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notes, when one factors in a cost of $3,000–$6,000 per month for professional board, training and showing over a period typically spanning fi ve or six years to get to this level of competition, it is not the inexpensive option! A stallion licensed on this basis should be of particular


appeal to the sport horse breeder. Arguably, he should be given greater consideration than his younger counterpart; the typical Performance Test candidate, by virtue of age and experience, can only be evaluated on its promise of future ridden excellence. The appeal of a stallion that has been licensed based on competition results is that he has proven consistently, and at a high level of diffi culty, that he is an exceptional performer under saddle. Sharon Garner also advises in her responsible breeding article that mare owners should research a stallion’s performance career, because “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and that is certainly true of breeding horses.”


Licensing Our Own Stallion In 2011, we presented and successfully achieved


licensing based on Competition Performance from the German Verband and AHS with our homebred stallion, Dreammaster DMV (Dimaggio/ EM Daisy Dee/Dream of Glory). It’s been a long ride, pardon the pun, but one we are proud of. How did we decide he was worthy of the time and expense of pursuing this elite status? The answer is partially one of circumstances but primarily one of being true to our breeding philosophy: to strive to produce horses that not only have the physical attributes requisite for reaching the top in competition, but have the temperament that will allow an amateur rider to make that journey with them. We believed that our own Dreammaster was exceptional from birth and over the years proved he was the “whole package.” Putting him forward for licensing was an eight-year journey, evaluated carefully at every stage. Our goal to further the excellence of Hanoverian breeding


originated and developed during more than a decade of living in England, which included regular commuting to Verden, Germany, the breed’s “Mecca.” It was a privilege to have easy access to the many equestrian mentors in both countries who generously shared their breeding knowledge and skills. In 1999, I made the leap to purchase my fi rst elite quality Hanoverian. Successfully winning a nail-biting auction battle for the event’s star and top selling horse, a dark liver chestnut three-year-old mare sporting four matching “dressage socks” named Daisy Dee (Dream of Glory/Western Star), proved to be a pivotal moment in my life. I renamed her Dreamcatcher and she returned with me to England, earning much media fanfare. The hype was well founded: she not only carried me, then a novice rider, to many open dressage titles, but also I partnered her with friend and coach Carl Hester to secure both National and International Young Horse titles. In 2002, British-based Hanoverian stallion Dimaggio


returned to Verden to win the World Dressage Breeding Championship. I paired him with my own performance star with the help of the then-new breeding technology


Carl Hester on Dreamcatcher with her three triplets. To the left is Dreammaster.


Event” near Vancouver. Once again Dreammaster was the audience favorite. Although John had only had him under saddle for a few months, the three-year-old demonstrated he had inherited the star qualities of his world class performing parents to a delighted audience. In 2004 my partner John Dingle and I took the fi rst major step to realize our dream of creating our own Hanoverian stud and training center. Returning to my native Canada we began the immense task of transforming a cattle ranch located in the pristine mountain valley of Pemberton Meadows in British Columbia. Transporting Dreamcatcher and the three yearling triplets was just one in a series of monumental physical and mental challenges ahead of us.


In our opinion, we believed that this colt demonstrated all the characteristics we wanted to produce in our future off spring. We agreed to breed him to a couple of local mares as well as perform our own embryo transfers with select mares. John, experienced in embryo transfer from his previous work with bovines, worked with a keen local vet and put our new lab into production. The resulting foals clearly demonstrated Dreammaster not only improved the physical attributes of the mares, he passed on his genetic gifts of paces, performance and temperament (confi rmed a few short years later with his off spring’s accom-plishments in both dressage and jumping competitions). We also decided to attach the suffi x “DMV” (for Dreamcatcher Meadows Ventures) behind the foals’ names that met our breeding standards.


Warmbloods Today 33


of embryo transfer featured in several horse magazines, including Horse and Hound. The Dimaggio/Dreamcatcher union yielded three embryos, producing two colts and a fi lly in 2003. (See the full story, “Build a Breeding Business on Embryo Transfer” in the May/June 2009 issue of Warmbloods Today.) The triplets were showcased at an event at Addington Manor with Carl astride Dreamcatcher and the triplets cavorting around the arena with their surrogate mothers. The favorite was clear; the dark liver chestnut colt Dreammaster was in a league of his own as he independently took central stage demonstrating his star presence and gymnastic “airs above the ground.” Years later, we showcased the triplets at “The Mane


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