By Chris Gould / CWHBA
Photography: Kim Goudry and Amanda Ubell
Late winter in Canada and everyone is ready for a change; something to break the monotony of winter. This was never more noticeable than this year during the pandemic. The annual Stallion Service Auction (SSA) is one way that Canadian breeders combine the fun and excitement of an auction with some astute buying for the up-coming breeding season.
As usual the 2021 Canadian Warmblood SSA which runs February 21 to 27, features many of the best and most popular stallions. A unique feature of the SSA is the foal futurity whereby offspring of nominated stallions compete for significant prize money the following year.
Last year several stallions created excitement as the bidding heated up towards the close: including the 2019 high seller Jethro Tull (I'm Special de Muze x Voltaire), Kumano (Kannan x Landjunge), and Rock My Soul (Rock Forever x Furst Heinrich) to name a few. In the end, however, the Canadian-bred Hickstead son topped the sale.
Gallup WF (Hickstead x Ramiro's Son) bred by Bruce and Sharon Telford, owned by the Gallup Syndicate, and managed by Carousel Ridge Ltd., is the center-piece of a successful 20-year breeding and show program run by Shauna Cook and her mother Sheilagh Kelly.
Under Shauna’s capable stewardship Gallup WF has proved himself an excellent athlete, achieving his sport approval in 2019 – the same year he made his Spruce Meadows debut. Although he was champion stallion at the CWHBA licensing in 2013, Sheilagh and Shauna set high standards for performance and only launched his breeding career in 2018. His first CWHBA foals were registered in 2019.
Although 2020 was a different competition year, Gallup placed first in three out of four Grand Prix classes at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping in September, and at Thunderbird was second at 1m45 by only two-tenths of a second, giving him his first FEI ranking points. Shauna is clearly excited about him. “He has proved he is in the game with the big boys,” adding “... a bit sensitive at the start, like his father, but he is really coming into his own.” There is no wonder why Gallup is becoming popular with Canadian breeders, Hickstead made history for Canada with his individual Olympic gold medal (Beijing 2008 in Hong Kong) and now his Canadian-bred son is demonstrating his own merit.
This is not the only stallion developed by Carousel Ridge. Bling (Bratt Z x Matterhorn) bred at home, topped the CWHBA stallion performance test in 2009 and although now gelded, has a son competing successfully at 1m40 with a junior rider.
Combining breeding with showing at a high level is challenging, nevertheless Carousel Ridge is showing us how it can be done. Utilizing frozen semen, Gallup is able to maintain a busy show schedule while making the genetics of his legendary father available to Canadian breeders.