Home Breeder Profile Taking it all the way: From breeding to show ring – Part...

Taking it all the way: From breeding to show ring – Part 2

Colby Winther Konig and Big Ticket Kupdo K x Cabardino

By Chris Gould / CWHBA
Photography: Spowart/Holm Photography, Quin Saunder, private collection

Last month we introduced readers to the Equitation Division in the context of Sorine Winther’s success as a breeder, coach, and mother of two medal-winning daughters, Taylor and Colby. In our conversation she revealed how she managed an active competition schedule with a small scale, but successful breeding program.

Winther, a native of Prince George, BC, and a competitive rider and coach, began her breeding career while in Calgary in 1993 with the acquisition of a Trakehner mare at the Spruce Meadows auction. The then three-year-old mare Ninemo, by the Trakehner stallion Nemo, standing at stud in Alberta, ultimately proved to be the foundation of a very successful breeding program.
From 1996 to 2011, Ninemo had 12 foals sired by a variety of stallions from throughout Canada. Her last foal Macey, by the Spruce Meadows stallion Le Premier, was her daughter Taylor’s equitation mount that took her through all the qualifying rounds. Grandson, Big Ticket, this year’s double winner, was out of Ninemo’s daughter Cabarret, by Augustine Walsh’s successful hunter sire Cabardino, and sired by Kupido K. Winther’s breeding program is built on performance. Between one and three foals are produced every year from matings that are decided by an analysis of the mare and matching the mare to a stallion that will produce the desired end product. To maximize her conception rate she uses only fresh semen from Canadian approved stallions.
Here is what Winther had to say about her first mare. “Her name was Ninemo, she was young, she was barely under saddle, but she was nicely put together. The breeding seemed good on her and so I jumped in and bought her and that was the first one. So yeah, I probably was a little lucky with my first one, but she was a nice mare and she caught almost every year. I think it took me a little while to figure out what stallions worked best with her and what didn’t, but you know she gave me a foal every year and almost all of them went to A-circuit show homes. None of them were Grand Prix jumpers, but what they had was really really good minds. They all were just easy to work with, happy to please, just great Junior Amateur horses.”

Sorine Winther riding Chaco (Carthago Sun III x Graf Top) in 1m40 to 1m50 classes at Thunderbird Show Park, Langley, BC in 2023

On choosing her stallions “We haven’t had very much success with frozen semen so we tried to stay with Canadian stallions. I really like to know the stallions a little bit and be able to watch them and get a feel for for what they might bring to the mare.”
Once on the ground, every foal is watched and handled by Winther and her daughters as it grows in order to put it on the appropriate career path. It’s a technique that has fostered jumpers, hunters and, of course, top equitation mounts... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber