Jessica Wisdom Demonstrates the Rideability of Hanoverian Stallions

By Kristina Andersen-Fontana T J

he Hanoverian horse has long been recognized as one of the most versatile, ridable, trainable and successful breeds of riding horses in the world. With a history dating back to the creation of the Celle State Stud (Germany, 1735) and the official Hanoverian Studbook in 1888, the Hanoverian now celebrates over 300 years of breeding success.

Since the end of World War II, the breed’s mission has been singular: to produce a more versatile performance horse. Ac- cording to the American Hanoverian Society, “Breeding stock is very carefully inspected and selected for correct conforma- tion, athletic ability and inner qualities such as disposition and trainability.”

essica Wisdom of Battle Ground, Washington is a USDF bronze, silver and gold medalist. She coaches trainers and horses from Training level through Grand

Prix. Several horses in her program have received “Horse of the Year” awards at various levels, including her impressive self-trained Grand Prix Hanoverian stallion Diamondhead, who has earned the prestigious title twice so far. In ad- dition to running Equi-Librium Equestrian, her training and breed- ing business, Jessica is a respected clinician and has been an instru- mental test rider at the stallion sport tests (licensing) for the past seven years. Jessica shared with us her special journey and the bond she has developed with Diamondhead—both in sport and breed- ing—as well as her unique perspective as a stallion test rider.

Jessica Wisdom and her Hanoverian stallion Diamond- head (Diamond Hit x Hohenstein) have formed a fantastic partnership over the last ten years.

and handling in his first two years, as is often the case on large stud farms in Europe. But the colt’s sweet, trusting and giving nature was immediately apparent. Quickly he was able to learn all that was required of him to acclimate to life in a busy American barn. In 2008, at just two years old, he secured the USDF award for Horse of the Year for two-year-old colts and geldings (All-Breeds Dressage Sport Horse Breeding award for Hanoveri- ans). As their trainer-horse bond deepened, there was no question Diamondhead was Jessica’s future dressage partner. As fate would have it, her client agreed to sell the still unbroken stallion to Jessica. Each fall and into the winter,

Uncovering a Diamond When asked about Diamondhead (Diamond Hit x Ho- henstein), Jessica’s 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion, you can hear the smile in her voice as she responds, “He’s the best Christmas present ever.” Te story of how she came to find him is like a page out

of a fairy tale. Just over a decade ago, she received a phone call from one of her clients, who was on a trip in Germany. In her travels the client spotted a very young stallion out in a field—muddy and fuzzy with a full-scale winter coat. Although one may think this dark brown colt would be easy to overlook in favor of the flashy black horses or chest- nuts with ample chrome, as soon as he moved there was no question of his extraordinary quality. “Trust me, Jessica, he’s that good,” her client stressed, who then purchased him and imported Diamondhead to the United States. When he arrived, it was clear he had had limited training


Jessica starts up to 30 young horses under saddle. Now that she owned Diamondhead, with the purchase confirmed just before Christmas, she orchestrated their first ride to- gether to be on Christmas Day. Tis is why she calls him her “Christmas gift.” From the very beginning, the young stallion demonstrated a brilliant work ethic. Each day, he would come out ready to dance and eager to please. His balance, talent and suppleness continued to delight Jessica as they progressed in their early training. It was very clear the careful breeding of the Hanoverian stallion had paid off and that high levels of rideability and trainability from both sire and dam had been passed along to Diamondhead without sacrificing the mesmerizing movement admired in top horses.

Shining Brilliantly As his training continued to progress, the bond between the pair deepened. In 2016, Diamondhead and Jessica won the Horse of the Year USDF All-Breeds Hanoverian title once again for his impressive results at Prix St Georges. More

Wes Dot Photography

American Hanoverian Society

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