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ated outstanding jumpers. (Both are famed American Thoroughbreds from the 1950s and 1960s with out- standing race records.) She’d had this combination before with a stallion named Napur and she knew she’d seize any opportunity to own another stallion with the same bloodlines.

When Tamara read about Coconut Grove and realized his breeding was very similar to Napur, with both Damascus and Bold Ruler bloodlines, she immediately tried to find out if he was available for breeding or for sale. Thinking he was still in Colombia, she tried to locate him but had no success. Once she realized he was in the United States, she quickly contacted his owners, only to find out he was about to be sold to a group of European buyers. Because Coconut Grove suffered an injury in 2001, he had just been retired from com- petition and was offered for sale as a breeding stallion.

Coconut Grove, she adds, quali- fied for every major show jump- ing competition during his career. That includes the Olympics, the Pan American Games, the World Cup, the American Grand Prix Association Championships and the American Invitational.

“When I saw the video that the Camargos sent, I said, ‘This horse is everything I’m looking for – he has to be the one for me,’” Tamara recounts. Luck was with her, as the Camargos decided they would prefer to see the horse stay in the United States. When Tamara found out he was available, she immediately made arrangements to purchase him and bring him to Utah. She knew she was taking a chance purchasing a breeding stallion that had never stood at stud before. She quickly discovered just how big a chance she had taken.

Coconut Grove during his jumping career. Photo courtesy of October Hill Farm.

needed. A Jockey Club employee realized that both Coconut Grove’s sire and dam, bred in Colombia, had been blood typed. Since this information remained on file, Coconut Grove’s blood type analysis could be compared. As a result, his breeding was authenticated and the Jockey Club issued his papers. Finally, Tamara could begin breed- ing him, but by then she had unfortunately lost a full breeding season.

This would not be the last of the struggles Tamara would face with Coconut Grove however. The following year, he suddenly went lame. Although he was originally thought to have foundered, the vets dis- covered the problem was actually severe hoof bruising that led to abscesses. As a result, she could only breed him a few times that year. Her plans shifted – 2003 would have to be Coconut Grove’s first full breeding season.

It was a year which would prove that Tamara Smith’s faith in her horse was justified. One of her client’s 2003 foals, Quinze De Upatoi, went on to earn the high- est score awarded to a yearling at the 2004’s Selle Français U.S. inspection tour. It is a faith that has never wavered. “I knew the minute I saw him exactly what he was and how good he was,” Tamara remembers. “It was a matter of everyone else seeing in this horse what I had already rec- ognized. And his story really is like

a fairy tale.”

Warmblood Nod of Approval

In 2003, Tamara applied to the American Holsteiner Horse

Coconut Grove’s owners had not followed the official exportation procedures when bringing him from Colombia to the United States. As a result, he did not have valid Jockey Club registration and his offspring would not be eligible for registration either. Tamara strug- gled to find a way around this huge obstacle to her breeding plans.

Her initial requests to the Jockey Club were rejected leav- ing little hope that papers would be issued. Then, she recounts, she received the stroke of luck she desperately

Association (AHHA) for a breeding license for Coconut Grove. “When a friend suggested I try to get Coconut Grove approved as a Warmblood, I thought ‘why not?’ He was exceptional in every way. It simply never occurred to me that he wouldn’t be approved. I also never realized what the process entailed. That’s how naïve I was about the European breeding system,” Tamara recounts. “And I found out later that my friend was only joking about sub- mitting the horse for approval!”

After making an official application and waiting several months for a decision, the AHHA approved Coconut Grove for limited breeding. (Because of those limitations, each mare owner had to petition the AHHA for approval before breeding.) He was also approved by the North American

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