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that’s what really counts.”

Both his present and former owner hope Coconut Grove will continue in the breeding shed for years to come. At 22, he continues to provide high-quality semen, current owner Wendy Davis Gerrish says. “He won’t be around forever, but he’s in excellent shape,” she adds. “I haven’t had a breeding stallion as old as Coconut Grove before now. Both he and our stallion Mezcalero both turned 22 this year. He’ll let me know when he’s ready to stop. But for now, he’s going strong!”

Not Without Controversy

The decision made by so

many Warmblood registries to approve Coconut Grove has generated some controversy. After all, he is the first Thoroughbred stallion ever granted a breeding license by the American Hanoverian Society and the only one to be granted “Improvement Sire” status with the American Holsteiner Horse Association.

The AHS approval process cre- ated a unique set of chal- lenges for the society, says Rick Toering, with some in the organization questioning the wisdom of introducing a Thoroughbred stallion into the registry and others question- ing whether Coconut Grove was the right Thoroughbred. In the end, he says, Dr. Ludwig Christman, breeding director at the German Hanoverian Verband, helped influence the decision. Because of reciprocity between the two organiza- tions, when Coconut Grove was licensed by the AHS, he was automatically licensed by the German organization.

Corazon BF, by Coconut Grove crossed with the Oldenburg mare Gold Coin by Goldglanz. Photo by Sheryl Ross Photography.

Carino OHF, by Coconut Grove crossed with the Holsteiner mare Filsa by Corrado I. Photo by October Hill Farm.

“Traditionally, you bring Thoroughbreds into your breeding program to lighten the type and make it more beautiful. You also hope to bring the Thoroughbred ‘heart’ – the stamina and the courage and the forward energy – to the equation,” Rick Toering continues. “But there’s some- times concern about the sala- bility of that first generation. Most breeders hope to get a really good filly from those first breedings, in order to produce top performance horses in the second generation,” he says. He points out that many top performance horses, including top Hanoverian showjumper Shutterfly, for example, are out of mares sired by full Thoroughbred stallions.

Next Generation

Since Coconut Grove did not

begin his breeding career until he was 15 in 2002, his off- spring are just now coming into the show ring. Here’s a glimpse of where some of them are today.

Carino OHF, registered as a Holsteiner, is now competing in Mexico. He is owned by rider Carlos Perez and was bred by October Hill Farm. At four years old, he is competing at the 1.0 meter level “He’s a super horse,” Carlos says. “I bought him because I am such a fan of Thoroughbred horses!”

Coquette BHF as a yearling at the 2007 Devon competition.

“I have a very successful 17 hand four-year-old colt by Coconut Grove out of my very good mare Gold Coin by Goldglanz,” reports Kc Brancomb of Branscomb Farms in Half Moon Bay, California. “Corazon B is currently being prepared for the Young Jumper Championships five-year-olds class next year, jumping under

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