By: Sally Reid
Photography: Courtesy New Zealand Warmblood Association
With just one week to cover a country that looks small on a map but is beset with travel challenges, and following hard on the heels of a devastating cyclone, the NZWA tour team worked extra hard this year. More than 130 mares, foals and youngstock were assessed by Gerd Küst in locations that ranged from the far north to the deep south.
“This year was even more challenging than normal as it happened just a week after the devastation of cyclone Gabrielle,” says NZWA President, Jody Hartstone. “Although assessor Gerd Küst only had seven days to do a whirlwind tour of New Zealand, he did a remarkable job. We were very lucky that the path we took kept out of too much trouble weather-wise, and none of the planned tour areas were missed. In the end he examined horses from Whangarei in the north to Mosgiel in the south, with lots of road tripping and flights in between.
“It was great having Gerd back in New Zealand after a four or five year absence. He is always fun to travel with and has a wealth of knowledge across many of the Warmblood breeds. It is very important in New Zealand that the assessor has a non-biased opinion and doesn’t come here representing one particular breed or type of horse, as our foals come from a variety of background pedigrees, from KWPN to Selle Français, BWP, Hanoverian, and everything in between. The quality this year was as high as ever, with some really interesting bloodlines coming through – lots of frozen semen sires across both the jumping and dressage disciplines.”
The two highest placed foals of the tour were both bred for dressage, and both have the prämienhengst Hanoverian stallion Gymnastik Star in their pedigrees. The overall champion, and top filly was a ‘glorious’ girl, Kelaray Glorious (Gymnastik Star - Kelaray Temptations x Radway Talk of the Town), scoring 87% (excellence), and was bred by Kelly Mason of Kelaray Stud, Awapuni. This super foal, who travelled three hours by truck from the far north of the North Island for her assessment in Whangarei, was the undoubted star of the tour. Her score included 9.0 for walk, 9.5 for trot, and 8.0 for canter. 87% included 9 for walk, 9.5 for trot and 8 for canter.
On paper, her breeding is a little unorthodox, but it has produced a filly who is pretty close to perfect, and who Gerd Küst considers capable of topping a foal auction in Germany. Her dam Kelaray Temptations is a lovely, elegant mare who won multiple championships in-hand: an English Riding Pony x Anglo Arabian cross, also bred by Kelly Mason. Temptations’ own dam, Deveron Airs N Graces (Deveron Duvall x Toy Pindarra NZ xx), was imported from Australia, where she won ‘supreme’ titles. She has 45% Anglo Arab blood and was out of a Thoroughbred mare.
Kelaray Glorious seems set to live up to her name as she also won champion dressage filly of the tour, and champion Derivative 2* Register. [* The NZWA Derivative 2 Register is for horses with at least 25% Warmblood breeding and more than 13% blood other than the allowable WB/TB/Arab. Pony/horse crosses also belong in this category.]
“To say I am gobsmacked would be an understatement,” says her breeder Kelly Mason, whose other foal, the eye-catching skewbald Kelaray Breathless Vision (Solaris Buenno - Gotcha Brewin Colour x Brewed Too Hot) also scored highly with a ‘merit’ award. “I knew both fillies were very nice, but it’s great to have my own thoughts backed up by a German assessor, Mr Gerd Küst. ‘Grace’ [K. Glorious] has always caught everyone’s attention; she has the most incredible uphill trot and canter, and the sweetest temperament too. She was a tad nervous, this being her first outing as well, but she sure pleased the assessor.”
The sire of Kelaray Glorious, Gymnastik Star (Glückspilz - Creasy x Calypso II), was a prämienhengst Hanoverian from Stamm 3192409, Schridde 382, bred in Germany and exported to Australia. He died some years ago after a very successful stud career. His stallion sons include Australian-bred Kinnordy Gym Bello, also now deceased, who stood at Astek Stud in New Zealand, and whose own career had a big impact on bloodlines here. It’s worth noting that Gymnastik Star is also the damsire of the tour’s champion colt (see below) and his sire, Rosari Fabio (Fürst Romancier - Rosari Garcia NZHS x Gymnastik Star)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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