By Marc Verrier
Photography: Peter Llewellyn and private collections
Extraordinary in every way: As a competitor with Olivier Jouanneteau, Uélème (Nelfo du Mesnil - Gazelle x Pontecoulant) has also been a remarkable broodmare, with 14 offspring indexed above 140, including eight having obtained at least one ISO 150. Currently, her daughter Bibici is shining at the highest level under the saddle of Grégory Cottard (FRA).
Uélème’s performances and the quality of her production make her one of the greatest ladies of the Selle Français studbook.
Extremely rare are the mares who have shone at the highest level in the world and are able to boast of having had a production of such quality. Winner of a World Cup Grand Prix, Uélème has been able to remarkably reconcile a very long career as a competitor with that of a broodmare, thanks to the embryo transfer technique which was just beginning to develop. Holder of the remarkable index of 176, obtained twice in 1997 and 2001, Uélème has had incredible longevity with 16 seasons of competition during which she obtained an index greater than 150 no fewer than 10 times, and seven times an ISO greater than or equal to 170. A completely new performance which would have already been enough to make her a legendary mare.
One of the best broodmares in the history of SF
This true force of nature has also proven to be a formidable broodmare who has given Selle Français a staggering number of big winners. Uélème is the mother of 25 products, 17 of which were bred during her sports career. While it is customary to say that embryo transfers can adversely affect performance, Uélème defied all standards. Of these 25 foals, 22 obtained an index at least equal to 120, ie 88% of her progeny; 14 are credited with a minimum ISO of 140, or 56%; while eight have obtained at least 150, or nearly a third of her production, and two are above 160 or 8% (see box on page 15).
By way of a supporting comparison with another great – and also very prolific – matron of the Selle Français, Sophie du Château (Galoubet A) had 31 foals. Dam of the extraordinary Itot du Château (Le Tot de Semilly), one of the five best indexed Selle Français of all time with an ISO of 193, Sophie, ISO 147, is the sire of 23 horses with an index greater than or equal to 120, ie 74.2% of her descendants; nine obtained at least 140 or 29%; five are above 150 or 16%; while two are credited with more than 160, or 6.5%... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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