Tag Archives: competition nerves

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BADMINTON CROSS COUNTRY… REVISITING THE PAST

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Welcome to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 

Wed 1st- Sun 5th May 2019

 

This week Horse Scout got a sneak peek at the cross-country course for the 70thedition of Badminton Horse Trials. “It feels like something we might have seen 25 years ago” was how Hugh Thomas described it. Big open ditches, making full use of the lips, dips, mounds, general topography and natural features of this beautiful park. This is a course that retains that “ride on your wits” cross-country feel which it has once again become famed for in recent years.

 

Eric Winter is now in his third year as course designer of Badminton and his philosophy in course design has remained the same throughout. “My aim is to put to the test, the relationship between horse and rider and the training of the horse.”

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The course runs clockwise around the park this year. As always, riders will start in the main arena before heading out to the Staircase fence- a sizeable log parallel down the two stone steps and a tight left turn to another log parallel. “It is an open start to the course to allow riders to get into a rhythm. Unlike last year where there were some early challenges, I didn’t want to break the rhythm early.”

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Things start to get pretty serious by fence 10- The Shogun Sport Hollow. After a long gallop which could be influential before a particularly technical fence, there is a funneling pagoda to direct riders to a narrow coffin ditch which is eerily, even the shape of a coffin, and a left or right choice of chunky, narrow tree trunks out. This is where the new FEI red flag rule could come into play. Where riders will be penalized 15 penalties if the whole horse does not pass between red and white flags- so that is shoulders as well as hindquarters. A rule which has not been well received by leading riders, course designers and officials… who shall remain nameless!

 

Fence 11 and 12 is the massive KBIS Bridge over the infamous Vicarage Ditch. The double numbering allows for a two jump escape route. The next fence has been used in some form at Badminton since 1949 and this year involves the notorious bank followed by a narrow brush roll top.

 

The Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner follows. Whilst impressive to the spectator, it’s big log over gaping ditch should not cause too many problems at this level. Then on to the Hildon Water Pond at 15ab which is perhaps a little softer than previous years with a big drop in before turning to a log trough in the water. Eric describes this as a run and jump fence and a bit of a let up before another tricky part of the course. Possibly an opportunity to make up time, although Eric pointed out that in the last two years of running, not one combination of horse and rider had finished on their dressage score.

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The Vicarage Ditch to the Mirage Water at 17abc and 18 is possibly one of the greatest challenges on course. An enormous right-angled corner is proceeded by an open ditch situated on a dip in the bank which will definitely unsettle some horses. Then a level four strides to another fearsome corner fence. “This is the sort of fence you would see 40 years ago- we could see all sorts of jumps over the ditch which adds to the unpredictability of the course,” Eric says.

 

There is no let up just yet and 19ab, the Nyetimber Heights involves a steep slope to an airy brush on top of a mound. Before plummeting down into the dip and up for a choice of four narrow scrubbing brush skinnies.

 

Finally, there is a course let-up fence at 20 before rider head on to three asymmetric corners in a row at the YoungMinds Brushes. YoungMinds- who help young people with mental illness and struggles is the chosen charity at this year’s event.

 

Fence 24 is an impressive affair to give riders their first taste of the infamous Badminton Lake. The jump is basically a large parallel but the design, with a pump station extending over the Lake to create a waterfall effect, which might unsettle some horses. Especially when added to the considerable crowd that always flock to the Lake. The brush fence in has been pulled back so riders land on grass before entering the Lake, then a step up and the iconic Mitsubishi pick-ups which this year have a trailer attached with dome-shaped spruce which is the part jumped by riders and horses.

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The Lakeside spectators get value for money as riders double back to the Wadworth Lower Lake at 26, a triple bar approached through the water.  After an inviting hedge comes the Voltaire Design Huntsmans Close which involves a birch parallel to a birch spread corner on a right turn.

 

To avoid a flat out gallop Eric has the Eclipse Cross Chicane (29 ab), two open ditch brushes on a U bend out and in of the deer park before the HorseQuest Quarry (30 ab) looms. This is less complicated than in recent years. In over the stone wall to a drop then up and out over a second wall.

 

Even though we are nearly home, Badminton is no place for complacency and we have seen many a rider tip up in the final few fences. The Hayracks at 31ab a roll top spread to a roll top skinny, then fence 32 the Rolex Trunk which is a sculpted log.

 

Back into the arena is the Mitsubishi Final Mount at 33, a fence designed by a member of the public for a competition a few years ago, where riders jump a pair of sculpted wooden saddles.

 

As ever a good completion will be an exhilarating experience for both the old pros and especially for those whose first experience of Badminton this will be.

 

 

Mind Games

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MIND GAMES

Success in Equestrian sport is rarely achieved without careful preparation. Although by the word “preparation” we mean something beyond gymnastic jumping exercises and perfecting your square halt. Mental preparation and controlling nerves, is so often the difference between winning and losing. You would not be alone in thinking “how do I replicate what I do at home at a competition?”

Charlie Unwin is a leading sports psychologist who has been helping a number of elite riders and Olympic athletes from a number of sports. As part of the World Class Programme, he also helps the British Eventing Team from Young Riders up to Seniors.

 

After Military training at Sandhurst, Charlie started his professional life in the Army. During this time he served in Iraq as a platoon Commander. Upon leaving the Army, he focused on his passion for sport and begun training to become an elite Modern Pentathlete. Within two years, he was selected to go to the World Championships for the British team and in 2007 he was crowned National Champion. With this background, it is fair to say that no one understands pressure and nerves better than Charlie. We are lucky enough to have him as one of our advocates and here he sheds some light on mind management for riders.

“I help people recreate their best under pressure” he states. “Most people come because of nerves or a loss of devotion. Nerves can manifest in so many different ways but ultimately the common problem is that they are not able to recreate what they do at home.”

 

You have many forms of psychology and help out there but Charlie’s approach is a scientific one.

“There are two important areas of the brain at play when it comes to performing at your best, the emotional brain and the rational brain. The emotional brain represents the “Driving Force” of our performance, whilst the rational represents our “Guiding Force”. The driving force is both good and bad. It is the reason we get out of bed. It gives us energy and motivation. Yet it also makes us aware of perceived risks and can create fear and frustration, sometimes getting out of control. The guiding force concerns our focus and capacity to think clearly about what really matters. It makes us prioritize and do what is really important. The driving force is significantly stronger than the guiding force, meaning that emotion trumps logic if we don’t learn to manage our mind. This typically requires planning and visualization skills designed to help riders think correctly despite feeling nervous.

An example is where highly motivated and aspirational people struggle to channel their motivation effectively. The danger here is being high energy but fragile control or confidence. Then I need to work on their focus to prepare and plan. I also see people who are consumed by fear, for whatever reason. They become scared to make decisions. Some people like tips and techniques to help them but the most important thing is that they understand why they are doing it.

 

In addition, I am also trying to help riders tune into their intuition, tapping into their vast reservoir of experience that cannot always be expressed consciously. When a rider is learning their trade, they go through a process of making corrections. If these are well thought out, e.g “why did that happen when I did this”. The enhanced connections in the brain allow them to develop better intuition. So if a young rider only cares about results and less about mastering their sport, they end up compromising the thinking required to train the brain. So often, after a lesson a rider will untack, load up and not do much reflection on why something went well or badly. In avoiding this, they have not allowed their brain to process everything they have just done. In order to make something become intuitive, a rider should write down their plans and objectives before and after sessions as well as how it went and what made the difference. They should have coaching conversations with instructors about how things went, not just in the saddle.

 

I encourage riders to do the thinking and planning up front, before even getting on. This is so that when you are in the saddle, you just focus on feel. Often experienced riders stop trusting their intuition because they start to over-analyse things whilst on board. When you are coming down to The Lake at Badminton, you can’t afford to be thinking about too much other than how you are going to approach the fence. If the horse deviates from the line, it should be your intuitive riding that corrects this as your subconscious will react faster than your conscious mind.

 

It is important for riders to empty their minds in order to deliver the best performance. When you are in the start box or about to enter the arena, if you are uncertain about your plan and focus, you are not going to be able to ride to your best. At a base level, daily meditation is the best way to clear your mind as it allows us to access the more unconscious parts of the mind responsible for intuition. The app Headspace is great for this.

 

Equestrians are perhaps the most guilty of “doing, doing, doing”. The price paid can be a lack of reflection and therefore undermines their ability to judge the intrinsic quality of their work and make changes for the better. When I was a pentathlete, I was striving to do five sports well and you often don’t stop and reflect. Then I realised I was substituting quality practice for quantity and changed my training plan. I halved the amount of technical training but was more diligent at planning it. The training I did was more intensive and focused and I meditated before each training session. My results shot up and I started achieving things I didn’t think were possible.

 

Top riders like Michael Jung seem to follow this strategy. He doesn’t do many competitions but each one has a focus and a goal. He is very diligent about planning and when he trains, it is with real intensity.

 

We are creatures of habit and some people find it scary to stop what they are doing and reflect on what it actually takes to improve.

 

If you found this interesting, Charlie Unwin offers an online programme of podcasts and webcasts on mind management and controlling nerves.

 

Subscribe at https://www.performancelegacy.com/equestrian or join Charlie Unwin Psychology Coach on Facebook.

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

Image taken from https://www.performancelegacy.com/about

PREPARING FOR BADMINTON: EXCLUSIVE INSIGHT

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Horse Scout catches up with two of their sponsored riders, Joseph Murphy and Gubby Leech, to find out what the month prior to riding at Badminton involves.

 

Most event riders grow up dreaming of riding at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials, based in the heart of the Cotswolds. It takes years, sometimes decades of training and hard graft to reach the required 4* level and earn those elusive FEI points to be applicable to enter.

Horse Scout asks two of their sponsored riders, Joseph Murphy and Gubby Leech to provide insight into the one month leading up to the big event.

 

The horse’s training

Joseph Murphy, Irish Olympic event rider, is entered to ride Sportsfield Othello, a 16 year old gelding by Ricardo Z and out of Moyview Lady and co-owned with the brilliantly supportive Alison Schmutz.

Joseph explained that the first two weeks of April are focused on reaching the horse’s fitness goals with a mixture of galloping and swimming to build cardiovascular fitness and stamina. He gallops ‘Frankie’ every 3rd and 5th day followed by a swim and always icing the legs afterwards to reduce inflammation and prevent injury. In fact, Joseph ices the legs of all his horses after they are ridden each day. This fortnight is a ‘scary time for injuries’ said Joseph, and when you would look to do any necessary veterinary work to ensure the horse is in optimal condition.

This intense fitness work will then taper right down and the last two weeks of April focus on technical training, practising dressage movements from the test, agility jumping and specific exercises to fine tune the horse.

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Gubby Leech, British 4* event rider, is entered on Antoinette Denham-Harding’s 12 year old ISH gelding Xavier, by Clover Echo and out of Knightfield Sally.

Gubby is based at the quiet and beautiful Clarendon Park Estate in Wiltshire. He does all his fitness training on the forgiving old turf in the grounds of the estate. There is a perfectly steep hill that Gubby does repetitions galloping up and letting Xavier rest on the way down. They do fitness work every four days and will have their last gallop on the Saturday before Badminton week, with a ‘pipe opener’ after dressage on the Friday afternoon. Gubby said ‘Xavier is a strong and electric horse’ so he puts a lot of work into him to keep the extra fizz to a minimum! The technical training involves weekly dressage training with Lizzie Murray throughout April and showjumping training with William Fox-Pitt. Xavier is a keen horse in the ring, sometimes making up too much ground in combinations. Practising grid exercises at home helps him to shorten his stride in doubles and trebles, especially if the course builder likes to use short distances.

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The horse’s well-being

Joseph will turn ‘Frankie’ out every day on his own so he can have a pick of grass, relax and feel the sun on his back. Joseph chooses not to put protective boots on when turning Frankie out because he tends to be sensible in the field and he would rather keep the legs cool. Regular massages and some physiotherapy throughout April also help get Frankie in the best physical condition possible.

Gubby entrusts the multi-skilled Sue Devereux to keep Xavier in good condition. Sue is an equine vet, chiropractor and acupuncturist who will treat Xavier 2-3 times this April using a variety of techniques. In the stable, Xavier wears a magnetic rug and magnetic boots to optimise blood flow and recovery. He is turned out ‘bootless’ from the time he is ridden in the morning until 8pm when the horses get late feeds. This turnout time helps Xavier chill out and unwind.

Feeding

Joseph is very intuitive and he judges visually and by the feel of the horses on whether their feed needs increasing or decreasing. He monitors each horse closely to ensure it is fed the right mix of hard feed, haylage and supplements. Joseph slightly increases the feed on Frankie’s hardest days of work. Two weeks before Badminton Frankie’s feed regime will be set and won’t change leading up to the event. Joseph uses top quality feeds, Mervue supplements and he brings his own haylage over to Badminton from his base in Northern Ireland.

Like Joseph, Gubby also uses quality supplements to support the nutritional requirements of his horses.  Gubby uses an organic lucerne which is soaked first and helps keep Xavier hydrated, in addition to using high quality linseed, a balancer and electrolytes. Xavier receives 3 feeds a day whilst having his weight, condition and energy closely monitored. He can very quickly go off his food at competitions so it is a fine art making sure he gets what he needs!

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Rider Fitness

Joseph rides all day long from the moment he wakes to the end of the day. He regularly competes 5 horses a day, even at Intermediate and Advanced level, meaning he is extremely fit from his time in the saddle. However, Joseph does extra core stability exercises to help improve his position, balance, core and overall fitness. He is following a 6 week core stability programme and he does the exercises before bed. Did you ever wonder what gives Andrew Nicholson, otherwise known as ‘Mr Stickability’ his amazingly secure seat? The answer is having a rock solid core.

Gubby is in the saddle riding horses back to back all day until the moment he gets home. Having two young children means most of his evening is spent overseeing bath-time and coaxing them to go to sleep! Gubby focuses on eating as healthy as possible, cutting out sugar and only has the occasional drink at special occasions, in order to maintain his perfect competition weight. His wife Sarah is an organic girl so the family gets fed very well!

 

Rider Mindset

Gubby has previously entered Badminton twice but sadly had to withdraw the horses before the event on both occasions. Combining this with a good Burghley experience in 2016 for this duo, Gubby feels ready. He is ‘in a good space, riding well and has a good partnership’ with his ride, Xavier.

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Increasingly, top athletes are using Sports Psychologists to help give them the competitive edge. People talk about ‘marginal gains’ and this simply means that if you have a group of athletes, in this case riders, who are all equally talented on paper with equally talented horses, the rider who wins is the person who performs best on the day. Good sleep and being well rested, thriving under pressure, feeling confident, and focusing only on your performance and not worrying about those around you, are all factors that determine a rider’s overall performance. Doing these things well can make all the difference.

Joseph works with Charlie Unwin, Olympic Performance Psychologist across five sports. Since working with Charlie at the start of 2017, Joseph has been out winning most weekends this season and has never looked better! The work with Charlie helps Joseph to focus on what matters most when it comes to performance and to successfully block out all other distractions.

Horse Scout would like to thank Joseph and Gubby for sharing some of their practises and we wish them the best of luck for May! We look forward to an exciting four days of competition and wait in anticipation to see the new cross country course designed by Eric Winter. Only one question remains- who will be holding the famous Badminton trophy come Sunday afternoon?

 

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Catherston Liberator Thoroughbred Event Stallion

A Thoroughbred Stallion for Eventing Catherston Liberator

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A Thoroughbred Stallion for Eventing Catherston Liberator is the ideal improver Stallion

A Thoroughbred Eventing Stallion with so many strings to his bow.  Not only has he had a very successful career in a wide range of disciplines but his progeny too are showing clear star quality themselves.

Top sire young horses aged 4-8 ranked 14 (296 points) and 10th with 397 points in 2013 with British Eventing

Catherston Liberator shows just why he is the thoroughbred stallion for eventing with his own concrete career in the event world gaining  66 points British Eventing and in the money at every event in his last season and taking 12 points for each of his last three wins at Longleat, Wilton and Somerly Park Intermediates.

 

In 2007 cousins, Catherston Dazzler (x Welton Gazelle Catherston Liberators Grand dam) and Catherston Liberator where both ranked in the Futurity Stallion Rannkings for three progeny with the highest scores as Dressage Sires

 

Catherston Liberator is an impressively well made stallion with the classic good looks of the best of thoroughbreds. His head and neck are set well on a good shoulder with a great coupling front to back and he stands four square.  He raced for eight years proving just how good his conformation is and how well his lovely well made legs have served him.

A Career that proves Catherston Liberator is the right Throughbred Stallion for Eventing Breeding

He followed racing with a career in Dressage (435 points: Advanced) and also taking a fair sized pot in the showjumping arena (£346: Grade C) and finished at the top of his game in Eventing (66 points: Advanced). Not content to rest on his laurels he has since been a schoolmaster at Advanced Medium for Jennie Lorsiton Clarks daughter and also taken the ribbons in Veteran Classes at the National Hunter Show classes too.

He has returned from Langaller Farm in Bovey Tracey, after five years, to stand at Catherston Stud and would make a valuable contribution to both amateur and professional breeding programmes.

Breeding that makes a Thoroughbred Stallion right for Eventing

Catherston Dazzlers’ sire Liboi ran 71 races both on the flat and over hurdles. He won 10 races and was placed in 23. That is a seriously impressive success rate!.  He was also a tough thoroughbred who retired sound despite an intense career on the track. He certainly deserved his Champion TB Stallion at the Ponies of Britain Show in both 1984 and 85.  He also took the reserve Champion (over 14.2hh) at the Essex County Show in 1987.

Loboi sired winners in both flat and hurdle racing and also in the show ring.  His other noteworthy progeny is the Graded Stallion Grand Prix Dressage Catherston Humbug.

His dam, Catherston Jetstream, had great breeding lines.  By the Dutch horse Jashin, who was sire of Olympic horse Sunny Boy and Beau Bravado.  Catherston Jetstream was a very successful Show Jumper with earning £2,000 in winnings.  Catherson Jetstream bred 5 foals. Her own progeny taking top places at Futurity  and her daughter Catherston Dream Machine bred Catherston What A Dream, a sliver medal British Warmblood who competed at Small Tour and also Catherston Springstream who took Champion Hunter as a foal and is successfully competing BSJA.

 

For Breeders looking for Catherston Liberator , he stands at the Catherston in Stockbridge, Hampshire and has a Stallion profile on Horse Scouts’ website.  Use this link to find out more about his successful progeny.

 

http://134.213.137.168/horses/profile/280

Tamarillo

Tamarillo: Such Sad News

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It is so sad to hear that the legendary Event Horse Tamarillo has been put to sleep.  William Fox Pitt rode this wonderful horse to victory eventing at the top eventing venues, both nationally and internationally.

He was not, according to William, the easiest of rides…but it seems he was consistent and William certainly made the best of him. Looked after by The Fox Pitts’ wonderful head girl Jackie Potts at the Fox Pitts yard in Dorset, Jackie played a large part in his life. William said “he had an incredible presence, he was one in a million and I feel very lucky to have partnered him for all those special years” and there are many in the event world who will mourn his passing. Horse Scout would like to pass on its own sympathies to William, The Guiness’ and to Jackie Potts in particular.

Tamarillo was bred at the Biddesdon Stud by the Guinness family. Having started his career with Diana Burgess at Tweezledown in 1997 Tamarillo had nine years at the top of his game. William took the ride on him in 1999 and his eventing career went from good to brilliant after his first three day event in 2000 where he took 1st at Blarney Castle CCI** and also 2nd at Blenheim in the ***.

Two years later Team GB took bronze at the World Equestrian Games in Athens; the same year that he also won Badminton, the worlds seminal **** course.

He went on to take impressive prizes for William and the Guinness’s, including Team Gold at the Blenheim European Eventing Championships in 2005, Team silver at the World Equestrian Games, Aachen in 2006 and he finished his career with a 1st at Burghley CCI**** in 2008.

This impressive Gelding was out of Mary Guiness’s eventing mare Mellita (campaigned by Lucinda Green) who is also the dam of their lovely part arab event stallion Persiflage. His Sire is a Polish Thoroughbred endurance Stallion called Tarnik who was just over a 1/4 Arab and won had the 26-mile Arab Horse Society Marathon.(find out more about Persiflage here on his Horse Scout stallion listing).

For the breeding world and Biddesdon Stud it was apparent that Tamarillo had a good genetic make up and in 2013 the Guiness family were delighted to welcome Tomatillo, Tamarillos’ clone, into the world.  He was born in New Mexico and has now moved, with his surrogate dam to a stud farm in New Jersey.  The Biddesdon Stud will, in time, bring him home to the UK.  He is a colt foal and whilst his competitive career is not, as yet, mapped out, it is certain, however, that, all things being equal, Biddesdon Stud will be breeding from him.

Exclusive: Event Stallion

Performance Sports Event Stallion: Exclusive

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A covetable stallion, Exclusive offers his first offspring this year.

Exclusive is a good looking Dutch Warmblood Stallion with Emily Llewellyn, known as Kevin at home, at Paddock Woods Stud. Standing 16.2hh, this handsome black event horse is a proven performance Eventing Stallion with the best British blood lines.

Campaigned by The Mayfly Syndicate, Exclusive won the Novice at Chatsworth International Horse Trials earlier this month.

British Eventing Magazine describe Exclusive as ‘A covetable black stallion’ with some very good British Eventing results to date, including winning his first novice at five years old. He has five foals due this year.

Emily Llewellyn says she bought Exclusive at the Brightwells sales, because he looked like Totilas!” Exclusive is proving a well judged buy – “He’s so confident within himself” said Emily “but the best part is how reliable he is on a day-to-day basis. He just comes out and works the same every day.”

Paddock Wood Stallions describe Exclusive as a lovely genuine and very talented young stallion. He is a beautiful modern type and combines the most laid back approach to life with a huge enthusiasm to work and to please. He is a lovely gentle nature and very straightforward to ride. This is his second season at stud, his first crop are due this spring.

We have great hopes for him in his Eventing career. In 2014 he had outstanding form and was only out of the top 10 once; he won his first Novice and won several other events. Exclusive is listed in the top 20 BE stallions for 2014 and is now a licensed stallion with Breeders Elite Studbook.

Exclusives sire Warrant made his international debut under Henk van der Pol in the winter of 2011/12, performing very well at 1.50 level, and now 1.60m. In April 2012 he was 10th in the Dutch Championships, by far the least experienced competitor at this level.

Meanwhile his eldest offspring, Wiranta Z, has been sold to Stuart Harvey in England and is impressing hugely. With Exclusive Grand Sire also proving himself as a top performance horse and sire of elite offspring.


Click here to view Exclusive’s profile on Horse Scout

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Horse Scout Profile Britannia's Mail

British Eventing Stallion: Britania’s Mail

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British Eventing Stallion: Britannia’s Mail is proving himself and so are his progeny this season

British Eventing Stallion Britannia’s Mail is Lucinda Fredericks’ Elite syndicated stallion graded SHB (GB), a British Sports Horse standing 16.1hh by Olympic Show Jumper Jaguar Mail out of triple 4* winner and Olympic Medallist Headley Britannia.

Britannia’s Mail has proven to have the potential to be a top event horse. He has been clear in all BE events with Lucinda riding, including 12 novices and two 1* last season and with 14 points under his belt already this season he is competing well in intermediate classes.

Britania’s Mail will be aimed at 2* level in 2015 with the World Young Horse Championships as his main goal,

Britania Mail has to be the No 1 choice stallion for 2015 with his stunning looks; he is a beautiful mover with an exceptional technique over a fence and is quick and nimble across country.
Lucinda Fredericks’ Eventing Stallions rightly say that Britannia’s Mail is the ‘modern next generation stallion of choice for breeding for eventing or show jumping’.

His first three years competing have shown him to be consistent and improving. Britanias’ Mail has been a Burghley Event Horse finalist two years running (3rd place in the 5 year olds) and was also in the four and six year old final at Osberton in 2012.

He will continue to compete together with his sister Little Britannia around the UK and in Europe this season. He is a British Eventing Stallion to watch and use for your competitive mare.
His temperament, agility and good conformation are definitely showing in his progeny to date with six registered with the SHB (GB) database for 2014.


Click here to view this British eventing stallion on Horse Scout

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The Billy Studs’ AES Stallion Billy Mexico is proving himself through his successful progeny

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Congratulations to Pippa Funnel and Billy Walk On at Chatsworth International earlier this month.

Billy Mexico, a striking AES/AWR approved stallion, is a successful international showjumper with William Funnel has competed along side his stud duties.

Besides his own skills in the competitive arena at CSI3* CSIO5*, his progeny are also making their own mark in the performance horse world. In January, Horse Scout blogged about the successful line up for the Billy Stud at the Futurity awards where Billy Walk On took just one of the first places awarded to Billy Stud that day.

Billy Walk On is showing just why he was feted at the Futurity Awards. He is performing so well out in the competitive arena with three wins from three starts already this season. Billy Studs’ busy news reel reported in March that Billy Walk On, the lovely 6yr old by Billy Mexico, led from the front in both his novice events, firstly at Tweseldown where the section had over 60 starters, then at Aldon, Pippa rode a 24.3 dressage which then gave her breathing space in cross country to pick up 8 time faults but still finish victorious”.

He followed this by another win at Somerly Park Horse Trials. Then yesterday, the Billy Stud reports that Pippa and the Walkinshaw’s amazing 6yr old Billy Walk On have once again brought home the top honors! He won the CIC* at Chatworth international, this was his first time competing at this level. This lovely son of Billy Mexico will now have a holiday in the field before returning to competition in the autumn…. Deservedly so!

Billy Mexico has the breeding to stand by his own successful progeny through both his sire Cevin Z his sire who was was bred by the prestigious Zangersheide Stud, and carries double crosses in his pedigree of both Cor de la Bryere and Capitol I. Cevin Zs’ youngstock are achieving top class results – in both show jumping and eventing at international level. Bidorette, the mother of Billy Mexico, is a proven broodmare having produced numerous good foals, in particular the approved stallion Fervent, a proven sire who achieved over $2000.00 in winnings and also Libro who jumped to Foxhunter level, with BSJA winnings of £974.00. Libro also excels as a dressage horse with 250 points and is working at advanced medium level.

Billy Mexico is by the Billy Stud AES / AWR approved stallion Cevin Z. He is an exceptional young stallion starting his competitive career with William Funnell. He is showing huge ability, combined with an excellent temperament. His pedigree sets him apart and combined with his talent and temperament ha has proven to be an ideal producer of high class sports horses, especially show jumpers and eventers.

His first crop of young stock were placed first and second at the Young Horse Championships in 2006. He has competed successfully with William Funnell at International level. His youngstock are achieving top class results – in both show jumping and eventing at international level.

2008 was Billy Mexico’s first season at stud and as a 3yr old only covered six mares, but the crop have been outstanding. As this crop reached maturity, William said “From what we have seen of Mexico’s progeny so far we are very excited about him as a breeding stallion. Considering we only covered the six mares the first year, all the offspring have shown his super technique and great brain”.


Click here to view this stallion on Horse Scout

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Thoroughbred Eventing Stallion Power Blade

Thoroughbred Eventing Stallion Power Blade

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Thoroughbred Eventing Stallions are an essential genetic improver bringing quality, stamina and toughness along with a quick thinking will go attitude.

Breed in Power and Influence with the Event Horse Stallion Power Blade standing at Harthill Stud

This years Badminton Horse Trials commentators hot topic of conversation was the stamina of the horses and their ability to keep up their performance towards the end of the course. Thomas Reed Ph.D.has has written many papers on breeding and the influence of the warmblood and has, recently turned his attention to the need to the quality injection needed and provided by the Thoroughbred for the event horse.
Nina Barbour and Oliver Townends Stud, Harthill, offers all this quality and power in their stallion, Power Blade differs from other thoroughbred stallions in that he has a jumping pedigree. His father, Fine Blade, sire of 4* The Wexford Lady, was a top showjumper. Fine Blade also sired The Demon Barber, winner of 10 National Hunt races. His dam’s sire, Forties Field is an influential sire of competition horses. His full sister, Fine Fields, evented internationally in the USA. As a young horse, Power Blade showjumped to 1.30m level before retiring to stud. In 2005 he was crowned Croker Cup Champion, a prestigious class for stallions, at the Royal Dublin Horse Show. Power Blade’s quality and versatility as a thoroughbred stallion are proven by the success of his progeny, he has progeny competing internationally in the disciplines of eventing, show jumping and winning in the show ring.
However its not just jumping that must, according to Tom Reeds paper on the influence of the Thoroughbred in the event field, be chosen as a prerequisite when breeding for the event market. Tom Reed believes we have a problem: showjumping and dressage breeders are not selecting on certain other traits associated with Thoroughbred stallions that are required for medium and upper level eventing horses: great stamina, courage, efficient jumping style, and gaits that are not overly elastic or “round”. These are the very thing that true “blood” breeding will bring to the progeny and a stallions like Power Blade are what are needed to bring theses traits to the top echelon of the eventing field.
This classic bay thoroughbred, Power Blade, stands at 16.2hh and is already has Proven Progeny in Eventing:
“Power Line” 2* event horse coming up the grades in the UK, previously campaigned with Antoinette McKeowen. Already clocked some great results at international level. Now ridden by Martyn Johnson to Advanced level.
“Power Drive” In 2014 he was the champion at the Novice Final, and has been consistent to 1* level under Oliver Townend.
“BGS Juicy Fruit” 2* Event mare, selected in Ireland for the World Championships for young horses at Le Lions d’Angers in 2014.
“Wind Power” Eventing in the USA
Tom Reeds criteria is straight forward “I expect the stallion to possess the same athletic traits and riding horse qualities I demand in warmblood stallions. Success on the race track is of no significance. If the stallion has been used in breeding, I want to see empirical evidence that he is producing promising
progeny; if the stallion is young or has not been used in breeding because he has been in sport, I want to see empirical evidence that he has the riding horse qualities required for an eventing horse. ( Source: A Critical Shortage Of Blood-Tom Reed published in Horse International, 2015 Volume 3, pp 56 – 57.)
In which case Power Blade fulfills this and offers more through his pedigree which you can find on www.horsescout.co.uk on his profile 

Horse Scout Stallion Listing: Ramiro B No.10 listed Eventing Sire on WBFSH Top 100

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Horse Scouts listing for Ramiro B shows his record as a sire has been exceptional. Based at Nina Barbour & Oliver Townends’ established stud, Harthill in Cheshire. Ramiro B has particularly gained notice as an event sire and he is ranked 10th on the WBFSH Eventing Sire Rankings (November 2014), and has a lifetime approval for Irish Sport.

One of his standout offspring is Ballynoe Castle RM, the highest scoring U.S. event of all time and ridden by Buck Davison, who has been in the top 20 at Badminton and Burghley and finished 4th at Rolex in 2013 and 3rd in 2014. Aside from being a hugely successful horse on the event circuit Ballynoe Castle (Reggie) suddenly produced a pair of balls in April this year, ….much to Kathleen Blauth-Murray, the longtime head groom for Buck Davidson Eventing! (Now all Horse Scout Blogger can say to this is….the post date was 1st April!) Oliver Townsend currently has a number of upcoming Ramiro B offspring that he is developing. Cooley SRS, Oliver Townends’ win in the CIC2* at Burnham Market in April, has been earmarked as one of the top 12 young event horses to watch out for. He also sired Noble Bestman’ Laura Collett’s great ride with successes at **** and *** level when he was 6th at Belton Park, 8th Bramham Int and 9th at both Hartbury Int & Burnham Market Int etc……., ‘Cooley Masterclass’ (Oliver Townend) winner at 3 star Ballindenisk & at 2 star Tattersalls……, ‘Westwood Hercules’ (Joseph Murphy) 5th at 3 star Ballindenisk……, ‘Tommy B Good’ (Denise O Brien) at 3 star level 20th Ballindenisk, while at 2 star level 4th Camphire Int & 11th Kilguilky Int.. – See more at: http://globalstallions.com/stallions/ramiro-b/#sthash.9pHaQ6JV.dpuf

In the Showjumping world Ramiro B has sired numerous successful horses winning up to Grand Prix level. These include the approved stallion Samgemjee, ridden by Edward Doyle who has represented the Irish Equestrian Team, Heracross who has competed with Nick Skelton & Paris Sellon, and Heaven who won the Italian 7-year old Championships.

Jumping Stallion Ramiro B – Belgian Warmblood standing 16.2 born 1994

Ramiro B’s pedigree is a cocktail of some of the best jumping lines including Belgium Warmblood and Holstein.

Performance horse Ramiro B was an International Grand Prix winning show jumper produced and ridden by Edward Doyle.  His own career was studded with top class wins and his important career results include;

Indoor Champs Spring 1998 4 yr old finals 1st,

R.D.S. Dublin 4 yr old Championships Summer 1998 1st,

Cavan 5 yr old class 1999 1st,

Cavan 6 & 7 yr olds class 2001 â??

1st, North Wexford Grand Prix 2002 1st,

Dun Laoghaire Horse Show Grand Prix 2002 2nd

Kerrygold Dublin Horse Show Grade A 2nd,

Blessington Show 2003 1.50m 3rd

Top international placings:

Longs de Saunier, France 2002 4th

Italian Grand Prix Pontedere 2002 1st.

http://134.213.137.168/horses/profile/149

Other stallions standing at the Harthill stud can also be found on www.horsesocout.co.uk