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Second and third, I loved that he received that excep- tional, ‘10’ walk and that uphill canter—the two gaits that should be there naturally in a top foal.” Ken points out another trait Rashka inherited. “Like one


in every three Warmbloods standing in Europe, Rashka toes in slightly on one foot in front, as do Opus and Idocus, and also Tashka’s dam, Bashka, from her sire Butow. Raymeis- ter was slightly toed out on one foot more than the other, and luckily, we did not get one foot toed in and one foot toed out. Rashka had slightly long pasterns, one toed in, but otherwise he was very correct and never out of balance.” It has never, he says, affected the stallion’s performance. Ken feels Rashka has surpassed his legacy and will hope-


fully continue to do so. “He started to show as a weanling and has been a star ever since,” he says. “His best feature is his brain,” he continues. “He will try


to do anything the rider asks. I can let anyone ride Rashka; he is very safe. ‘Rideability’ and ‘uphill’ are the best words to describe him. In that regard, he is very much like Opus and Idocus.” In the USEF database, Rashka has 23 offspring listed to


date. “They have great brains and elastic movement. All except two have scored Premium with ISR/Oldenburg or Grade I with SWANA (Swedish). All shown have been very successful, with almost all of them winning USDF Horse of the Year champion- ships (all-breeds) and their regional finals,” Ken says.


Elfenperfekt*Pg*


Trakehner, 2006 (Peron *Pg* *E*x Zauberklang *E) Alice Drayer, Jefferson, Maryland.


“I had a very nice mare [Elfentraum *E* (Zauberklang *E* x Donauschimmer)], bred by Wonderland farms in Pennsylva- nia,” Alice says. “We worked through the lower levels, and I wanted ultimately to breed to her. I wanted to pick a stallion who had a strong competition background, who ideally had been to the Olympics. Peron [Mahagoni x Coktail] was the only dressage stallion at that time [in the U.S.].” She says she did not see Peron compete. “I had heard


many positive things about him, and what a strong competi- tor he was.” Peron competed in Germany with Michelle Gibson, and won the 1996 Olympic Trials at Gladstone. He was on the U.S. team at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, finish- ing fifth individually and earning a team bronze medal. Using frozen semen from Peron (who died in 1999), Alice


bred her Elfentraum mare using embryo transfer, which produced two foals in 2006. “I did the ET so the foals were carried in surrogate mares,” says Alice. “I could still ride my mare and compete with her.” Elfenperfekt’s twin sister is Elfen String of Pearls *Pg*, a


mare who’s also competed at the FEI level. “They were twin embryos that year, and that was a handful,” Alice recalls. “People said Peron had a great piaffe and passage,” says


Alice. “For Elfenperfekt, coaches are amazed at his piaffe and passage. He had picked that up as a fun thing he likes to do.


You watch a lot of these shows, where these movements are a lot of effort for the horses. They have to carry them- selves and it’s a lot of work. Elfenperfekt has learned to carry himself.” She praises her


trainer Abraham (Abe) Pugh, of Cedar Creek Stables in Greencastle, Penn- sylvania, who has been showing the stallion since 2014. “He has a great workmanlike attitude. He works really hard. He’s businesslike in the saddle. There is no quit. You can ask him, and he will continue to try,” Abe says. “He’s been a super partner,” he continues. “We have a


Top: Elfenperfekt and Abraham Pugh competing at Developing Grand Prix at Lamplight’s Festival of Champi- ons, August 2016. Bottom: Elfenper- fekt’s Trakehner sire Peron, ridden by Michelle Gibson at the 1996 U.S. Olym- pic Trials in Gladstone, New Jersey.


great relationship and he works real hard. He can be a little mischievous. He has a really fun personality. He is super quiet. He is easy to haul, not spooky.” Abe praises the stallion’s obedience. “I can do piaffe and


passage, and one tempis bareback riding him in a halter. In shows, he gets 8s and 9s for his piaffe. Piaffe and passage are his strong points. His weak point is the extended trot. He excels at piaffe and passage work because he can be super collected,” he says. In 2018 the pair won Region 1 Grand Prix and the ATA Horse of the Year in Grand Prix (USDF All-Breed Award). He placed twenty-third of all the Grand Prix horses in the USDF with an average score of 68.478.


Warmbloods Today 37


SusanJStickle.com


Charlene Strickland


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