Vicki Prentergast riding Sangster

By Sally Reid

It’s unusual for a gelding to top a country’s sire rankings, but that’s what’s happened in New Zealand this year, with the honour goes to 11-year-old Sangster (Corland VDL - SoFee x Powerfee), a handsome black Holsteiner bred by showjumping rider/racing trainer/breeder Vicki Prendergast of Matamata.

The rankings were calculated by Massey University, using the number of double-clear rounds jumped by progeny in the five- and six-year-old classes for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, and Sangster heads a list containing some big international names, including Colman, Kannan and Zirocco Blue. He was represented by only three horses, who between them had 20 placings and averaged 42.3 points apiece.
His two real stars are the geldings Souther Field (out of Chloe x Glendevon Commander) bred by Vicki Prendergast, and Marius (out of Bridget Bardot x Ramazotti), bred by Geordie Bull and Jo Bell. Marius’s dam, Bridget Bardot, is a Dutch Warmblood cross and was also an age-group winner, while Souther Field’s dam Chloe is by a full Clydesdale, out of a Thoroughbred mare.
Sangster himself is out of the Powerfee daughter SoFee, who is proving more and more significant as a broodmare as her progeny come through the ranks. One of them is the excellent Selena C (Cardento VDL). This bright bay mare, ironically nicknamed ‘Ugly’, finished second overall in her five-year-old series and won the Pro-Am Rider of the Year (1m30) class at HOY as a seven-year-old. Is she ugly? Not really!
Sangster himself was outstanding in his age groups. “He was such a stunning looking young horse that I decided to breed a small number before gelding and competing him,” says Vicki Prendergast. “I think if you shop around and use frozen semen you can get top quality stallions from all over the world, but I think Sangster just crossed well with New Zealand-bred mares, producing rideable horses with trainable temperaments. He served seven mares before being gelded as a four-year-old.
“He was SoFee’s first foal, and jumped here very successfully as a four-, five- and six-year-old. I had a badly broken leg coming into his six-year-old season, and wasn’t meant to be riding, so I did a couple of shows then sold him through Clem Smith in Australia. He’s now owned by Mia Smith – no relation.
“Sangster sired two foals as a two-year-old; one of them died in a paddock accident, and the other is Souther Field, who is the only one we’ve retained. As a three-year-old he sired five: Marius, bred by Geordie Bull and Jo Bell; Firthview Sylvester, bred by me and now owned and ridden by Stevie Collins; Starborough ridden and bred by Louise Leonard; and Ritchie, a full brother to Souther Field, bred by Gina Schick.” Starborough, whose dam Kaipara Encore is by Senator VDL, is just beginning an eventing career. Firthview Sylvester, a big gelding bred to jump, is out of a mare by Hold Up Premier. “I am really proud of Sangster and the line of horses I’ve bred and developed over the years. It’s a really special line that descends from my very special old mare Sanderston.”
Sanderston (San Mellay xx - At Easer x Winnebago), a Thoroughbred-Hanoverian mare who began Vicki Prender-gast’s talented line, was bred by Pam Bailey, owned by Prendergast and competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with the sixth-placed Brazilian eventing team, ridden by Serguei Fofanoff. She then returned to New Zealand and a breeding career. A gelding son of hers, Sacramento, by Sangster’s sire Corland VDL, had age-group wins and later jumped at Grand Prix level. A daughter, Solano (Senator VDL) was an excellent performer in her age groups, ridden by Prendergast, with six wins as a five-year-old... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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