“Just being given a foal for free is not enough to inspire most trainers to take it on with no reimbursement.”

As a bigger breeder, Mo feels fortunate. “At my farm,

I have the ability to raise my foals, put them under sad- dle and then offer them as riding horses,” she says. “I have a USDF silver medalist trainer, Cara Klothe, here at my farm who does a super job with the young horses. The only horse I have placed with a Grand Prix train- er (Marcus Orlob) is one of my stallions, Shakespeare RSF— my heart horse.” Most breeders run smaller operations, and can- not afford to have their own professional rider on staff or send a horse to a Grand Prix trainer. Lisa agrees with Mo’s

approach. Lisa runs a dressage training busi- ness based in Florida. “It wouldn’t be practical to raise a foal here—it’s too expensive”, she says. Instead she doesn’t take horses in training until they are at least four or five years old, generally. “It’s a difficult scenario,” she acknowledges. “It’s very expensive to raise and maintain a horse. Just being given a foal for free is not enough to inspire most trainers to take it on with no reimbursement.” If she decides to breed to a stallion, “I pay for the breeding fees. I do not expect to get this for free.” As a trainer, one of Lisa’s biggest pieces of advice to

breeders is to stay small enough so they can afford to invest in training for their young horses. “I look at it this way: I would not have a child without considering their education in the future. I expect to save money for their university education the minute they're born.” It can be hard for breeders who are overextended

and haven’t budgeted for training,” she admits. “There is more to it than just making foals. It helps to prove a breeder’s program to have some of their horses in train- ing and showing. The horses are also more marketable

at that point. I learned this from Gudula Vorwerk of Gestüt Vorwerk. Gudula paid me to train and compete her horses. Gudula also paid instructors to train and educate me on her young horses and stallions. It's a win-win scenario.”

Bred by Rothman Sporthorses, Dempsey, a KWPN by Idocus out of an Obelisk-El Corona mare, was a successful international three-star event horse with Tamie Smith. Dempsey had been in training down in Tamie’s area of California and the people working with him thought the pair would be a good match, so Tamie put together a syndicate to purchase him. Together they had a successful career, but last year after the Bro- mont Three-Day Event in Quebec, the nine-year-old underwent surgery and unfortunately suffered complications in recovery and was humane- ly euthanized. This photo was taken earlier at Boekelo (Netherlands).

Build Relationships If we are ever to have an Olympic team mount- ed on domestically bred horses, there will have to be a more symbiotic rela- tionship between breed- ers and top riders. There is only so much breeders can do, via discounts and the like, to support top riders. In return top riders should also support the breed- ers—promote and rec- ommend them and their horses to their own clients, and work to find sponsors who support the purchas- ing of domestically bred horses. Perhaps it’s the chicken and egg thing… trainers need good horses

and breeders need to sell their good horses. So who is re- sponsible to get the dialogue going? If you’re a proven upper-level professional on a budget and need a horse, don’t be afraid to reach out to a breeder, especially with creative ideas that would work well for both of you. You might be surprised what can be arranged, and it may lead to a lifelong friendship and partnership. In the end, celebrating and promoting domestically

bred horses requires contributions from all the stake- holders: not just breeders and trainers, but also sponsors, breed and discipline organizations, and the amateurs who do so much to support their chosen sports. All these groups, working together and looking out for one anoth- er, have the opportunity to support each other. Can countries like United States and Canada ever

produce their own competitive teams using domesti- cally bred horses? It certainly won’t be easy—but it is possible.

Warmbloods Today 57

Leslie Wylie

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