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In 2007, we selected and imported a 300-day Perfor-

mance Tested licensed stallion from the Hanoverian state stud in Adelheisdorf, with a view to expanding our breeding operation. John trained the young stallion and made his competitive dressage debut; they were undefeated in the FEI young horse competitions in both 2008 and 2009. During this time we focused on ensuring that Dreammaster DMV firmly established the basic skills following the classical scale of training in dressage. During that time we limited our breedings to the licensed stallion. At the age of seven, in 2010 Dreammaster DMV debuted

in U.S. dressage competition at Devonwood, giving John one of his most memorable competition experiences. He prevailed over almost 30 Hanoverians, including those at Grand Prix level, to secure breed champion in addition to First Level victories. This was closely followed with his U.S. breed show debut in Spokane. Celebrating his victory as the show’s grand champion, the judge, fellow competitors and audience left no doubt in our minds that this stallion was where we should focus our resources. Judge Mike Osinski asked where we had been hiding this superstar, the likes of which he would choose to breed his own mares to. Several more breed and dressage championships followed, including the title of Inspection Stallion of the Year for the American Warmblood Society, scoring over 88%. Dr. Ludwig Christmann, international development

director of the Hannoveraner Verband, annually travels the world to increase awareness of the breed and also to evaluate Hanoverians of all ages. He identified Dreammaster DMV as exceptional when he evaluated him as a foal in England. In addition to our personal friendship, he has been a mentor and advisor to establish Dreamcatcher Meadows as a breeding “Deckstation.” His summertime visits to conduct a formal Hanoverian inspection allowed him to monitor Dreammaster DMV’s training and development. A fellow judge, Spruce Meadows legend Albert Kley, joined him on the 2010 Pemberton tour and echoed the opinion he was a candidate for licensing. The evidence was complete and we were confident that he was worthy of the time and expense of attempting to attain status as a licensed Hanoverian breeding stallion based on performance. It was time to put him to the ultimate test.

Put to the Test Before planning Dreammaster’s 2011 competition schedule

to achieve the licensing criteria, we needed to make sure he passed all the stringent x-ray and veterinary standards. (These are the same requirements set for the three-year-olds following the conventional Performance Test route, which we did not take with Dreammaster.) With an eight-year-old, it was a daunting task considering the physical wear and tear of several years of training and competing. There is also more likelihood that inherited problems such as Osteochondritis Deseceans (OCD) would be evident at this later age. We were delighted and relieved to learn he passed the reviews of five Kentucky-based veterinarians retained by the AHS.

34 September/October 2012

Top & bottom: John Dingle and Dreammaster DMV during the in-hand and ridden portions of the final stallion inspections.

We next turned to our friend and mentor, U.S. Olympic medalist and international judge Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, to train and compete Dreammaster DMV to fulfill the competition criteria. Up until this point, Dreammaster had only competed up to First Level, just six months prior. Charlotte built on his advanced classical education that we had focused on for years and continued his training on our stallion that she says she “absolutely loves.” The combination well exceeded the competition requirements, which are five scores exceeding 64% awarded by international judges at FEI Prix St. Georges (PSG) level at recognized USDF shows. The pair regularly achieved scores in the mid-70s at PSG and Intermediate 1 level, with a constant “9” for gaits, winning USDF Horse of the Year awards in the process. This speaks volumes regarding Dreammaster DMV’s trainability and Charlotte’s partnership with him. Thus, the check box for performance scores were ticked— one more very important requirement was met! We now had the final task at hand to complete our

licensing journey. In August 2011 Dreammaster DMV, John and I received a warm welcome from Edgar Schutte at his Rainbow Equus Meadows in Sacramento, California, where

Both photos © Tamara

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