These are interviews carried out in the main arena during the stallion show at Hartpury with Lucinda Fredericks, Oliver Townend and Emily Llewellyn. All three had stallions to advertise at the show but in between its interesting to see what they look for in a horse and their approach to breeding.
Lucinda Fredericks on breeding
‘Very important to breed from sound, good tempered, quality mares. Brit did not have a lot of size which is why I went for Jaguar Mail. Marley’s sister Millie is a little bit bigger and rangier. They have a lot of similarities and a lot of differences so very interesting to breed ‘twins’ (both were born through Embryo transfers won as part of Badminton and Burghley prizes for best mare) as it were albeit from recipients and see such different attributes in both of them.’
‘What I did was take a lot of advice, watched a lot of videos and looked at the product that I had, which was Headley Britannia who was small, short coupled, not very big striding and good tempered. A lot of people thought she was very feisty but actually she was always manageable for a chestnut mare, I certainly think that is important. Breed from the good mares, the ones who have good performances and soundness. Its very important to use stallions who are going to help the mare out. I am very lucky to have had what I think is one of the worlds best mares and we tried our very hardest to breed probably seven or eight foals from her. She is available if anyone wants to embryo transfer. ”
Today is a great opportunity for people to see the stallions. Go into the stables and see their temperaments which is very important as well.’
Oliver Townend on Breeding
‘At Harthill stud (which Oliver part owns with Nina Barbour) we have tried to take the chance out of breeding as much as possible we have used proven sires as much as possible. Take Ramiro B he has sons competing at 4*, as does Carousel. Ramiro B is my favourite one personally, it should be Carousel because of Carousel Quest but for me Ramiro B with the horses that I have got in the yard for me will be the worlds number one eventing sire in the next five years and hopefully if you use him it will make your youngstock much more valuable. That is the plan! We have bought sires with proven bloodlines which nobody could argue with from a jumping and eventing point of view. We are just trying to breed nice horses like what you would find in Ireland and other places. I am very excited by what I have sat on and what I have seen. ‘
‘I think as I always said I look for a trainable athlete which is why I love the Ramiro B stock. You can gallop them flat out, they have stamina, they are careful, they have movement, all these tricky things to find. Take this one I am riding, I have just galloped him round the arena and now he is standing very patiently. Cooley Masterclass is my next top level horse who is by Ramiro B and he is exactly the same. Won competitions, had the national anthem playing and has stood in the middle while everyone else skittles around him. Just great to have horses which are trainable. Very easy but must have stamina. There is so much fools gold out there now with people offering stallions that look fabulous because they give the best ‘flash’ and they have plenty of scope and abilitybut they have had plenty of opportunities to produce horses and they have not done so I think using the proven sires, using horses that you see winning Burghley and winning Kentucky, I think it cuts out as much chance as possible and not fall for the fools gold, the ‘flash’ one that does not produce.’
‘My aim for 2014 is to win as much as possible, its very easy to say we are planning for the future, we are trying to win 4* competitions but there are only two 4* in the UK to win every year so you have to produce your horses to be winners. The ones who are tough and sound, who love the job are the ones who come through. I feel like I am in a similar sort of position to what Andrew Nicholson was in two years ago. I definitely have the horsepower, I have got the support and I have got the owners. Now its about a lot of work but I am really looking forward to it.’
Emily Llewellyn on breeding.
‘ I had a stallion which evented really well last year and I have bred a few and really got into it. There are so many qualities that you look for in a really good horse, but for me the main thing I look for is temperament for eventing. Maybe for dressage and showjumping the ability is more important. With eventing they have to want to do the job and they have to be relaxed so when you get to an event for three phases they stay level headed. Amongst other things temperament stands out for me as being the most important.’
‘I hopefully have two horses for Badminton. I feel like I have a really good string together. I have really worked out what I like riding and what I am successful with. I think I have some really good horses including young ones and the two who will be going to Badminton and hopefully Burghley. Breeding wise I have two foals on the way. One out of Freezing Rain out of a full TB mare. With his character and ability I think they will be really nice for eventing. There is one I have bred for showjumping by Typhoon S. ‘