Breeding News Breeding News

Visiting South Africa


It was with some anticipation that the South African Warmblood Horse Society awaited Mr. Van Miert's visit to South Africa at the end of March 2009. Our Chairman, Mr Deon Griessel had approached him with the idea after a WBFSH meeting in Lyon in 2008. Knowing that there were a number of BWP and SBS horses exported to our country, Mr van Miert expressed an interest and accepted our invitation.
We were running, for our second year, a Loose Jumping Competition and were delighted to have such an illustrious judge as Mr. van Miert for this class. (The previous year we had Mr. Jaap Werners (retired KWPN) and Mr. Blocher of Holstein Auctions, as our judges.) We also wanted to try for the first time some potential jumper classes for young horses combined with the first FEI **** Star Jumping Show being held at Maple Ridge Equestrian Farm near the Cradle of Mankind, south west of Johannesburg. The organisers of this show were very pleased to have Mr. Van Miert attend as a V.I.P. and to view the rest of the show.

On a sunny Saturday morning, the Loose Jumping Competition took place in an outdoor sand arena, with the public sitting on the banks of the arena overlooking the loose lane. Mr. Rik Van Miert was pleasantly surprised with what he saw. He felt that the top five horses in both classes (i.e. two year old and three year olds) could happily compete in similar competitions in Europe. It was good to hear this, as it supported the views of Mr. Werners, our Dutch judge of the previous year, who had made similar comments.
Our arena team was made up of Sancho Voerman, also from Belgium, who oversaw the organization in the ring and has been training some of our members here as assistants. They ran a sympathetic and controlled ring. We still need to emphasize to local horse owners that a lot more fitness training and preparation must go into preparing young horses for these classes. We hope next year to see horses that are better able to cope with the stresses and strains of coming into the ring.
The two year old class was a particularly strong group of horses. George Phillipedes of Alchemy Stud had a young BWP colt named Hellenic Pride (see picture) by Bently who is himself an Upsilon/Heartbreaker. The dam line is Dijion who is by Papillion Rouge. This impressive colt knocked out all other competition with a score of 97% and won the two year old class. George’s second horse is called Hercules by Qudrillo who is himself by Quidam. The dam line is by Unique and that is Nassau/ Grannes. Also imported, it tied second with the South African bred colt owned by Ryan Andrews being Kellow Courage by Clarinius (Contender/ Fine Edge xx) both achieving 91%.
In the three year old class our two big studs, Callaho and Capital Stud, came out with all guns blazing as regards top jumping pedigrees and ability.
Callaho Stud brought in a Stakkato / Contender stallion named Callaho Socrates (see picture of Mr Van Miert giving prize) and he took the lead to win with 84 %. Close on his heels was Alzu Osprey with 79%. This horse was sired by the BWP imported stallion Optimum vd Wellington (Randal Z/ Furioso Z). Optimum was imported into South Africa in 1991 by Gerrie du Toit of Alzu Stud, one of our founder breeders, and has competed at top level here as a successful jumper and is proven as a breeder of jumpers. The dam line of Alzu Osprey is I Love You and the horse is owned by Henning Pretorius of Capital Stud.
George Phillipedes continued to contend strongly and his horse Alchemy’s Cadermie (Contact / Venecio) which tied third with the Schwaike Warmblood Stud's Calisto (Capriccio/ Nimmedor) both achieving 78%. Capriccio is a direct descendant of Cor de la Bryere out of a Capital I mare.
Mr Van Miert later adjudicated our first warmblood foal show to be held at this venue. The placings were as follows: 1st Capital Cat Walk ( Capriccio/ Caretino) (Seen here with Henning Pretorius) 2nd Capital Calisco ( Capriccio /Guidam) both owned by Henning Pretorius and third place went to Jenica Dane ( Johnson/ Solos Landtinus) owned by Britt Matchet.
It is only correct in the difficult world of horses that people were concerned and dubious about what we were doing. But progressively Mr Van Miert won them over with his professional and expert approach to our endeavours. We had queues of groomed, good looking young jumpers and harassed horse owners coming to get an opinion on what he had seen. He applied himself to each with a detailed answer.
A festive ambiance was present on the Sunday at this lovely country venue. Amongst other events, a very technical track was built by the English International Course Designer Bob Ellis, for the 1.40 Championship. 16 horses went through to the jump-off. While Mr Ellis went on to build the course for the 1.5 class The Presidents Cup, spectators were entertained by an impressive Stallion display of 18 resident warmblood stallions.

I mention the breeding of a few, as follows: Alchemy’s Radermus KWPN ( Burgraaf /Abgar) jumping in the open classes. Dageraad Ubbe, a South African Warmblood (Dageraad /Epilot) which won Reserve Warmblood Stallion at the South African Horse of the Year Show 2009. Ulano van Lobos BWP (Capitol I/ Lys de Darmen) (seen here over jump) which is jumping 1.m50 classes. Schwaike’s Come On, a Swedish Warmblood by the Swedish "Elite" breeding stallion Cortez 679 (who is by Cor de la Bryere) out of a mare by Grandeur. Shiraz HANN (Stakkato / Raphael) which is jumping in the 1.50 classes, owned by Henning Pretorius of Capital Stud, along with the well bred Capriccio HOLST (Cor de la Bryere /Capitol I). Mr Van Miert was asked to do the Lucky Draw cash prize for the stallion group and he drew A Star OLD (Argentinus /Grannus), a recently imported stallion also belonging to Henning Pretorius.
Then it was time for the President's Cup, being the main event of the show. This class was to be a 2010 World Equestrian Games qualifier (subject to approval by the FEI), so tensions were high whilst the riders were walking the course. After a nail biting two rounds, the CSI- Western Cape winner Gareth Neill continued his run of good form at the 2009 Presidents Cup, this time riding Mirage 85 to victory.
We then moved onto the next phase of Mr Van Miert's visit, a gruelling schedule of inspections. He accompanied our senior Inspector, Mrs Charmaine Watts and other national and regional inspectors to three provinces to do assessments of mares and stallions. In the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas, 24 horses were seen in two days. We started at 7am at the beautifully laid out and managed Manor D’Or Stables. Eleven stallions were seen, three premium ratings were awarded and two others received full licensing.
The premium stallions were: Lautrec (Lansing/ Fantus) a Holsteiner owned by Linda Rabie; San Sicario (Sunny Boy / Gardeulan/ Levante) an Oldenburger owned by Lillian Moller and Come On (Cortez/ Grandeur) a Swedish stallion imported by the Schwaike Warmblood Stud. (R. Van Miert with SA senior inspectors Charmaine Watts, Pat Pohl and Sheryl Pote viewing Schwaike Condor – Chin Chin/ Nimmedor)
Mares that received premiums were Caron Papalardo’s two imports, Secondauroa di Villagana (Accord III/ Prince Igor) and Quintessential (Quite Capitol/ Nimmerdor/) and KWPN mare belonging to Farm Inn and Rose Michaletos, Ulivia STV ( Olivi / Rohdiamant).
All in all 27 horses were inspected in Kwa Zulu Natal. This farming area is at the foothills of the great Drakenberg mountain range, has good rainfall, pasture and magnificent scenery and stretches to the borders of the lands of the Zulu people. It is well known area for its horses. There is a lot of breeding done here, especially for the thoroughbred racing industry. Sue Cullen’s imported dressage bred stallion, Wenzel R (Roman Nature/ Don Primeur) got a well deserved premium. Jenny Benson of Saratoga Stud continues to find some excellent thoroughbred mares and received a premium for Birthday Gift xx ( Centenary / Dancing Champ) and one for her imported mare Queen of Diamonds by the well known French jumping line Jus de Pomme. Grant Langley, a show jumping rider, presented two mares which received premiums namely his South African bred mare Lois Lane (Lindenberg/ Craftsman) and his SBS imported mare Qarmelle du Werfat (Polidiktus / Lawrence).
Mr van Miert's last inspection venue was the in the wine lands area of the Western Cape on a farm near Franschoek. This area is about an hour and a half away from Cape Town and is renowned for its Cape Dutch architecture, its French Huguenot history and its excellent restaurants. In this beautiful setting amongst old oak trees and white washed buildings, 35 horses were inspected. Five Star HANN (Florestan/ Wolkenstein) (seen here) owned by Debbie Wallen was awarded premium status and is a welcome addition to depth in South African dressage breeding. The stallion Waikiki of Wadacre HANN (Wittinger/ Bolero), formerly ridden by Carl Hester, was passed and is owned by Karen Koep. The following mares received premiums: Bella Donna KWPN (Santano/ Kennedy) owned by Karen Eksteen; Calvyra Z (Calvaro Z/ Ramiro Z) and Bijou (Balou du Rouet / Pikor) both owned by Karen Koep, as well as Rudina HANN (Rubin Royal/ Weltmeyer) owned by Debbie Wallen.
On the last day of the visit to the Western Cape we managed to take Mr van Miert for some wine tasting at one of the vineyards, no doubt he needed the break by then!
Besides his expertise we found Mr Van Miert to be very thorough and patient with horse owners. While we had to run a tight schedule, he seemed at ease with the relaxed and country type approach of many of the South African horse breeders. We hope he enjoyed his trip here as much as we all enjoyed having him do us the honour of giving so freely of his knowledge and time. We hope very much to have him visit us again.
Frances Cheboub –Regional Chairman and Liaison, South African Warmblood Horse Society