Don Amour taken at HOY 2019, ridden by Wendi Williamson, bred and owned by Judith Matthews

By Sally Reid
Photography: Annie Studholme, and Cornege Photography

NZ’s current dressage horse of the year is Don Amour MH (Don Frederico - Adelheid MH x Anamour), bred by Judith Matthews at Matthews Hanoverians, and owned and ridden by Wendi Williamson. ‘Donny’ began his new season with a competition in Boneo, Australia, but an uncharacteristically poor show revealed that he was sick.

The 12-year-old gelding stayed in Australia to recover, and more than made amends a few weeks later by winning the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle at the Australian Dressage Championships in Sydney. His performance, against Australia’s very best, earned him the highest mark of his career (76.18) and set a new Australian Freestyle record. Williamson and Don Amour MH now have an invitation to the Pacific League (Australian/New Zealand) Final which decides the one rider from this region to head to the 2020 World Cup Final in Las Vegas.
Don Amour’s dam Adelheid MH has several top progeny, including World Cup competitor Dejavu MH, tragically lost to colic in 2018. A full brother of Don Amour’s, Don Vito MH, is the current NZ level four champion, and the mare Decadance MH (Dacaprio) is the level six horse of the year. Both Decadance MH and Don Vito MH are with Wendi Williamson, though Decadance belongs to Judith Matthews. And, waiting in the wings is a two-year-old filly by Totilas, Tiffany MH, who was a ‘premium’ foal at the 2018 Hanoverian inspection tour, who has since been sold.
Runner-up in the Sydney Freestyle was Corinna (Crelido - Larinna x Loren), a 12-year-old BWP mare ridden by Lone Jorgensen, who formerly represented Denmark at Olympic level and is now riding for Australia. Corinna is owned by Australian dressage rider Pauline Carnovale, and was bred by Gitte Søgaard and Poul Hove at Stutteri Hove in Denmark. The mare won the Grand Prix at Sydney on 69.348, with Don Amour a very close second on 69.087.

Jumping leaderboards

In the seven-year-old age-group, Daniel Webb’s homebred Warmblood mare, Constellation (Cassini d’Eclipse - Milly x Anamour) is at the top of this group with a total of 18 points. She has a powerful mix of genes in her pedigree, starting with her Holsteiner sire, Cassini d’Eclipse (Cassini I - S Caretina, Bezirksprämie x Caretino), who was imported from Belgium as a youngster in 2008. He was bred by the Shrickx family at Stal Eclipse in Belgium. Milly, Constellation’s dam, is by the German-bred Hanoverian, Anamour (Aalborg - Lucille x Lombard), one of the most important Warmblood stallions in NZ breeding history. The number of his progeny, as well as their progeny, who have excelled here, is remarkable. And, of course, he is the damsire of Don Amour MH (see above)...To read the complete article you need to be a subscriberCLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS

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