Ryon d’Anzex (1983/AA/stallion Massondo AA - Hera B AA x Dandy du Verger AA) under the saddle of Fernando Fourcade (ESP)

By Adrien Cugnasse/SF
Photography: Les Garennes

The victory of Ryan des Hayettes SF – out of a dam by Ryon d’Anzex SF – in the Hermès Grand Prix during the CSI5* of the Grand Palais at La Baule earlier this year, once again brought to the forefront the influence of the Anglo-Arab on the Selle Français Studbook. But is this influence as strong as in the past? What are its evolutionary factors?

Small, bounding, ultra-careful and full of blood, he who is now named Hermès Ryan SF (Hugo Gesmeray SF)  thrills all equestrian sport enthusiasts. Having four grand-parents with very diverse profiles, his pedigree is a true European melting pot. Rosire SF (Uriel SF), his sire’s sire, genealogically speaking represents the Normandy Selle Français in all its glory. Teofany SF (El Toro), the dam of his sire, is in some way the standard bearer of these non-Norman Selle Français which have been assimilated by the domination of the Norman pedigrees. Born in the Pays de la Loire region, she was a moreover a three-quarter bred.
The other grand-dam of Hermes Ryan SF, Esther, alias Everest Life Style, was a Belgian mare with a pedigree deeply impregnated with old Hanoverian bloodlines. This major winner, ridden by Michael Whitaker (GBR), jumped at the top level. Finally, the sire of Hermès Ryan’s dam, is none other than Ryon d’Anzex (Massondo). This exceptional Anglo-Arab is also the grand-sire of another horse figuring among the current six best Selle-Français horses (Usual Suspect d’Auge SF). And it’s his presence in the pedigree of the champion bred by Yves Lauwers that motivated the writing of this article…

Among the best show-jumping Selle Français

According to the WBFSH rankings published in April, in showjumping the Selle Français Studbook occupies sixth place, notably thanks to Usual Suspect d’Auge (a grandson of Ryon d’Anzex through Jarnac SF); Uno de la Roque SF (a descendant of the foundation mare Bourrée SF, by the Anglo-Arab, Nickel); Hermes Ryan SF (grandson of Ryon d’Anzex); Tradition de la Roque SF (out of a dam by Oberon du Moulin SF, a seven-eighths Anglo-Arab stallion); Sari SF (ex Unicstar de l'Aumône SF), granddaughter of Quick Star SF, himself from Anglo-Arab stock; and Naranjo SF (no obvious Anglo-Arab ancestry).
At the end of 2018, in the same rankings, the Selle-Français Studbook was third thanks to Timon d’Aure SF (a descendant of Ifrane and Nickel); Rokfeller de Pleville SF (no obvious Anglo-Arab ancestry); Rouge de Ravel SF (a distant descendant of the Anglo-Arab Oceane II); Silver Deux de Virton SF (no obvious Anglo-Arab ancestry); Ryan des Hayettes SF (see below); and Prêt à Tout SF (his sire carries the blood of the Anglo-Arabs Casoar and Maroc). Therefore ,the Anglo-Arab is present, but you have to go a long way back in the breeding to find them.
Hermes Ryan/Ryan des Hayettes (Hugo Gesmeray - Ryonne des Hayettes Z x Ryon d’Anzex)

And in eventing?

Again, according to the WBFSH, the Selle Français was at the end of 2018, the third best studbook in the world in eventing. In this discipline, the influence of the Anglo-Arab on the Selle Français is stronger, but above all more recent, the six best being – in the order of number of points: Vinci de la Vigne SF (a descendant of the Anglo-Arab Gentil Pierre); Opium de Verrières SF (a son of theAnglo-Arab stallion, Ultra de Rouhet); Toledo de Kerser SF (a very distant descendant of Navarin through the blood of Diamant de Semilly SF); Talma d’Allou SF (whose dam is an Anglo-Arab), Romantic Love SF (no obvious Anglo-Arab ancestry); and Qing du Briot SF (out of a three-quarters Anglo-Arab dam).
Over the longer term. The IFCE has compiled the sporting indexes of sports horses since 1974. Over the last four decades, 82 Selle Français have achieved an ISO/ICC/IDR of 180 or more. Approximately 25 % of them have one or more Anglo-Arab ancestors.

If we extend this study to every French horse having reached or exceeded an index of 180 over this period, we see that nearly 30% of this elite carry Anglo-Arab blood in their veins. This level of performance isn’t without consequences on breeding. And what better to measure this phenomena than to examine closely the elite of breeding mares in our country? Among the 77 French broodmares in activity having a BSO of 25 or more, about 20% stem from the bloodlines of two Anglo-Arab mares: Ifrane (Château du Diable) and Manuela (Labrador). If we want to add the descendants of Alikame (Alize) and of Nibeth (Hylene), we find an Anglo-Arab-based mare in the breeding of approximately 22% of these elite French dams...To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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