With the 2014 futurity series now completed, the breeding of the current crop of eventing prospects can be assessed.
The assessment of the three year olds includes the requirement to loose jump, as well as be shown loose in all gaits. The eventing prospects are expected to be athletic, supple, bold and forward thinking, with the ability to really lengthen and cover the ground while staying in good balance. With the dressage phase being so influential at the top level, the young prospects must also show correct rhythmic paces with enough cadence and uphill indication that they will score satisfactorily in the dressage phase.
What is interesting about the immediate pedigrees of nine 3 year olds that earned at least a Higher First Premium in their evaluation (a final average score of 8.50 or higher) is that we see a lot of show jumping blood but also a strong influence from the Trakehner stud book.
Three of the nine are directly sired by a Trakehner sire (Grafenstolz with 2 and Garuda K with 1), with three more sired by stallions who are directly bred for, and competed in, show jumping (Quintender, Billy Congo and Sir Shutterfly), there are also two by Wish Upon a Star, a half Trakehner stallion who combines dressage and show jumping blood but who himself has had an eventing career, and finally one by the Thoroughbred stallion Primitive Proposal.
The top scoring three year old was Quinnox, a very nicely made son of Quintender out of a Balou de Rouet mare. This is a bloodline I am personally familiar with from a show jumping perspective and Quinnox showed all the jumping capabilities to be expected from this combination. Quintender is known to make sensitive, quick reacting, athletic modern types who certainly would have more than adequate basic gaits for the dressage phase. In fact Quintender made history in 2012 by siring a filly foal that became the first show jumping bred foal to take the overall foal title at the German National Foal Championships in Lienen.
What is interesting about Quintender in this context as an eventing sire, is that he himself is a grandson of Contender, and in German event horse breeding the Contender line is becoming recognised as a good influence when crossed onto some Thoroughbred blood.
The second highest score was earned by the Grafenstolz son Vorvashill Vertigo. The dam of this colt is an SHB graded mare by the show jumping stallion Dutch Falco, who himself is a son of the Olympic show jumper Animo. The mare also produced the top scoring three year old show jumper in the 2012 Futurity series.
Grafenstolz’s other high scoring representative was MW Graf’s Star who is out of a daughter of I’m A Star. I’m A Star is well known as the sire of Mary King’s great Badminton and Burghley winner Star Appeal. Grafenstolz himself evented at advanced level, and as a young horse qualified for all three main disciplines at the German Bundeschampionate. Therefore it is no surprise to see two such strong eventing influences successfully combining here.
The other stallion with two offspring in this list is Wish Upon A Star. This now eleven year old KWPN stallion brings more Trakehner influence to this section, as he is a son of the legendary Gribaldi. Champion of his SHB grading, Wish Upon a Star qualified for the Burghley Young Event Horse finals twice and competed at the World Young Horse Championships at Lion D’Angers and is now competing at advanced. His highest scoring offspring LA Torrillo was out of a daughter of the Arabian stallion Dhruv out of a Tarnik mare, Tarnik of course being the sire of Tamarillo. A very interesting combination of bloodlines indeed, and nice to see sport horse breeders not afraid to bring Arabian influence into their breeding programs.
His second son Fourstar Buck was out of a Thoroughbred mare by the miler Presidium, a half brother to the champions Kris and Diesis.
Completing the Trakehner blood within these young eventers, is the highest ranked filly – Galatea, a daughter of the Grand Prix stallion Garuda K out of a daughter of another Grand Prix stallion, the great Swedish Warmblood Master.
The only Thoroughbred stallion to have offspring on this list is Louella Stud’s Primitive Proposal who sired Primitive Promise. This filly is a daughter of Louella Dazzle, a mare who combines the bloodlines of the successful dressage horse and sire of show horses – Catherston Dazzler and the KWPN stallion Democraat. Primitive Promise was Reserve Champion Eventing Futurity finals at Osberton in 2012.
The final two youngsters to achieve High First Premiums were African Affair and Star of Equites. African Affair is a son of European team Gold medallist Billy Congo, who like Vorvashill Vertigo, carries the blood of Animo. African Affair’s dam is the CCI** eventer Dashing Dalliance, by the Selle Francais sire Dallas. Dallas was the sire of Burghley winner Diamond Hall Red, so although at first glance this pedigree seems very geared towards show jumping, there is a strong eventing influence too.
Star of Equites is a daughter of Sir Shutterfly, who like his name suggests is a full brother to the incredible show jumper Shutterfly. Sir Shutterfly himself is very blood in type which is why he has naturally been a choice for eventing breeders. Her dam line though is very interesting being a daughter of the Hanoverian mare Herah who is by the incredibly influential Thoroughbred stallion Heraldik. Herah was also the dam of Equites Mail, a Elite scoring eventing foal at this year’s Fututity and her first foal has been accepted onto the Eventing Pathway.
Although at face value this year’s successful Futurity 3 year olds appear to be from a diverse range of bloodlines, they all have a focus on proven performance in sport and bar one more dressage influenced pedigree, all should have sufficient jumping capability to go and perform themselves in this most demanding of disciplines.