (Photo above Tsjakka owned by B.Wentink)

UmennoSecond in the line-up and also awarded Registered Status (with the day’s highest mark for movement) stood Solaris Sport Horses's 'Umenno. This wonderfully supple, powerful moving three-year-old by VDL Wellington, out of a Samber Ster mare is the first S.S.H. coloured stallion to receive Registered status. Bred by MW.NAM Reijinders in Holland, Mr.Heofs commented on his wonderful movement ‘Good in walk, trot and canter an expressive mover’

Listed stallions included: Beth Gillespie’s Grand King, John Grieve’s Westwood Redfox, Victor’s Quest, Puzzles Pick & Mix (by Dexters Puzzle), Burnock Exclusively Done, Elaine Mc Farkane’s Newmiln De-Nero, Sandro’s Diamant, Dougal, Senga Riches’ Falcon’s Celtic Pride, Hallmyre Apache (by Ben Moses ID), Sea Wolf, ponies – Little Bobby, Rosmuc Rebel and London Lights. (Photo above courtesy Peak Photography: Umenno owned by Solaris Sport Horses)


It was another excellent day for the SSH, and so encouraging to witness the support and companionship present within this society which extends to all its members, stallion owners, horse breeders/owners. Pulling together is the only way forward for the SSH. It has paid tremendous dividends so far and long may it continue.


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