By Liis Ira / ESH
Photography: Ago Ruus, Stefano Grasso/LGCT
A few short years ago, many Estonians interested in equestrian sports who were also familiar with sport horse breeding were able to follow the path of the first Estonian-born horses to reach the Tokyo Olympic Games.
If our studbook once dreamed of one Olympic horse, the fact that three ESH horses should achieve such a high level was quite a shock for everyone. At that time, comparisons were made to the Estonian national football team qualifying for the World Cup final, or the landing of three Estonian cosmonauts on the moon, as the media exemplified this accomplishment.
But now we can follow another wonderful story: Ace Of Hearts (Aliandro B - Rachel x Ra) a 2010 Estonian Sport Horse stallion who has become part of the Belgian national team with Gregory Wathelet. Bred by Perek Barake, we have just heard the first news about the horse’s possible participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. And while it’s not so newsworthy about Belgium per se – one of the leading countries for breeding showjumping horses – but that a horse from the small country of Estonia, where only around 100 sport horses are born every year, is truly remarkable.
Karim Barake, together with his wife, equestrian Grete Püvi, was one of the first to import stallions to Estonia in the early days of the ESH studbook, and at the same time started breeding under the ESH brand. All Estonian Sport Horse breeders remember such stallions as Ace’s sire Aleandro B (Heartbreaker), as well as Landcruiser (Landadel), Chance (Cashman), and Ra (Concorde), the damsire of Ace of Hearts.
Among Barake’s young horses, Ace grew up at a stud in Western Estonia, where the stud’s owner and a veterinarian recalls that Ace and his mother, Rachel, were good-natured and human-friendly horses. It is noteworthy that Ace Of Hearts is a third-generation Estonian sport horse as his granddam, Vega, born in 2002, was already registered in the ESH studbook, which was officially founded in 2000, with the first foals born in 2001... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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