By: Equestrian Canada Équestre
Photography: Spruce Meadows Photography/Mike Sturk
Owned by his rider, Daniel Bluman and Kim Douglas, and bred by Andrew Blais, Ireland (Zambesi TN - VDL Verona H x VDL Emilion) has been named as the 2022 Canadian-bred Horse of the Year following a successful inaugural North American FEI competition season.
This award is given to a horse bred within Canada who holds an outstanding performance record that has helped to enhance the reputation and visibility of Canadian- bred horses.
Now 10 years old, the Canadian Warmblood gelding, ‘Lando’, was bred by Andrew Blais of Hillsburgh, ON with sire Zambesi TN to his mare VDL Verona H. Blais came to own Verona, a 2002 Canadian Warmblood mare by VDL Emilion in 2007. The pair competed together for several years until Verona retired from sport after the 2011 season.
Ireland’s exceptional lineage was carefully selected for success in sport. His bloodlines include sire Zambesi TN (Heartbreaker x Calvaro Z), known for his stellar reflexes and attitude, and dam Verona, whose lineage boasts VDL Emilion (Wellington x Farnese) and Voltaire (Furioso II x Gotthard). Each of these prolific stallions are considered some of the world’s finest producers of jumping horses. Five of Zambesi TN’s offspring are currently competing at the 1m60 level, further cementing his reputation as a top sire in the sport. Verona’s sire Emilion competed successfully in numerous Grand Prix classes, is a World Cup winner, and was awarded the ‘Preferent’ predicate. Verona’s damsire Voltaire is an accomplished Grand Prix winner and one of the top sires in the KWPN jumping index with 151 points.
Blais sold Ireland to Bluman’s Blue Star Investments in 2020 but still follows the partnership closely. “We knew early on that he was special. Daniel Bluman and his team have been doing an amazing job developing him into a great five-star jumper. He is improving every time he goes into the ring. We have been watching them compete all over, but especially Paris, Spruce Meadows, and the Wellington Festival this past winter were amazing. We are also looking forward to what their future together will bring,” Blais explained... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS
SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BY LOGGING IN AND RETURNING TO THIS PAGE