Category Archives: Breeds

Belgian, Dutch and Polish Studbooks Claim 2015 FEI World Breeding Jumping Titles

Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet steered Mjt Nevados S to victory in the 7-Year-Old category at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2015 at Lanaken in Belgium today. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Lanaken (BEL), 20 September 2015 – The KWPN gelding, Earley, made another piece of Jumping history today when becoming only the third-ever horse to record back-to-back wins when taking the 6-Year-Old title at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2015 at Lanaken in Belgium.

This hugely popular annual gathering draws vast numbers of breeders, producers and enthusiasts from all around the globe who come to the world-famous Zangersheide Stud to compare the latest crop of 5, 6 and 7-year-olds representing many different studbooks. And it was the Belgian-bred Kerswin van ‘T Roosakker who won the 5-Year-Old category while the Polish stallion, Mjt Nevados S, claimed the 7-Year-Old title.

Once again the entry was enormous, with 224 starters in the 5-Year-Old Championship, 273 in the 6-Year-Olds, and 208 in the 7-Year-Old category. For any horse to take a medal from such a colossal field of starters is quite an achievement, and for any horse to do it two years in a row is exceptional. The 6-Year-old Earley has earned his place alongside just two other back-to-back champions – last year’s 7-Year-Old winner, Barnike who represented the Dutch Ridinghorse and Pony Studbook with Ireland’s Bertram Allen on board, and the KWPN No Time, who topped the rankings in 2000 and 2001 ridden by Dutchman Peter Geerink.


Only horses that jumped clear in the first and second qualifiers were eligible for today’s 5-Year-Old Final, and from the 49 starters in this competition just nine went through to the second-round jump-off. This was a smaller number than usual to make it through to the final phase, as the time proved influential in the first round.

And Kerswin van ‘T Roosakker (Echo van ‘T Spieveld/Diamant de Semilly) broke the beam in today’s jump-off in a speedy 37.33 seconds to take the gold with Doron Kuipers in the saddle. The 24-year-old Dutchman has stables near Rotterdam (NED) from where he competes his own string of horses along with six belonging to Kerswin’s owners, Stal Everse BV. Micha Everse rode the gelding earlier in the year, and Kuipers took up the reins just eight weeks ago. It was a success-story from the very start.

“I have never jumped a jump-off with him before, but I felt from the beginning that he really worked with me. He is careful and has scope and he goes for it. That’s all you need to win! This is the first time I’ve made it into the Final (at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships) and I’m pretty happy because immediately I’ve taken the best colour medal!” Kuipers said.

Silver medal spot went to another from the BWP Studbook, the approved stallion Keops v. Begijnakker (Indoctro/Lux Z) ridden by Belgium’s Yves Vanderhasselt who mixes his works in the family transport company with a very successful Jumping career. The 36-year-old rider has a reputation for remaining super-cool under pressure, and he finished third with Keops at the Belgian Championships in Geves this summer. The horse was bought by the Vanderhasselt family as a four-year-old.

Bronze in the 5-Year-Olds went to the mare, Formidable (Carambole/Calvados), and it was a particularly special moment for her Dutch rider Willem Greve as he competes internationally with the mare’s sire, Carambole.

Greve spotted Formidable competing at an international show just a few months ago and bought her right away. “There were several people who wanted her because she jumped very spectacularly, and I immediately had a good feeling with her because she is careful and has a lot of scope,” Greve explained.


Horses in the 6 and 7-Year-Old category were ranked in each of the two qualifying competitions, and the top-40 earned a place in today’s Finals in which the KWPN, Earley (Harley VDL/Indorado), wrote his name into the Young Horse history books when clinching 6-Year-Old gold.

With 17 into the jump-off it was always going to take a quick horse to win it, but Earley is a massive 1.77cms tall with a ground-eating stride to match, and just as he did when taking the 2014 5-Year-Old title, the big bay galloped through the timers quicker than all the rest. His rider, Maikel van Mierlo, knows the horse well. Maikel’s father bought the horse as a 3-year-old, and sold him on to owners H.M. van Raaij-Evertse who sent him off to be broken before returning him to Van Mierlo to ride.

Since winning his gold medal as a 5-Year-Old, Earley has been lightly competed, lining out at a few international shows and at the Dutch Championships where he finished seventh this year. “I don’t jump him a lot at home,” Van Mierlo explained after taking his second successive title with the horse today. “He only jumped a 1.20m class as preparation for this show and to be honest the pressure coming to this year’s Championships was not special,” he said. The 24-year-old Dutchman’s philosophy is an uncomplicated one. “You have to stay motivated and to just try your best every day,” he said.

Talking about his winning round, he continued, “The course was not too difficult and the time was long enough, but with 17 in the jump off you know you have to go full speed! When I came out I knew that I was fast but I didn’t know it was fast enough to win. I think I won it on the last line. He’s not spooky and he has a very good character – he is top careful, and has a lot of scope,” said the rider who operates from the south of Holland, between Eindhoven and Venlo.


And from a Belgian perspective the day came to a perfect end with newly-crowned FEI European individual silver medallist, Gregory Wathelet, taking top spot in the 7-Year-Old Championship partnering the handsome grey PZHK stallion Mjt Nevados S (Calvados Z/Romualdo).

There were 12 into the jump-off here, and Wathelet was chasing the target-time set by Britain’s Laura Renwick who was seventh to go with the ISH mare MHS Washington (OBOS Quality/Cavalier Royale) who broke the beam in 35.13 seconds. Renwick always looked competitive after filling third spot in the first qualifier in which Wathelet and Mjt Nevados S finished fifth, but the British rider regretted the extra pull she took before the last fence today. She finished just 0.16 seconds behind the Belgian rider who scorched home in 34.97 to take the gold.

Talking about Mjt Nevados S, Wathelet said, “He started the season on the Sunshine Tour where he jumped well, and in the Belgian Championships at Lummen I had one down in the jump off because he was not used to going fast. Before I came here I trained him to go quickly, and that training was successful. I knew he was very careful, but in the beginning I didn’t know if he had enough scope – now he is going better every week! This week he jumped easily, even in the Final in which the course was quite big but it all felt easy. This horse is definitely not for sale!” said the rider who plans to take Mjt Nevados S on the international circuit now.

Silver medallist, Renwick, bought MHS Washington in partnership with Irish rider Denis Lynch three years ago, but now owns the horse herself.

“Denis bought the mare from the breeder when she was four – she’s special and a bit nervous, but in the ring she lights up and makes everything very easy – just like a real sport-horse! She’s very light to ride and is careful and scopey,” Renwick explained. The pair won the Young Horse Final at CSI Knokke (BEL) this summer, and a few weeks ago also topped the British Championships. Renwick was sporting an Irish cap, presented to her by the Irish Federation because she was competing an ISH, and she said she was proud to wear it. “I think I can go far with this horse,” she said happily this evening.

And the Irish had plenty of reason to celebrate themselves when Eoin McMahon steered another ISH, Talks Cheap (Tinaranas Inspector/Colin Diamond), into bronze medal position when last to go against the clock.

Talks Cheap was sold at the 2014 Go for Gold Sale in Goresbridge in Ireland. “My boss, Carl Hanley, bought her last year just before the World Young Horse Championships, but it was too soon to take her here,” McMahon explained. “We started the season in Vilamoura (POR) where she jumped very well, and then we gave her a break. Before coming here we placed in a 1.45m class, so she has all the scope and she is fast and careful,” said the young rider who will celebrate his 20th birthday next weekend.

Five-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Kerswin van ‘T Roosakker (Doron Kuipers) NED 0/0 37.33; SILVER – Keops v. Begijnakker (Yves (Vanderhasselt) BEL 0/0 38.65; BRONZE – Formidable (Willem Greve) NED 0/0 39.36.

Six-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Earley (Maikel van Mierlo) NED 0/0 36.62; SILVER – Ellavar (Marlon Modolo Zanotelli) BRA 0/0 37.10; BRONZE – Take a Chance on Me Z (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/0 37.49.

Seven-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Mjt Nevados S (Gregory Wathelet) BE. 0/0 34.97; SILVER – MHS Washington (Laura Renwick) GBR 0/0 35.13; BRONZE – Talks Cheap (Eoin McMahon) IRL 36.99.

Full results at

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Lanaken:

Edith de Reys
Press Officer
+32 475 6592 81


Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
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Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
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World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses Signs Memorandum of Understanding with FEI

Lausanne (SUI), 4 September 2015 – The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FEI.

The WBFSH represents 70 sport horse studbooks from over 30 countries with the central aim of stimulating horse breeding development worldwide and integrating breeding with horse sport.

The FEI and the WBFSH have agreed to establish the FEI WBFSH Council to further enhance collaboration as part of the new agreement.

“Breeders produce horses that our athletes need, and for that reason the horse breeding industry needs the support of equestrian sport. Our cooperation with the FEI is logical, natural and a necessary link between producers and consumers, which we must nurse and nourish,” said Jan Pedersen, President of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.

The WBFSH, whose patron is HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, has cooperated with the FEI on the organisation of the FEI World Breeding Championships for Sport Horses (FWBCYH) in the three Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Jumping and Eventing since 1992.

“Horses are central to our sport, and breeding alongside nurturing plays a fundamental role in creating our next star equine athletes,” explained FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

“The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses has united the leading sport horse breeding countries and global experts for many years, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership as equestrian sport grows rapidly around the world.”

MOU overview:

The FEI decided in 2012 to use Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to better define its relationship with the different stakeholders. The MOUs cover universal issues such as FEI recognition, FEI Rules and Regulations, horse welfare, code of ethics, commitment to democratic processes, consultation, FEI General Assembly, FEI Sports Forum and meetings, governing law, dispute resolution, communication, and implementation. MOUs have already been signed with WHW, organisers and officials. Although recognition by the FEI does not entail voting rights at the FEI General Assembly, the MOUs formalise the relationship with the FEI, giving a voice to organisations working with the FEI in the development of equestrian sport.

World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH):

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Solaris EMF Named Overall Grand Champion of US Hunter Breeding National Championship

Solaris EMF and Kenneth Wheeler (David Bell/

Lexington, Ky. – This past week, the top young horses in the country showed off their best features at the 2015 Sallie B. Wheeler/US Hunter Breeding National Championships during the East Coast phase on August 29, in Lexington, Va. and the West Coast phase on August 26, in Del Mar, Calif. Following the East Coast and West Coast competitions, judges Mindy Minetto (Wellington, Fla.) and Chris Wynee (Virginia Beach, Va.) declared East Coast entrants Solaris EMF and Arbor Hill the Overall Grand Champion Best Young Horse and the Reserve Grand Champion Best Young Horse, respectively. This marks the third year in a row, and the ninth time in the Championship’s two-phase history, the Overall Grand Champion has come from the East Coast phase.

East Coast Championship

The East Coast competition was held during the Virginia Young Horse Festival at the Virginia Horse Center. Solaris EMF (Sir Wanabi x Panache EMF/Pablo), a Hanoverian gelding, owned by Cismont Manor Farm and handled by Kenneth Wheeler, won the East Coast Best Young Horse Award. He also won the Yearling Hunter – Colts/Gelding Class and The American Hanoverian Society Breed Registry Award. The East Coast Reserve Champion Best Young Horse went to Arbor Hill (Aloha x Paisley/Private Account), a Hanoverian/Oldenburg gelding, owned by Kenneth Wheeler and Cismont Manor Farm and handled by Richard Taylor. Arbor Hill also won the Two-Year-Old Hunter – Colts/Gelding class. Taylor earned the Leading Handler Award and Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Oare were named the Leading Owners.

Additional Breed Registry Awards went to the following top horses: Ethereal Blue, owned by Patricia Michael and handled by Lexi Robinson, won The American Holsteiner Horse Association Award. Femineste MRF, owned and handled by Lubrano, took home The American Warmblood Registry Award. The Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association Award went to Ophelya PCS, owned by Ingrid Bergmann and handled by Dowell “Junior” Johnson. Idonis VZ, owned and handled by Amy Schull, earned The KWPN of North America Award. The RPSI Award went to Amorous, owned by Dr. Katelyn Ziggas and handled by Jay Francella. Joyful Hope, owned by Dr. Erica Feiste and handled by Johnson, won The Stud-Book sBs (Belgian Sport Horse Society) Award. Timeless, owned by Carrie D. Buxton and handled by Oliver Brown, received the Oldenburg Registry of North America Award and Vizier, owned by Nokomis Farm and handled by William Howland, picked up The Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society Award.

West Coast Championship

The West Coast Championships were held during the Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament at the Del Mar Horse Park. Reminiscent (Ragtime x Rio Cortez/Rio Grande), an Oldenburg gelding owned by Melissa Brandley and handled by Sue Lightner, won the West Coast Best Young Horse Award. Reminiscent also won the Two-Year-Old Colts/Geldings class. Together, Brandley and Lightner won two additional classes with Reflection: the Three-Year-Old Fillies class and the Three Year-Old Hunter Hack class.

Rodeo (Ragtime x Misty View/Star Choice), an Oldenburg gelding owned and handled by Lightner earned the Reserve Champion Best Young Horse Award. He also won the Three-Year-Old Colts/Gelding class and the Three-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle class. Lightner also handled Reporting Live, owned by Autumn Hills Farm, who took the Yearling Colts/Geldings class. As a result of these top finishes, Lightner was awarded the Leading Handler award and Brandley the Leading Owner award.

Breed Registry Awards were given out to top horses. Rhetorical, owned by Cary Sparks and handled by Williams, won The American Hanoverian Society Award. The KWPN of North America Award went to Just a Star. The Stud-Book sbs (Belgian Sport Horse Society) Award was given to Rivercity Blues, last year’s West Coast Best Young Horse, owned by Autumn Hills Farm and Mike Lowe and handled by Diane Yeager. Reminiscent won the Oldenburg Registry of North America Award, and Eminence Front SWS, owned and handled by Rachel Jansen Jones, earned the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society Award.

For more information on the Sallie B. Wheeler/US Hunter Breeding National Championship, click here.

From the USEF Communications Department

Lusitanos and Dressage Done Right at Haras Dos Cavaleiros

Forcado da Carvalha is a 5-year-old stallion bred in Portugal by Quinta da Carvalha and imported in 2013 (Qualificado – Infanta, Cravo). He was the IALHA National Champion of Lusitanos Three and Under, has shown to First Level and is schooling Second and Third Level movements. (Photo by Shaana Risley)

Wellington, FL (August 28, 2015) — Lusitano horses may well be considered the crusaders of the horse world. The Baroque breed known for bravery, strength, beauty and intelligence has rapidly converted a cadre of aficionados from a variety of disciplines to Lusitano lovers. The horse originating from Portugal has evangelized around the world and amassed a growing fan club. Across the globe, Lusitanos are rapidly gaining in popularity, especially in the sport of dressage.

High-performance dressage rider Carmen Elisa Franco, a Colombian transplant now based in South Florida, has been in the horse business for more than 25 years. After leaving Colombia, she trained in Germany, where she earned the Bereiter title in Warendorf. She’s ridden horses of all breeds including Warmbloods, Arabians and Thoroughbreds, but after getting to know Lusitanos in 2005, Franco is a full-fledged fan of the breed. She is now a dressage trainer for Haras dos Cavaleiros, a respected breeder of the Lusitano horse in the U.S.

“I was lucky enough to get involved with this breed a few years ago, and I have ridden both Portuguese and Brazilian lines,” she said. “It amazes me that all of them, no matter their age or training stage, are very kind and fun. They are suitable for amateurs because of that, and now we are seeing great sport horses that can go all the way to the top. Any professional would love to have one too.”

Franco began working with Haras dos Cavaleiros in 2013 when they imported a group of Lusitano stallions to the U.S. and owners Rafael Chavez and Carmina Zamorano asked her to look after the horses at the quarantine facility in Wellington, Florida. She later traveled to the breeder’s Texas location outside Houston in Magnolia to conduct clinics where Forcado da Carvalha, a Lusitano stallion imported from Portugal, and Donatello DC captured her attention and her heart. Chavez and Zamorano asked her to continue training the horses in dressage as well as compete.

“Working with Haras dos Cavaleiros’ horses has been a very rewarding experience,” Franco said. “Rafael and Carmina are very realistic about their horses and the program for each one of them. There is a lot of respect toward my decisions and total support for me as a person and as a professional. And one of the best things of working with them is the great team: the Haras Family.”

Chavez said the choice to have Franco train and compete his Lusitanos was a natural one.

“Wellington is a window for our horses,” he said. “It is where the sport of dressage is being done at the highest levels and we wanted to expose our horses to that.”

Franco travels to their operation in Magnolia at least twice a year to conduct dressage clinics for all levels of riders, where she teaches theory sessions as well as mounted lessons to the Lusitano faithful in Texas. Franco has clinics scheduled for September and November.

“The clinics have been always open to all breeds of horses but the Lusitanos are the most popular,” she said. “We have had horses and riders from beginners to experienced and it’s really fun to witness their progress. At the end, we all share the love of what we do and the horses that are so willing to let us work with them.”

Haras dos Cavaleiros operates Lusitano breeding farms in both Mexico and Texas, Lusitanos were originally bred for bullfighting and warfare, but now Chavez and Zamorano breed for a variety of disciplines including dressage and Working Equitation, a sport relatively new to the United States. Working Equitation is a discipline of versatility encompassing dressage, ease of handling, speed and cattle work, very much like the work of cowboys of the American West. Haras dos Cavaleiros’ commitment to the sport runs deep and they will again host the Haras Cup, the most important Working Equitation competition in the United States, Oct. 23-25. The Haras Cup draws competitors from the U.S. as well as international devotees of the sport.

“Haras’ focus is on developing versatile horses: the ones suitable for hobby or for competition,” Franco said. “We love to breed, to train and to show them. We keep some of the horses we breed and/or buy to bring them to the top of their abilities. Of course, sales of horses are one of our goals, but we like to sell them in the correct training stage and to the suitable client.”

For more information about Haras dos Cavaleiros, go to Check out the sport of Working Equitation and learn more about the Haras Cup at or

Contact: Carmen Elisa Franco
(954) 536-4264

Herzensdieb: Refinement, Rideability and Quality

Herzensdieb in Verden, Germany. Photos by Kiki Beelitz.

Dorum, Germany – December 15, 2014 – Herzensdieb was the licensing champion and crowd favorite at the 2005 Trakehner licensing in Neumünster, Germany. Breeding manager Lars Gehrmann commented on his basic gaits with the following words: “movement wouldn’t do it justice: he dances.” Herzensdieb finished the stallion performance test as Reserve Champion and, in the same year, won the Trakehner Championship for 3-year-old stallions. Successful qualifications for the National Championships were further milestones in his training. Meanwhile, he has trained up to advanced level. The fact that he is passing his natural qualities on to his offspring is reflected in the genetic evaluation of 142 points with 92 percent certainty.

History and resilience

In the winter of 1944, only a few survived the dramatic eviction for man and horse across the frozen lagoon and the over 1000 km march to the West. Of the original population of 30,000 animals, only 1,500 horses were left. This was the saddest and hardest selection breeding has ever seen. The surviving mares and stallions were extremely stress-resistant, tough and willing to perform, parameters that guarantee a breeding advantage.

What does this history have to do with Herzensdieb? A lot. One of the most important stallions of the Trakehner breed was Totilas, born in 1938. The mighty dark brown horse was born in 1938 in East Prussia and, after flight to the west, was used as a sire at the Panker stud farm. This Totilas stock was successfully maintained over decades at the oldest Trakehner stud farm, Gut Panker (1947). This is where Herzensdieb was born in 2003. “In his day, Totilas was one of the most important stallions,” confirmed the stud manager, Ms Veronika von Schöning.

Only the best Trakehner genes

The father of the top athlete is the elite stallion Tambour. The noble black stallion combines the best Trakehner performance blood in him and is one of the most influential descendants of the dressage dynasty of dressage stallion Arogno. Besides Herzensdieb, Tambour delivered the stallion performance test winner and German National Champion of Versatility, Herzog. In the estimation of breeding value, Tambour is among the top five percent of all dressage stallions in Germany. Tambour descends from Hohenstein I, who himself was successful in dressage sport up to the Prix St. Georges. Insterbur TSF, Münchhausen TSF, Hochadel and His Highness are just some examples of the immense power of the inheritance refinement of Hohenstein.

Tambour’s mother is the state premium mare and elite mare Tänzerin V (by Consul), who was chosen as the best mare in Schleswig-Holstein and in Warendorf in 1994 at the German National Mare Show as Ia winner. She gave birth to the licensed stallions Travell and Thalys.

In the third generation, the Herzensdieb pedigree boasts the line founder and dressage sire Consul by Swazi xx. The DLG champion and elite stallion of the Trakehner Association delivered several licensed sons, such as the champion stallion Seigneur and Reserve Champion Rockefeller.

Herzensdieb’s mother Herzensfreude is one of the pillars of the breed at the Panker stud farm. This elite Herz lineage is known for the excellent riding characteristics of its offspring. The mother of Herzensfreude, Herzenslust, was champion mare in Schleswig-Holstein and winner of her mare performance test.

In addition, there have been numerous licensed stallions from the H line from Panker stud farm, such as Herzenkönig, Herzbube and Herzfunke. The champion stallion Donauruf bred by Panker should be mentioned in considering the H line. He was the undisputed champion stallion and crowd favorite at the 50th Trakehner licensing.

“Totilas was a powerful, energetic stallion,” confirmed the stud manager and contemporary witness of the expulsion from Trakenen, Ms Veronika von Schöning. This East Prussian sire is found three times in the pedigree of Herzensdieb, and this is what makes him so valuable.

Herzensdieb2Outstanding quality for dressage

“A dressage horse of the first order,” agreed Herzensdieb’s rider Steffen Frahm and stallion owner Jens Meyer. The stallion came to Frahm for training as a five-year-old. “He made a trusting bond with the rider and wishes to do everything right,” Frahm said.

Because of his charm, spectators, judges and breeders alike are enthusiastic about him. “With his intelligence and rideability, he learned the technical lessons such as flying changes and half passes very quickly. That’s why preparing him for the upper levels is so fun,” said Frahm about the training.

Breeding expert Jens Meyer goes into raptures over the beautiful Trakehner – and not without reason. The three-year Herzensdieb daughter, Helmi (owned by Leatherdale Farm), has already been able to come away from the arena as winning mare at several breeding shows. Frahm has been training Helmi for only a short time and gushes that “she is our great new hope.”

Master rider Johann Hinnemann is equally enthusiastic: “I’m a Herzensdieb fan because I’ve already had some offspring from him and still do. What I’ve seen thus far in offspring from Herzensdieb is truly something special. ”

Strong breeding performance

Herzensdieb is a refiner in the form of an elite stallion. In recent years, he has delivered outstanding foals. His very first foal crop has earned him an excellent breeding value of 150 points.

He passes his high rideability on to his children. Herzensdieb’s daughter, Elfenzauber (dam of Budde Brock), yielded the best test result at the Hanoverian mare performance test in Elmlohe. Herzensdieb sired two mares presented in the Herwart-von-der-Decken Show. The Herzensdieb daughter Heartbreaker earned a very respectable second place for the proud owner from Australia.

Five daughters of Herzensdieb have become winners at mare shows. Two sons were licensed in Neumünster (Laxdoyen by Herzensdieb-Inster Graditz) and in Verden (Herzenswunsch by Herzensdieb-White Star). The father Tambour, a premium stallion and Trakehner elite stallion, sired two licensed sons. The mother St.Pr./El.St. Herzensfreude earned her SLP with a record overall score of 9.11. The grandmother St.Pr./El.St. Herzenslust is half-sister to the premium stallion Herzkristall (by Goldino). In all his offspring, a type and rideability refinement can be seen.

Master trainer Jonny Hilberath is impressed with Herzensdieb

“He is well along his way in training,” Hilberath said. “His offspring are making a splash. It is striking how many offspring of this stallion can be seen in foal markets, auctions and breed licensings. In young horse and novice tests, an improbably high number of Herzensdieb offspring are appearing. He is leaving an outstanding legacy in Trakehner breeding, Hanoverian breeding and overall in warmblood horse breeding.”

When asked about Herzensdieb’s significant ancestors such as Hohenstein and the highly concentrated bloodlines from the Trakehner stallion Totilas, Hilberath responded, “Herzensdieb is a very tough horse and passes on his mental strength in a positive way. All the Herzensdieb offspring that I have seen so far make a very bold impression. In addition, they are extremely rideable and performance-ready horses. Precisely because he has this noble ancestry, he passes this nobility on to his offspring. He is an absolute refining stallion.”

Due to the attractive gaits of Herzensdieb’s in-demand offspring, the international master trainer is convinced that “the affable elite stallion is passing on the quality of the basic gaits but also their potential for collection.”

When asked about further siring performance, Hilberath said: “He is indeed very well received in warmblood breeding. He produces big horses with a very good and correct foundation, and they all move very elastically and uphill. Herzensdieb is also wonderfully uphill built. You can set him up and see how correct he is. And they can hardly make him more beautiful. So, as I’ve said, I’ve seen many very good Herzensdieb offspring.”

“It is no coincidence that many reputable training facilities, such as those of Johann Hinnemann and Klaus Balkenhof, have stocked up with Herzensdieb offspring and been very satisfied with them. I hear that the horses give glimpses of their talents very early on in the in-hand work. So I think that we will be hearing quite a lot from these offspring in the future,” said the Herzensdieb fan Jonny Hilberath.

About Leatherdale Farms
Situated 20 minutes from Minneapolis, MN, Leatherdale Farms is a privately owned farm owned and managed by Louise and Doug Leatherdale and dedicated to Hanoverian, Trakehner and Oldenburg breeding. The Leatherdale family owns several licensed stallions based in Germany at Hengstation Jens Meyer: Hanoverians Dorum, the premium elite, Damsey (Dressage Royal), First Dance (Florestan II), Rob Roy (Rubin Royale), Hampton (His Highness), Beltano (Belissimo M); the premium elite Trakehner, Herzensdieb (Tambour); and the Oldenburg Fairbanks (Flemmingh). Frozen semen is available in North America and Europe. Leatherdale Farms was also the owner of the Licensing Hanoverian stallion His Highness, who died in 2007 and whose progeny is much appreciated all over the world.

To learn about Leatherdale Farms stallions in Europe, go to

For more information, go to


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EQUUS Foundation to Sponsor America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest

Lara Knight vaulting on Rob’s Rock (Photo by Sarah K. Andrew)

WESTPORT, CT – September 27, 2014 – The EQUUS Foundation will serve as the title sponsor of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest, the feature event of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover: A Marketplace and National Symposium, October 4 and 5 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

“This partnership with EQUUS Foundation is a great honor for us,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman. “EQUUS Foundation has created a network of very powerful and innovative institutions within the horse industry that collaborate in ways that truly benefit and celebrate horses. Animal Planet is one of those institutions, and we look forward to doing our part in mobilizing the voices of horse people to win the Animal Planet R.O.A.R. Matching Campaign on behalf of horses.”

Ten Thoroughbred ex-racehorses trained in ten riding disciplines will compete for the title and $10,000 in prize money. Online followers will vote for their favorite contestant from September 25-28 and again during the event itself. Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron, America’s first female jockey Diane Crump, and Hall of Fame show rider and leading Maryland racing trainer Rodney Jenkins will comment on the performances and question the trainers about their methods. The event can be viewed via live stream at

The contestants represent the sports of dressage (Nuno Santos with Now and Then), eventing (Phillip Dutton with Icabad Crane), foxhunting (Christy Clagett with Saba Rock), show jumpers (Armand Leone and New Vocations with Discreet Dancer), show hunters (Bev Strauss and Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue with D’Sauvage), polo (Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Marisa Bianchi with It’s A Little Chilli), ranch work (Dale Simanton with Rikim), barrels and western dressage (Patrick King with Pookie’s Princess), steeplechase (Jazz Napravnik with So Outspoken), and Pony Club (Hannah Gilhool with Mad Bomber).

Jessica Bortner-Harris on Win The War (Photo by Sarah K. Andrew)
Jessica Bortner-Harris on Win The War (Photo by Sarah K. Andrew)

“We wholeheartedly support the Retired Racehorse Project’s efforts to increase the demand for retired Thoroughbred racehorses and welcome the opportunity to help build public awareness through our sponsorship of the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest,” said EQUUS Foundation President Lynn Coakley.

For more information on the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest, click here.

About EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:, Website:

About Retired Racehorse Project

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) works to facilitate placement of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in the marketplace and inspiring an army of equestrians to provide the training that secures their futures. RRP offers online directories, educational resources, and public events including the Thoroughbred Makeover: A Marketplace and National Symposium on the first weekend of October at Pimlico Race Course.

Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386

Suzy Stafford Drives Friesians to Crowning Achievement at 2014 FHANA Keuring

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Terrey-Manderscheid.

Coatsville, PA (September 24, 2014) – Dubbed “the queens of the Keuring” by the Friesian horse community, Iron Spring Farm’s Evita ISF and Crystal Burr’s Ivanka Nicole performed to crowning achievement in front of the able hands of trainer and driver, Suzy Stafford, at the September 18 FHANA Keuring hosted at Iron Spring Farm in Coatesville, PA.

Stafford took Evita ISF, a five-year-old mare (Ulbert x Tonne Boszorg), owned by Iron Spring, to a driven IBOP performance score of 80.5 to earn the breed’s highest honors, Crowned mare status, and drove Ivanka Nicole, a four-year-old mare (Sipke x Weltsje fan de Lege Gaen), owned by Crystal Burr, to an IBOP score of 78.5 to sweep honors as Crowned mare, Champion mare and Grand Champion of the Day.

In the Friesian horse community, the Keuring is an annual inspection of horses traditionally conducted by officials of the Dutch Friesian Studbook of The Netherlands.

The IBOP test is open to horses 4 years and older and its objective is to establish a horse’s suitability for various uses and to do so with the greatest degree of objectivity. The driven test consists of a dressage type pattern which includes walk, trot, extended trot and canter.

“I broke Evita to harness in May. She took to it quite well,” said Stafford. “Her kind, settled nature makes her ideal for driving. She has a magnificent trot, with suspension and swing to spare. It’s a pleasure working with Evita and the staff at Iron Spring. They are passionate about their breeding program and a professionally run facility, with quality horses, makes my job easier.”

Evita came into the Keuring with “provisional Crown” status, having impressed judges in 2012 when her lovely gaits and conformation were first presented in-hand. To complete Crown status, she needed 75 points or above in the IBOP Driven Performance test. The judges, wowed by, as Stafford described, “her magnificent trot,” scored her 80.5 overall, easily giving the mare the score she needed.

“Ivanka came to me specifically to prepare for the IBOP Performance test. She is breath-taking, with presence and power,” Stafford said. “I wanted her in the best physical shape possible. She is a big mare with huge gaits and power to burn. As a young horse, she was sometimes overwhelmed by her own natural ability so I took time to strengthen her on hills to be sure she could carry all her natural power. This gave her the security and confidence she needed to show off her gaits here.”

The judges reflected their high praise of the young mare’s canter, impulsion and balanced transitions with a score of 78.5. Stafford returned with her later the same day to take her from 2nd Premie to 1st Premie, and assuring her eligibility for Champion of the day as well as consideration for Crown Status.

After presenting her to the judges for a more discerning assessment of her trot in-hand work, they were impressed with her overall movement, conformation, elegance and power and agreed to Crowning her. “This is astonishing for such a young mare to achieve this honor,” said Stafford, who add that the mare will continue her training with the multiple World and National carriage driving champion, with the goal of earning the mare’s Driven Sport Predicate.

Stafford2“I am excited to pursue a Sport Predicate Title in 2015 for Crystal and Ivanka. This mare loves to drive and I think we will all enjoy the journey! It gives me pleasure when an owner sees potential in their horse and is willing to give them all the opportunities they deserve to become a superstar.”

Stafford first stepped into the combined driving spotlight in 2004, becoming the youngest and first American driver to win individual Gold in an international driving competition, driving Bouncer to first place in the 2005 World Pony Driving Championships in England. Since then she has collected multiple World and National titles and remains deeply involved in her sport, training, competing and teaching students and holding clinics.

She operates Stafford Carriage Driving facility out of Chester County in Pennsylvania from April to December and in Ocala, Florida from January through April. To learn more, visit

Contact: Suzy Stafford
(302) 540 5162

Dutch and German Studbooks Dominate at Lanaken

Germany’s Christian Ahlmann steered the Westphalian gelding, Hui Buh, to victory in the six-year-old category at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2014 at Lanaken in Belgium today. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Lanaken (BEL), 21 September 2014 – The KWPN gelding, Earley, won the 5-Year-Old title, and the Westphalian gelding Hui Buh clinched the 6-Year-Old honours, but it was the 7-Year-old mare, Barnike, who stole the limelight on the final day of the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2014 at Lanaken in Belgium this evening. Because for the first time in the history of this prestigious event which highlights the talent of so many future stars, a back-to-back double of victories was recorded.

This time last year Barnike, representing the Dutch Ridinghorse and Pony Studbook, was only a novice and her young rider, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, was only beginning to reveal the extraordinary talent that saw him place individually seventh at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France two weeks ago. The pair returned to produce another winning performance today, and they have written their names into the Championship history books as the first partnership ever to do so.

Bad weather disrupted parking on the opening day of the event which draws huge crowds to the annual gathering of breeders, producers, riders, trainers, owners and experts from around the globe. But the all-weather competition arenas at Zangersheide Stud were unaffected, and the tented warm-up rings ensured shelter from the elements, so horses and riders enjoyed excellent conditions throughout the five-day fixture.


Just making it to the final competition is a huge achievement for any of the entrants at this event, and from the 237 starters in the 5-Year-Old category, a total of 44 made it into today’s medal-decider in which Earley (Harley VDL x Indorado) reigned supreme for the KWPN Studbook with Dutchman Maikel van Mierlo on board. There were 13 in the jump-off and it was the ground-eating stride of the massive 1.77cms-high bay horse that gave him the advantage. Bought as a three-year-old and now owned by H.M. van Raaij-Evertise, Earley finished third in 5-Year-Old division at this summer’s Dutch Championship. “He’s fast, he has such a big canter but he’s very controlled” said his rider today.

The silver medal went to the Irish Sport Horse mare Ard Ginger Pop (Luidam x Cruising) which was bred by Heather Dean in County Meath and which has been hugely successful on the Irish circuit under former rider Gerard O’Neill. In fact the horse has had such a superb run, counting the ISH Studbook Final title and the 5-year-old Championship at Dublin Horse Show this year among many other accomplishments, that new rider, Sweden’s Angelica Augustsson, felt under considerable pressure as the competition got underway today. Purchased for €95,000 at the Goresbridge Supreme Sale in Kilkenny earlier this month, Ard Ginger Pop is now co-owned by Carl Hanley and Ashford Farm’s Enda Carroll. She combines some of Ireland’s most-treasured genes with her dam, Derrylea Grey Lady, a daughter of Hartwell Stud’s Cruising who died earlier this month at the ripe old age of 29.

The bronze medal winner is wholly owned by the Belgian-based Ashford Farm whose rider, Marlon Zanotelli, is a rising star of Brazilian jumping and a member of the team that finished fifth at the world championships in Normandy. Just like Augustsson, Zanotelli only got the grey, Cool Carimo (Clamiro x Concerto ll), to ride 10 days ago, but Zanotelli described the Holsteiner gelding as “super-careful and an amazing character – he always wants to go for it!”

The 26-year-old rider complimented Eugene Mathy’s course design skills. “Last year there were 25 in the jump-off in this category, but this year there were only 13. The courses were cleverly built over the three days. On the first day the time was very tight and you had to really ride forward all the way. Today the fences were very high – you needed some real horsepower and the horses needed to have experience,” Zanotelli pointed out.


Germany’s Christian Ahlmann has only ridden the 6-year-old champion, Hui Buh (Cornado 1 x Paramo K), at “a few small shows” and described today’s victory as “unexpected”. Course designer Mathy whittled down the 42-strong first-round startlist to just nine for the jump-off here, and it was a close-fought affair with the Westphalian Hui Buh pipping the Oldenburg Caspar Blue (Chacco-Blue x Freihert), ridden by Austrian teenager Carola Wegener, by just 0.07 seconds.

Ahlmann could feel quite at home, however, as he also rides the sire of today’s winner, Cornado l. A total of 273 horses started out in this category last Thursday.

In both the 6 and 7-year-old Finals, both the open water and the triple combination proved difficult for many horses. There was a take-off pole at the water for the 6-year-olds, but this was removed for the older horses.

Wegener’s result was remarkable as she is just 16 years old and was still riding in pony classes last season. Based in Osnabruck, Germany, this talented young lady is trained by her parents, and when Caspar Blue was bought from his breeder last March, Carola took him to the Bundeschampionnat in Warendorf, Germany where he finished ninth to qualify for the 2014 FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships Final.

Wegener described today’s final test as “long and difficult for a six-year-old,” and she insisted that she arrived in Lanaken “with no ambition at all!” However, she realised that friends and family had high expectations of both herself and her horse when they all turned up in supporters t-shirts this week – “That made me nervous, I can tell you!” she said after securing the coveted silver medal.

Bronze went to the KWPN grey gelding Dacantos (Griseldi x Puccini) ridden by Patrick Lemmen who has been working for the horse’s co-owner and former international rider, Henk van den Broek, for the past nine years. Lemmen went early in the jump-off and gave it his all, but finished almost a full second behind silver medal spot.


There were 236 starters in the first 7-year-old class last Thursday in which the fences stood 1.25m tall, but the 32 that made the cut into today’s finale faced a considerably more demanding 1.45m track. A total of 10 went into the jump-off, but only one managed to leave all the poles in place at their second attempt. And Allen was leaving nothing to chance when posting the quickest time of 41.33 seconds to clinch it with last year’s six-year-old champion, Barnike (Baldwin B x Animo).

He was fourth-last to go and took all the risks in the knowledge that some of those following him might also stay clear, but none of them would, Christian Ahlmann steering Casuality Z (Cassini lll x Chellano Z) was 0.17 seconds slower to take the silver medal for Zangersheide Stud. There was a key turn to an oxer that proved expensive for many who couldn’t make the spread when cutting too tight. But when Allen won the Dublin Grand Prix this summer with his lovely grey mare, Molly Malone, it was a similar turn that gave him the advantage and, once again, the young man who sensationally won the opening speed competition at the world championships earlier this month demonstrated his skill and precision when bringing Barnike home the clear winner.

The rider who is based in Muenster, Germany at the yard previously owned by Irish international, Jessica Kuerten, talked about Barnike’s career since last year’s victory. “We did a few shows after Lanaken and they went well, but then she had a long rest of three or four months before starting again, and it took longer to bring her back this time. She was too fresh at first, but eventually she improved. I wasn’t expecting to win when I brought her here this time though!” Allen said.

“I took risks and the mare jumped even better against the clock – I think she likes to run!” he added. He said Barnike has speed and quality, but that he is unsure about her scope. However, he also said the same thing about Molly Malone who has taken him right to the very top of the sport.

Bronze here went to Sweden’s Niklas Arvidsson with the Swedish Warmblood stallion Hasard (Heartbeat x Voltaire) which, like Ahlmannn’s gelding Casuality, returned with four faults on the board but in the slower time of 44.46 seconds. “Hasard was breeding and also competing this year, but next year we will use frozen semen and focus more on the sport,” Arvidsson said.

Five-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Earley (Maikel van Mierlo) NED 0/0 36.99; SILVER – Ard Ginger Pop (Angelica Augustsson) SWE 0/0 37.48; BRONZE – Cool Clarimo (Marlon Zanotelli) BRA 0/0 38.85.

Six-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Hui Buh (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/0 33.45; SILVER – Caspar Blue (Carola Wegener) AUT 0/0 33.52; BRONZE – Decantos (Patrick Lemmen) NED 0/0 34.67.

Seven-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Barnike (Bertram Allen) IRL 0/0 41.33; SILVER -Casuality Z (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/4 41.50; BRONZE – Hasard 1245 (Niklas Arvidsson) SWE 0/4 44.46.

Full results at

By Louise Parkes

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Grania Willis
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Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 133

Connemaras Come to the Virginia Horse Center

Lexington, VA – August 11, 2014 – The native ponies of Ireland were well represented at the American Connemara Pony Society’s Region III Show, July 26-27, at the Virginia Horse Center. Pony owners flocked to the Horse Center from Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Delaware.

The two-day show included dressage classes, jumper classes, in-hand breed classes, hunter classes, a trail class and a lively games section. This year, the show also hosted an Inspection of Connemara breeding stock.

Upholding the Connemara motto, “Connemaras do it all,” the classes were well filled, with 57 dressage rides judged by Tracey Smith-Oliver. The final ride of the day was a six-Connemara musical ride done by young riders from Balmullo Farm in Richmond, VA. A new and novel games class, the Champagne Class for vintage riders, asked senior riders to follow the judge’s commands while holding a champagne-filled glass; whoever had spilled the least was declared the winner (of the champagne and a ribbon too).

While the performance classes are always important, for the region’s Connemara breeders, the in-hand classes are where the competition gets tough. The judge this year, Sarah McRae of Vermont noted that the quality of the Connemaras was exceptionally high in each class, and that her job was especially difficult. The “Best Connemara of the Day”, the chosen label for the In-Hand Champion, was Thurman Sileach, bred and owned by Barbara Byrd of Berryville, VA.

Also included in the show is a division for the Mountain and Moorland ponies. Those are described as the native ponies of the British Isles, and this year, there were Highland, New Forest, Welsh Cob and Dartmoor ponies. The Connemara is also a native Mountain and Moorland breed, but the rules for those divisions do not allow the host breed to compete in the classes. The Mountain and Moorland ponies did enter the performance classes and of course, the trail and games.

One of the most coveted of the class awards is the Egg and Spoon Trophy, a sterling spoon, with a Connemara marble egg, mounted on a lovely walnut base. This trophy has been hotly contested for the 27 years the show has existed. This year, it took walking, trotting, cantering, and not one, but two jumps to dislodge enough eggs to pin the class!

The competitors loved the feeling at the Virginia Horse Center, utilizing the North (Speed) Arena and an extra warm up arena. The Horse Center’s new food truck made its debut, and it received rave reviews from diners. Attendees also took advantage of the catering service, and the horse show hosted a seated dinner for 120 guests in the Mezzanine – a great way for the owners, riders and organizers to spend some time without a pony at the end of the line.

“The food was brilliant. We were so impressed; we are returning to that venue for our ACPS Annual Meeting in October,” said Marynell Eyles, the Connemara show organizer. “Our after-show survey was highly complimentary of the good service the VHC provided, and the affair was acclaimed a success. If anyone who reads this is contemplating a show, our experience has been excellent.”

About the Virginia Horse Center

The Virginia Horse Center (VHC) hosts over 100 equine events a year. In 2013, VHC provided 51,455 stable nights with an estimated 205,000 guest days and a combined local economic impact estimated at over $53 million statewide and $37 million in Lexington and Rockbridge County.

The VHC is situated on a 573-acre site with 8 barns to accommodate 750 horses in permanent stabling. Indoor stabling can be increased to 1,200 horses with the use of temporary stalls. VHC hosts 19 show rings, including two large arenas and a five mile Olympic cross country course. Four of the VHC barns are winterized with close access to the 4,000 seat indoor coliseum. VHC is recognized for the excellent footing of its show rings and the durable construction of the concrete stalls. VHC also offers camping facilities and on-site food and beverage services.

For more information on the Virginia Horse Center, please visit

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Wellington, FL 33414
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Two Six-Year-Olds from Parra’s Performance Farm to Represent the USA at Verden

Cesar Parra and Fiderhit (Courtesy of Susan J. Stickle)

Whitehouse Station, NJ(June 30, 2014) – Piaffe Performance’s two young Oldenburgs have been rising stars throughout their careers, and now they will be going international. Fiderhit OLD and Fashion Designer OLD have been invited to represent the United States in Verden, Germany at the 2014 FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses, held August 6-10. Both horses are also eligible for an automatic invitation to the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships, the United States’ national championship for young horses.

Fiderhit OLD is a 6-year-old mare by Fidertanz out of a Sandro Hit mare that began her career with Piaffe Performance as a 3-year-old. Owned by Michael and Sarah Davis, she earned impressive scores during this year’s 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, including an 86.2% in the FEI 6-year-old Test to win the class. Under the guidance of head rider and trainer Dr. Cesar Parra, Fiderhit OLD placed 3rd in last year’s Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, placed second at the Dressage at Devon CDI, and finished 2nd in the 5-year-old division in the USDF Horse of the Year standings.

Fashion Designer OLD, a 6-year-old gelding by Faustinus and out of a DeNiro mare, was the Markel/USEF 5-year-old National Champion in 2013 and won the 5-year-old Division at the Dressage at Devon CDI, and was the top ranked horse in the USDF Horse of the Year standings for the 5-year-olds. Ridden by Nadine Burberl and owned by Martin Sosnoff and Dr. Cesar Parra, Fashion Designer OLD also had numerous high placings at the Global Dressage Festival this winter.

Following the Global Dressage Festival, and with both his young horses ranked first and second in the nation, Dr. Cesar Parra was quoted as saying, “Believe me, we have not seen the best from these horses yet.” It would seem his sentiment was accurate as both now are aimed at success on the international stage in Verden. “The talent in these two horses is unbelievable,” said Parra. “They demonstrated that time and again in Florida this season, and it is an honor for us to have been selected to represent the US in Verden.”

Parra and the Davis’s Van the Man were recently one of only 15 horse and rider combinations selected to compete at the 2014 US Dressage Festival of Champions at the United States Equestrian Team Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. With two facilties operating out of both Whitehouse Station and Jupiter, Florida, the staff at Piaffe Performance focuses on training horses and riders in classical dressage methods, as well as choosing, showing, and selling high-quality sport horses.

To find out more about Piaffe Performance and the services it provides, visit, or call the New Jersey facility at (908) 534-4700 or the Florida facility at (561) 748-1472.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352