Estelle has four other nice broodmares but chose Day

Star for her first Totilas breeding. “My initial breeding of ‘Day’ was to Royal Diamond, which produced a nice filly. I know Donnerhall (her grand sire) crosses well with Totilas. So Day’s second breeding was to Totilas in 2013, and she took on the first straw,” she recalls. “And this mare always produces super conformation, good topline and a strong body. Day’s a powerful mare and she passes that on to all her foals, and expectedly they have all scored Premium at the Oldenburg inspections.” She prayed

Day Star (Donner Bube x Tango Selune I), the mare that Estelle decided to breed to Totilas.

for a colt the whole time Day was pregnant as her goal was to produce a stal- lion prospect by Totilas. Her prayers were answered and as soon as the foal was born she could see how strong he was. “I knew from the first day that he was going to be a breeder’s once-in-a-life- time, and so my plan all along was to find a way to get him to Edward Gal,” she explains.

RAISING A STAR His mom was a bay and Totilas was black, so how did Total Star end up a liver chestnut? Donnerhall, his great grand- sire, was a liver chestnut, so Estelle wasn’t too surprised. “He was very intelligent and easy to handle,” she says when asked about the youngster’s temperament. “I am here alone and do all my own handling of my babies. Luckily Total Star never bit me or acted up like some young stallions do. Instead he was gentle, but he loved to show off when I had guests here,” she adds with a laugh. Estelle planned to bring him to the Oldenburg’s 2017

stallion licensing inspection as a three-year-old, so to prepare him she sent him to a local young horse trainer who started him under saddle. He was already 17.2 hands but was easy to train, she says. She believed his biggest strength was his huge powerful canter and at the inspec- tion he easily earned his GOV licensing. Everything was moving along according to Estelle’s

14 March/April 2019

plan. She was not going to adver- tise the horse for sale as she still had her sights set on Edward Gal acquir- ing him, however improbable that might seem to others. What came next was either pure luck, fate, divine interven- tion—or destiny.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING In April 2018, SH Productions was sponsoring a “West Coast Dres- sage Convention” featuring clinicians Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud (another Glock- sponsored top Dutch rider) and famed natural horse- manship trainer Monty Roberts, to be held in Los Ange- les at El Campeon Farms. Even though L.A. was almost 3,000 miles from her home, Estelle felt this was her big chance. “I signed up to audit the clinic and bought myself a plane ticket with the sole intention of connect- ing with Edward,” she continues. “I of course had no idea how this would all happen, but I had to try.” She hired a professional photographer to come and shoot all kinds of photos of Total Star—he had to look his best for the presentation she was planning. She decided to contact a friend of hers from Los

Total Star at three months (top) and three years old (bottom).

Angeles and ask her where she thought the clinic orga- nizers might be housing their clinicians. Her friend suggested they might stay at the Four Seasons hotel nearby, but who really knew? So Estelle made a reserva- tion at the Four Seasons and crossed her fingers. Estelle wanted to be fully prepared to present and

promote her horse to Edward. She had put together a folder that included copies of all the GOV inspection reports, the stallion licensing, vet reports and radio- graphs. Also included were the professional photos of her stallion. The fateful weekend came and Estelle flew into Los

Angeles, spent the first night at the hotel and went down to eat breakfast the next morning. “When I sat down, I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes—Edward Gal was entering the restaurant!” she exclaims. “I walked over to him, introduced myself and briefly told him about my horse.”

Photos by Estelle Motta

Jessy Dalpe

Estelle Motta

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