The rise and rise of Espano Estopa

Espano Estapo's win in the Junior male section at the World Championships in Paris last month was a milestone for Arabian breeding. JENNI MAY, of Redwood Stud, looks at the colt's rise to the top.
Espano Estopa

Espano Estopa in the spotlight at the World Championships.

It was with high hopes that Redwood Lodge Arabians owners Trevor and Sue Patrick greeted their 1995/6 foal crop.

The Jimboomba, Queensland, breeders were awaiting the first crop of foals by Om El Abadan (imp USA, Carmargue x Bint Estopa) and in particular the result with Malikah Estopa (imp USA, An Malik x Estopa).

Malikah is the only daughter of Estopa ever to be sold and the only pure Spanish daughter ever bred. Daughters of Estopa are known world-wide as remarkable breeders so expectations were high.

Malikah Estopa's colt -- named Espano Estopa -- seemed to have all the essential attributes, extreme type and show attitude, excellent body and particularly strong loins, good legs and movement.

He was to become the horse that answered the Patrick family dream of breeding International Champion arabians able to hold their own on the competitive International show circuit.

Young Espano spent the first two years of his life wrapped up in cotton wool while his sire paved the way ont he International circuit.

OM EL ABADAN was was brought to Australia as part of a joint venture with Om El Arab International USA and Redwood Lodge Arabians Australia. After spending three seasons in Australia -- and winning the 1996 Reserve Australian Champion Title -- Abadan headed for France.


Espano Estopa

Om El Abadan.


It was an arduous journey for Abadan and trainer Steve Patrick -- Sydney/Amsterdam by plane, 20 hours; Amsterdam/Chantilly (France) by road, 7 hours; and after a week's rest in Chantilly the pair took the 16 hour road trip to Callian, in the south of France.

Steve Patrick showed Abadan at his first European show, the Mediterranean Championships at Menton where he placed a commendable second. Abadan was then placed in one of Europe’s newest and finest training facilities, ‘Specifically Equine’ in Germany. Om El Abadan and his new trainer Scott Allman accomplished a dream for their entourage, class winner and Reserve Senior Male at the prestigious All Nations Cup, in Aachen, Germany.

At the last show for the year -- The World Championships in Paris -- Abadan scored the highest points for the show and was crowned 1997 Reserve World Champion Stallion.

BACK HOME, Abadan's hot-shot son Espano Estopa was making his show-ring debut. Under British judge Ann Green, Espano was awarded Junior Champion Colt and Supreme Exhibit at the Arabian Valley A-Class Show.


Espano Estopa

Even as a youngster Espano Estopa showed great potential.


This year started in the same vein for Espano; he was sashed Champion Junior Colt at the prestigious East Coast Championships in Sydney.

In July he left for Germany with Steve Patrick, bound for Scott Allman's string. Allman was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the young colt he’d heard so much about.

It was a bold step taking an unqualified horse all the way to Europe but momentous accomplishments in life can not be without risk. Only a National or Reserve National Champion title qualifies for the Salon de Cheval World Championships in Paris.

With a horse of this quality the Espano camp remained quietly confident that in two weeks after his arrival he would be ready for one of two remaining qualifying shows in Germany.

Espano Estopa qualified at the historic German State Stud of Mabach, and was then aimed at the A-Class UK International Show at Towerlands.


Espano Estopa

Rising star Espano Estopa.


Espano was accompanied by his sire Om El Abadan and both were the talk of the show.

Espano Estopa added another feather to his cap, Reserve Champion Junior Male -- a mere one point behind the Champion!

Om El Abadan was presented to the public for promotion resulting in his eventual sale to Prince Sultan Abdul bin Azizzi of Saudi Arabia. He was shown at the Saudi Arabian Nationals the weekend before the World Champs, and was crowned the 1998 Saudi Arabian Champion Stallion and Supreme Champion of the Show.

A WIN AT the A-Class All Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, means a good position leading up to the World Championships in Paris.

Aachen attracts the best horses from Great Britain and Europe including the famous stud farms of Poland. It’s no wonder Poland took home the All Nations Cup trophy in 1998; their horses were of extreme type possessing wonderful movement shown by perfect gentlemen with both grace and humour. Horses came from places such as Israel and Argentina, and other international exhibits were imports from the United States and Brazil.

But the winner from the farthest afield was the Australian colt Espano Estopa -- the World Junior Male Champion. Espano showed spectacular spirit to the delight of the crowd. Tail up, snorting and performing a perfect workout and stand-up. It was a credit to his handler and friend Scott Allman. The support for Espano was sensational and many Australians and two New Zealanders -- David Marshall and Sarah Hamer -- were also there to join in the celebrations.