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Corner By Judy Wardrope Sapphire: Bred and Built to Jump


Renamed Sapphire, she partnered with McLain Ward to become a two-time Olympic team-gold medallist (2004 and 2008). As one would expect from a superior athlete, her LS (the lumbosacral gap found just in front of the high point of the croup) is bisected by a line drawn from the top of one hip to the top of the other. (Photo 1) Top jumpers all have a stifl e protrusion well


B


below sheath level in order to have the range of motion of the hind leg that correlates with scope. And Sapphire’s stifl e is well below where the bottom of a sheath would be on a male horse. (Photo 2) Another thing the top jumpers have in common is the distances from point of hip to point of buttock


orn in Belgium in 1995 and originally named Safari van het Merelsnest, this dark chestnut BWP mare grew to a substantial 17 hands.


and from point of buttock to stifl e protrusion being essentially equal. This confi guration best suits the coiling of the rear spring as it compresses. So far we have a hindquarter built to be able


compress for maximum spring and to stretch for maximum scope as well as a strong coupling (a well-placed LS) to function as a fulcrum that aids in lifting the forehand over the fences. And, as one would expect, the lighter the forehand, the less work the fulcrum (the LS) has to do in lifting those forequarters. Using a line extended through the naturally


occurring groove in the forearm (the pillar of support), we can make judgments as to lightness of the forehand and soundness. For optimum soundness/longevity the bottom of the line should emerge into the rear quarter of the hoof—as it does here—and the forehand should not be


1 62 September/October 2012


All photos by Judy Wardrope


Conformation


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