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By Charlene Strickland


tallio Born in the USA


It all starts with a breeder’s dream: a dream to breed a future cham- pion stallion. After years and years of dedication and hard work, some American breeders are fortunate to have either fulfilled that dream or are well on their way.


Rashka and Ken Borden were USDF Region 4 champions at Prix St. Georges in 2014.


W


e found four stallions, two dressage and two jumper, bred in North America who are sired by stallions who stood in North America. All have been


‘put to the test’ and have become top performers in their sport, are still competing and are good representatives of the select few who can be considered elite.


Rashka****


Oldenburg/ISR, 2004 (GP Raymeister x Opus) Little Bit Farm, Wilmington, Illinois.


“Rashka was destined for greatness before he was born! He comes from four homegrown generations of our USDF Horse of the Year champions, so we expected nothing less from him,” says owner and breeder Ken Borden, Jr. of his Grand Prix stallion. “Raymeister crossed with Opus seems to be a great cross


for many reasons, and they have complemented each other over and over again. As a breeder, we are hoping for the best, but we need to be realistic about both the good and the poor attributes of our horses and hope to draw the best from each parent to improve the next generation,” he adds. Ken bred both of Rashka’s parents and Opus was an all-


breeds champions in dressage. He says Raymeister was “the most winning horse in USDF history.” About his dam, Ken says, “Rashka was the first foal from


36 March/April 2019


our premium ISR/Oldenburg and AHHA-approved mare, Tashka.” As a three-year-old, Rashka won the stallion testing


short test in 2007 with a score of 164.86, which Ken says is the highest score in U.S. history. “And it is quite possibly the highest of all the European stallion testings as well,” he adds. “Depending on how you compare the tests and with whom you speak, Rashka still holds the highest score ever, and he won both the dressage and jumping section—as a three- year-old! Many people think you cannot compare from one stallion group to another testing group, but I disagree. It is the same standards, and often the same basic set of judges.” Rashka earned the USDF Horse of the Year award three


times (Training, First and Second levels), and was reserve champion three times. In Training level Ken reports the horse won 126 straight first places in competition. “Rashka has scored as high as 91% under saddle and holds the high- est median score ever recorded by USDF. He still holds the highest scores at Training through Third levels in USDF history,” he says. Ken names three strong points about his stallion: “First, I


never expected Rashka to look so much like Tashka, with all the white legs, and her sire, Opus, really seemed to stamp his get as well with the star, snip, and white hairs in his mane and tail that his own sire, Olympic Idocus, seems to pass on.


Carolynn Bunch


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