I have decided that I would like to try to breed my TB mare to develop my next jumper, and had been looking at some of the European "super ponies" with the intention of trying to breed a small, sweet, athletic jumping machine.
A bit of background - my 15.3 hand mare is my amateur jumper, and although she doesn't have a wonderful competition record, I readily admit that it has been limited by my own learning curve (the jumper ring feels like a big move up when riding a hot horse after too many years bouncing around 3' hunter courses!) rather than her athletic ability. She's a hot mare, but sweet tempered, and can jump a house. Here's a conformation picture of her. Bloodline-wise, I don't think there's anything spectacular, but here's her 5 generation chart for those more knowledgeable than I - Duel'n Darla.
I owned a lovely homebred Connie/TB cross before, and really, really enjoyed that little horse. I was hoping to cross my mare with a Connemara stallion to just level out a bit of the "hot," and to keep that same round, compact shape that she has. I prefer a sports car type horse, if that makes sense, and really enjoy riding the compact type. I had thought about returning to the same stallion we used for our first Connie/TB cross, but then thought that it made more sense to look at horses with incredible performance records, as I really do want to breed for athleticism and performance, not just a sweet, small horse.
I am not breeding for resale, but instead with the intentions of creating my next amateur jumper - I am looking for something with an engine (I don't enjoy kick-kick-kick rides), a great jump, and exceptional temperament. I am happy with a horse that is 15 to 16 hands, which is another reason I am looking at large pony stallions.
The two stallions I like most so far are Silver Shadow, who was very, very highly recommended by someone who I have utmost respect when it comes to breeding Connies, and his dam sire, Poetic Justice. Unfortunately, I was informed that neither of these stallions are able to ship to Canada...
I would really appreciate some guidance and suggestions from those more well connected than I. Are there any comparable stallions to the two above standing in North America, or available to ship to Canada? I feel a bit lost, as I was at the point that I thought I just had to dither between which of the two I wanted, and now I feel as though I'm back at square one...
I should also mention that I am open to stallions other than Connemaras as well, if there is something different that would fit the bill. I just really enjoy the Connie/TB cross, and have it in my head that the foal would fit what I am looking for, I guess.
DownYonder - Thank you for the link. I had just clicked away from COTH and looked at the American Society's links - he was one of the two that caught my eye! We must have similar taste. The other was Tre Awain Goldsmith. I'd love to hear more thoughts on these two, or any others that people would suggest.
Wonder if there is still GunSmoke seamen available? My pony's damsire was GunSmoke and she was an incredible jumper, her mother has one of the best jumps out there. He is also gorgeous IMO. I bet he would make a hell of a nice TB cross.
Vanessa may have frozen for Gunsmoke. If not, his son WH Top Gun just started competing in eventing and his jump is fantastic. Easy personality as well, I had a Gunsmoke daughter and now two Top Gun daughters and a Top Gun son and I am super pleased with all my babies from these lines.
Rocking Horse Farm has/had a stallion called Celtic Fanfare. I saw him in person several years ago when I was looking for a connemara stallion for my TBX mare. I really liked him but decided to go the WB route instead. His website is really out of date. http://www.riderhs.ca/breed.html
Goodpony's Wildwych Eclipse is really nice, proven in performance and producing babies. We have one and I've seen several and they are all like produced from a copy machine. Pretty. Fantastic temperaments. Great substance and type and super athletic. He's got some going under saddle and showing well.
*Gunsmoke is available frozen he might be an option. I have a *Gunsmoke mare and she's been a great producer for us. Had a halfbred colt this year (sired by Triple Twist) and really like him.
Blue Chip Stables *Canal Laurinston is another I would highly consider. He's competed in several different events and also foxhunts. Lovely, lovely stallion and produces really nice babies. His owner is fabulous to work with and just a great person. http://www.bluechipstables.com/breeding.html
*Grange Finch may be another consideration for you. He's 3/4th brother to *Grange Finn Sparrow and he's at the top of my list to breed a mare to and soon as he's getting up there.
Maplehurst Michael MacDaire is proven both as a sire and in sport himself so he would be an option.
*Kippure Cara is young and only has a few young crops on the ground but he is something I would definitely take a look at.
I saw a TAG offspring this weekend in Texas at a horse trial and was very impressed with his laid back personality and workman like attitude. His owner told me that she was fairly new to eventing and that he had never stopped at a fence with her She was happy as could be going around her courses!
I like Aedan too. I think his type would cross very nicely with both TB and WB mares. I have a daughter of Micks (Maplehurst Micheal MacDaire) who is a full sister to Aedans sire Century Hills Fredrick McTeague who is a Premium Mare with both the ACPS and the GOV/Weser Ems. Her two year old gelding son (sired by my Eclipse) jumped a 5ft paddock fence as a weanling foal--and the temperament on that line is nearly unbeatable....if they stay where you put them
Both Eclipse and his five year old partbed son are currently competing in the 1m-1.1m Jumpers here in CA at the AA recognized competitions and getting top ribbons.
Goodness goodpony, your breeding program is like a whos-who of great Connemara sport ponies!
I do have to say that IMO Eclipse is a great sire, I have not seen one yet I did not like, both PB and his crossbreds. I hesitate to say he out-produces himself since he is so nice standing on his own merit, but he really does seem to produce nice offspring regardless of who he is bred to.
I was talking to someone in my barn yesterday about my current Connemara shopping and she said I really need to go to some farm in Colorado because the ponies were so awesome...of course she was talking about the Wildwych Connemaras.
Another vote for Century Hills Aedan Zodiac. He is cute over fences and has been successful in dressage and is ridden by an amateur rider. He is available via shipped semen as well. http://elodon.sasktelwebsite.net/aedan.html
OP, the other things I want to point out, that was surprising to me in my recent stallion search - many stallions are not good choices because for one reason or another they are not able to be collected and shipped for AI... so that will take a huge chunk out of the list right away.... also as a newb breeder be sure to get a LFG - and that takes out another chunk. Using this process it makes finding the right guy pretty easy
I think finding a pedigree that is chock full of ponies doing what you want to do will be key to narrowing down the choices and also making sure you stack the deck in your favor.
Do some research here too on COTH re breeding in general. i know i changed my entire POV about breeding by doing so
Thank you so much for all the advice and suggestions - it is sincerely appreciated.
We used Maplehurst Michael MacDaire for the first connie/TB we bred, and I absolutely adored the resulting little horse. He is definitely a consideration this time around as well! To be honest, perhaps the performance records of those European ponies made me a little wide-eyed and forgetful as to what is so close to home?
Thank you too to those of you who brought up the suggestion to be mindful of LFG's, especially since my mare will be an older maiden. Much appreciated.
I'd also like to reassure everyone that this isn't completely breeding on a whim - my family has bred sport horses for two generations, and although we've slowed down substantially in the past while, I think we still are able to be realistic about our mare and what is involved in the whole breeding/foaling/raising-baby-to-a-good-riding-horse process. If I do sound a little flakey, it is truly because I am a bit nervous about trying to make all the right decisions to breed the best horse I can for myself... It's sometimes easier when you're breeding for convention, if I can use that word - when my grandparents bred sport horses, they aimed for big, beautiful, athletic and amateur-minded, plus the number of stallions accessible to them at the time was much smaller. It's a bit overwhelming to feel like the whole world of Connemara stallions is at my feet, rather than just selecting from the pool of best stallions within driving distance as my grandparents did.
apologies for assuming you were a first time breeder having *just* completed a 2 year adventure deciding yes i want to breed, no, i dont, yes i do, and then all the ups and downs of finding that special boy for my WB mare it is all so fresh in my mind i got a bit giddy
i spent hours reading here on COTH and it changed my opinions on a lot of stuff... probably all stuff you already know about lol!
Tre Awain Goldsmith's owner weighing in! Thanks for the compliments about "Tag" - we love him, and we especially love his babies. You can learn more about him on our website: http://www.cadyodalyfarm.net/
Tag himself is a proven competitor, having made a name for himself as a solid Training event horse, jumper, and dressage competitor. He's since taken a back seat to competing and we've really been enjoying bringing along his progeny. Our breeding program has focused more on Connemara/TB's and Connemara/WB crosses since they seem to be in higher demand than purebreds. Tag tends to stamp his foals with his incredible disposition, lovely movement, and scopey, athletic jumping ability. Because of these qualities, we've mainly focused on eventing, jumpers, dressage, and foxhunting with them, though many have gone on to be avid Pony Club horses and several have become quite competitive in the hunter world as well.
Take a peek at the website and you can see a wide variety of his offspring. We have about 10-12 of his "children" here on the farm right, of various ages and training, and I would be more than happy to chat with you more about what he produces. Feel free to email me at CadyODalyFarm@gmail.com.