November 9, 2007

by Christine DeHerrera


Chris Hickey and Regent riding the final movement of their Intermediaire Freestyle, a one-handed extended trot down the centerline, to win the individual gold medal at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.


Laura Chapot and Little Big Man in the team competition at the Pan American Games.
Pictures: Ken Braddick/FEI

The Dutch Warmblood Studbook of North America (KWPN-NA) has had a golden year with KWPN registered horses bringing home top honours at the Pan American Games and the North American Junior Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC.)

These horses featured diverse KWPN bloodlines, but showcased both the talent and the soundness that Dutch horses are known for. With horses as young as eight years old, like double Pan Am dressage medalist Sagacious HF, and as experienced as 17-year-old Douwe, Individual Gold medalist in the young riders division at NAJYRC, the KWPN horse once again proved its mettle against the best the world has to offer.

"It's been a great year for KWPN horses," said Christine McCarthy, the Chairman of the Board of the Directors of the KWPN-NA. "Both dressage and jumping horses have performed incredibly well. This is an affirmation for all breeders of KWPN horses who spend endless years pursuing the perfect cross of bloodlines."

Two of the three members of the Gold-medal winning US dressage team rode KWPN horses. Christopher Hickey also earned the Individual Gold with the nine-year-old Regent. The gelding is owned by Brenna Kucinski and is by the Preferrent stallion Flemmingh. Lauren Sammis also rode Sagacious HF, a KWPN horse for the American team and also earned the Individual Silver medal. Hyperion Farms owns the precocious eight-year-old gelding by Welt Hit II.

On the American Bronze-medal winning show jumping team, three of the four horses are KWPN horses, including Laura Chapot's Little Big Man (by Topas,) Lauren Hough's Cassadora (by Indoctro) and Todd Minikus's Pavarotti, who's by Lancelot.

McCarthy continues, "Dutch breeders look not only at the pedigree and performance record, but also the soundness of the breeding stock. There is a saying, 'if you want a sound horse, get a Dutch horse.' It takes so long to train a dressage horse or jumper; longevity and soundness are essential."

KWPN horses also claimed a variety of medals at the NAJYRC held in Lexington, VA, the first weekend in August. In the young rider dressage division, two members of the Region VII Gold-medal winning team rode KWPN horsesóJaclyn Meinen on Rockette DG, by Ferro, and Amanda Harlan on Liberte, by Flemmingh Preferrent. Meinen was the recipient of the Willy Arts Grant for Young Rider Development sponsored by Little Creek Farm.

Devon Kane, 21, rode off with the Individual Gold in the young rider dressage division on her 17-year-old KWPN gelding Douwe, by Damiro. The Wellington, FL, resident trains with Olympic medalist Michelle Gibson.

In the junior division, the immortal KWPN sire Contango fathered two medal winners. His son Oslo was on the Gold-medal winning Canadian team. Ramses, also a Contango son, earned Silver medals with his rider Kristin Becker - Team Silver with Region II as well as the Individual Silver. "Prepotent sires like Contango and Indoctro showcase the versatility of the KWPN horse," McCarthy explained.

Across the pond, young KWPN horses were strutting their stuff at the World Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany. In the six-year-old division, Silver and Bronze went to Freebird (Olivi x Gribaldi) and Uzzo (Lancet x Indoctro), respectively.

As of July 31, the KWPN is currently ranked first in jumping, third in dressage and 10th in eventing by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.

In 1983, the Dutch Warmblood Studbook in North America was established as the North American Department of the Royal Warmblood Studbook of The Netherlands (KWPN) in order to promote breeding and enjoyment of the KWPN horse in North America.