By Jo de Roo
Photography: Jo de Roo
In total, 125 foals were inscribed to participate at the Flanders Foal Championship organised by BWP Leiestreek. This event was formerly hosted by the Zilveren Spoor’ equestrian centre in Moorsele. However, this year the organisers were obliged to move to a new location and found a perfect alternative: Sport Vlaanderen Bloso, located in Waregem.
Of course, when I asked several participants why they entered, most of them responded by saying ‘eventually to sell our foal’. This is understandable as there was an auction delegation from Fences, as well as a representative of a Dutch sale organization, and Heinz Meyer, Paul Schockemöhle’s breeding advisor for showjumping horses. A
Bred by Julie Giuliano, Flanders foal champion Dream of Nicoletta (Zenon - De Niroletta x De Niro) claimed victory in the ‘dressage foals – fillies’ category. Just two years ago, Giuliani, who works for the European Parliament, bought De Niroletta from the Cityhorse, saying: “I bought De Niroletta because she is beautiful and has a pleasant character. At a young age she was already very pleasant. Now, she is four-years-old and perfectly takes care of her foal. Dream of Nicoletta is her first foal.”
Why did you decide to cross her with Zenon? “Because of his elegance and dynamics. He is very modern, just like De Niroletta.”
What can you tell about your studfarm? “Dream of Nicoletta is the first foal I’ve bred, so it’s a very successful experiment. Since I was 14, I have had a certain affinity with horses, in the beginning as a rider, nowadays as a breeder.” For the moment, De Niroletta is not in foal.
Tiger Woods VLS – colt dressage foal winner
Geert Van Loo and Cindy Soenens bred Tiger Woods VLS (Finest Selection - Q10 VLS x Johnson), the winner of the ‘dressage foals – colts’ category. Talking about Q10, Soenens said: “She is a three-year-old dam with a lot of character. The breaking-in still has to be done. We decided to cross her with Finest Selection in order to get calmness and a better walk. Q10’s grandmother is Dolani VLS, so we bought her from Paul Maïs because of her pedigree, and with a view to sport and breeding. We started to ride Dolani VLS, but circumstances obliged us to launch a breeding programme with her. We can tell the same story about Ilona VLS, a daughter of Welt Hit II out of Dolani VLS. Ilona is Q10’s dam. Those were dams that didn’t perform in sports. We used them from generation to generation in our breeding activities.”
Talking about the plans for Q10’s future, Soenens said: ‘The breaking-in of Q10 will now take place and she will subsequently be started in sport. When she was two-years-old she was already tall. At that age we decided to start her career as a breeding dam, hoping that we could slow down her growth.” Soenens laughed: “But she has even grown even taller,” and has a lot of character which she inherited from her sire, Johnson. According to Soenens: “For instance, when we are transporting her, she is very hot. That’s why we decided last year to combine her with Finest Selection. We succeeded very well.”..
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