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NZ Hanoverian wins FEI PSG World Challenge


By Sally Reid

The Hanoverian has been established in New Zealand for fewer than four decades now, but in that time the dedicated breeders of these horses, backed by the NZ Hanoverian Society, have managed to establish a huge depth of talent.

One prime example is the seven-year-old NZHS gelding Dance Hit SW (Danciano - Rosari Sable Hit SW x Sandro Hit), the overall winner of the FEI’s Prix St Georges World Dressage Challenge. Bred at Sterling Warmbloods in Auckland by Sheena and Dermot Ross, he comes from a mare family that has a number of noteworthy branches. And although Sterling Warmbloods stopped breeding at the end of 2021, their name lives on through its talented ‘SW’ progeny. These include the excellent 11-year-old gelding Sartorial Hit SW (Sarkozy x Anamour), who was the four-year-old Young Dressage Horse Champion and overall Champion Young Dressage Horse in 2016, and the very promising Delia SW, who is a full sister to Dance Hit SW. Delia was the top dressage-bred filly of the 2017 NZHS inspection tour under Dr Ludwig Christmann.
Dance Hit and Delia’s dam, Rosari Sable Hit (Sandro Hit - Donna x De Niro) was bred by Fiona McCrostie. She has Oldenburg and Hanoverian dressage bloodlines, plus NZ Thoroughbred through her noteworthy grand-dam, The Serenader xx (Kareem xx - Dynasty Star xx x Ruling xx). The Serenader xx was a successful dressage horse herself, owned by Pauline and Dean Hewetson and ridden by Pauline to Advanced level and, according to at least one pedigree database, to Grand Prix. Although it’s hard to verify whether she reached GP heights or not, The Serenader xx certainly proved herself as a progenitor. Born in 1988, she was bred by J.W. Rusher but not registered for racing. She has at least three good daughters, all of which were bought by Fiona McCrostie from the Hewetsons: Dance Hit’s dam Donna (De Niro), Weltnader (Weltmeyer), and Mastery (Master SWB).
According to Sheena, “I didn’t compete the mares, as I bought them young for breeding. Theirs were some of the first frozen semen foals in New Zealand by famous lines: De Niro/Donnerhall, Weltmeyer, and Master SWB. I wanted to hurry the breeding process along by using young mares with better bloodlines. I intended to compete on Mastery but then put her in foal.”
Donna was born in 1999. She is the grand-dam of the outstanding young stallion Rosari Fabio (Fürst Romancier), who has produced champion foals three years running in the NZWA inspection tours after just five seasons at stud. The colt Southern Star Seraphim, was the tour’s overall champion in 2020 under German assessor Matthias Werner. This year, with assessor Gerd Kurst, another colt, Southern Star Prestige (Rosari Fabio x Gymnastic Star x Master 850) was unbeatable with a score of 84.75%. Rosari Fabio was bred by McCrostie and is owned by Southern Star Sport Horses. “I bred three Gymnastik Stars and two Sandro Hits from Donna before selling her in-foal,” McCrostie says. “I sold her daughter – Dance Hit’s mother, Rosari Sable Hit – to Sterling Warmbloods as a two-year-old. Her other good offspring include Rosari Guest Star, who had to retire after an injury, and Rosari Gracia, who is the dam of Rosari Fabio. I have a half-brother of Fabio’s; a rising three-year-old colt by Fürst Toto.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber