By Luca Paperelli
Photography: Marco Proli and private collection
In the Italian jumping championships for young horses in Arezzo, and in the series finale of free-jumping for three-year-olds in Verona, there were nine sons of the same dam: Energia d’Almé (Toulon [BWP] - Elise VII [Holst] x Calvados II [Holst]). This extraordinary mare is now in sport under the saddle of Italian international rider Emilio Bicocchi.
Giovanni Dolci, owner of the BB88 kennel (acronym for Bergamo Breeding 1988) is the breeder of the moment in Italy. After all, it’s not everyone who has seven five-year-old jumper finalists at the Italian Young Horse Championships in Arezzo in October, all in the top places, plus two three-year-olds who finished in first and third positions in the final of the free-jumping circuit in Verona in November.
Having nine horses, all offspring of the same genetic mother, also reared at home, is a beautiful story to tell, as well as an historic record. “I was lucky” – Giovanni Dolci modestly states when asked, even if the results of his horses testify to something much more than a simple stroke of luck.
Thanks to Elise VII
It all began with Elise VII/alias Elise 5 (1990/Holst Calvados II x Montevideo) imported to Italy at the age of seven as a sport mare by Giampaolo Rolli of the San Michele studfarm. When her sporting career ended in 2002, Elise VII arrived in Bergamo and became a broodmare for Elisabetta Fratus’s San Giovanni studfarm. Giovanni Dolci, a breeding specialist (since 2016 he has collaborated with Professor Galli’s Avantea), is the vet for San Giovanni, which is how he came to know and appreciate the qualities of this mare.
For Elisabetta Fratus, Elise VII will produce seven excellent jumpers, including four mares who have started a successful female line now in its fourth generation. Among the many San Giovanni jumpers, we especially remember Zaia di San Giovanni/aka Zaia (2009/SI Cornet Obolensky x Cassini I), an international winner with Canadian international Mac Cone. Zaia is also the grandmother of Glondon di San Giovanni (2016/SI London x Cardento) who competed at the World Breeding Championships in Lanaken in the five-year-old age group.
With foals born to her daughters, Elise VII subsequently left the breeding program of Elisabetta Fratus, and at the age of 20 ended up with a trader, before arriving with Giovanni Dolci who covered her with Toulon – resulting in the 2013 embryo transfer birth of Energia d’Almé... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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