By Chris Gould / CWHBA
Photography by Cassandra Morrish-Two Sisters Photography
The 2019 Canadian Warmblood stallion performance test was held September 13 to 19 at Old Gate Farm near Olds, Alberta. An ideal facility for such an event, Old Gate Farm is a private barn owned by Katrina and Hans van den Bosch. This year, five stallions challenged the test, which was supervised by Hakan Wahlman of Finland. Of the five, three were approved.
The champion stallion in all categories was Gare du Lyon, a grey, four-year-old, Zangersheide-registered stallion by Gare du Nord and out of Gesina (VDL Cardento). Owned by Uterra Equestrian Ltd and Highbury Show Stable, this young stallion fulfilled the promise of his pedigree with an outstanding performance over fences as well as strong rideability scores which pushed him to the top in the dressage category as well. Gare du Nord is a paternal great-grandson of Quick Star x Le Tot de Semilly, with Capitol I x Concorde in his bottom line third generation.
Reserve Stallion was WH Luciano, a bay six-year-old registered Canadian Warmblood, bred and owned by Wachter Horses. He was sired by WH Leader (Landadel) out of WH Cascarina (Corrado II). Again, a strong jumping performance as befits his pedigree plus good rideability placed him second in both categories. WH Leader’s granddam, Grandezza, is a full sister to the internationally renowned performer Grannusch, ridden by John Whitaker.
The third stallion to achieve approved status was the bay Largetto, a four-year-old Westfalian-registered by Like A Diamond, out of Famina (Fidermark), owned and bred by Nicolas Rorhbach. Largetto is a modern, stylish stallion with a dressage-oriented pedigree who certainly demonstrated his potential for the future .
The judging commission was chaired by Katy Holder-Vale from Great Britain. She was joined by Connie Dorsch, EC judge; Joanne Wright, senior CWHBA inspector; and CWHBA national chair, Charmaine Bergman.
Working under the tutelage of Hakan Wahlman, the stallions had two days of preparation before the judging commission observed their gaits under saddle, jumping a course, and evaluated their rideabilty with guest test riders for both dressage and jumping.
The test riding was handled by Sheri Cameron and Janeke Hoogendoorn for dressage, and Rodney Tullock and Alex Grayton for jumping.
This was the first time the test was hosted by Old Gate Farm, but hopefully not the last. The spacious arena, excellent outdoor ring and impeccable hospitality of the van den Bosch family made it a special event for everyone involved. In the words of Cathy Chalack (Ulterra Equestrian) “Thank you to the CWHBA volunteers and organizers, (Jennette Coote). Huge gratitude to Old Gate Farm, Katrina and Hans van den Bosch and their crew for the hospitality, as well as Two Sisters Photography (Cas-sandra Morrish).”