2020 National Hanoverian & Rhineland Tour Report

A big dose of good luck made it possible for our National Hanoverian/Rhineland tour to go ahead and be completed. Our classifier, Dr. Ludwig Christmann arrived home in Germany to find coronavirus had taken hold and he was required to do two weeks of self isolation.  


Every year the classification tour across the Australian continent is one of the most important activities of the Australian Hanoverian Association. This year it was carried out by Dr. Ludwig Christmann, who is responsible for the international Hanoverian breeding in the mother association, the Hannoveraner Verband in Verden. Below are his impressions.

In total I have seen 96 foals, including some yearlings for a late registration. Appr. 2/3 of the foals were from European stallions, but Remi Stud’s Lauries As was the stallion with the biggest number of offspring (7). The most popular European stallions were For Romance, Secret and Total Hope with 5 foals each. 21 gold medals could be awarded and 34 silver medals. This high number of awarded foals is a clear proof of the quality of the Hanoverian and Rhineland breeding in Australia. About 90% of the foals presented had a dressage pedigree. For a dressage foal to be awarded a gold medal it is absolutely necessary that it can move above average with an attractive type and a conformation without major faults. Foal evaluation is always a snapshot. The evaluation depends on the state of development and on the way the foal presents itself at the time of the evaluation. Sometimes three or four good steps are enough to recognize the potential. A lot can happen until the foals reach the age of three years, i.e. the age at which they can get under saddle. Very good foals can become normal, foals that lacked the absolute highlights at a young age can develop excellently under the rider later. In this respect, some foals that have been classified as silver foals do have potential for development.
Champion Hanoverian Dressage Foal was Hollingrove Dougall by Don Martillo out of a mare by Ampere, which was purchased by Dougall’s breeders Debbie and Bruce Williams, Warrragul, at a foal auction in Verden. Debbie and Bruce are long time and experienced Hanoverian breeders who pay a lot of attention to the quality of their mares. The success gives them right. Year after year they convince with excellent foals, which are often classified as gold foals. Dougall is a typey, impressive, large-lined foal with a great front end, who carries very well in his movements and who could convince in all three basic gaits. The competition among the colts was definitely fierce. A strong competitor was in his own stable, Hollingrove Frodo by Franklin/Royal Hit, the foal with the best trot of all. Clare Mullers De Niro/Fürstenball – son was perhaps the most typey colt and certainly a stallion prospect.
In the filly category there was a clear winner, the Borsalino/Locksley II – daughter Remi Bodacious bred and owned by Cheryl O’Brien. She was the outstanding filly at the big Open Day of Remi Stud and impressed especially with her outstanding trot, which she celebrated with great rhythm, lots of impulsion and much expression. The walk was also of great quality.
A filly was also the best Rhineland foal, which we saw at Kalimna Stud in Victoria. Kalimna La Bailarina is the characteristic name for this daughter of Legend of Loxley out of a mare by Wyndemere, who is bred and owned by Kalimna Stud. She impressed with her attractive type and a very good trot, which was characterized by great elasticity.
Unfortunately, only very few show jumping foals were shown. The best jumping foal was a filly by the Celle state stud stallion Grey Top out of a dam by Carbid. It had a good basic quality, was attractive in type, athletic, with good limbs and supple movements.  His breeder Willy Knaus runs his Hanoverian breeding program in Yarra-Valley, Victoria, with the aim of breeding horses for show jumping and eventing on a mare basis with a lot of thoroughbred blood.

A total of 51 mares were presented for studbook inspection. 11 of them were eligible as premium mare candidates, 13 mares were presented in the mare performance test. The highest rated three-year-old mare in the studbook inspection was OEH Faithful Chili, a daughter of Fürsten Look. Her dam Red Hot Chili by Rotspon is one of the most influential Hanoverian mares in Australia. Her breeder / owner is Michael Procter, who runs a veterinary practice in Oakford near Perth in Western Australia. Year after year Michael presents above average offspring out of this great mare. OEH Faithful Chili is a mare of the desired elegant type. She is leggy with a good frame and showed good gaits both in trot and walk. A total of 6 three-year-old Hanoverian mares were presented, 4 of which were eligible for the Hanoverian premium.
The competition was bigger for the four and five-year-old mares. A total of 20 Hanoverian or Rhineland mares were presented in this age group, which also had a broad top group with eight premium mare candidates. The champion mare in this age group was the four-year-old Sandro Hit/Floriscount daughter Sandromia, bred by Vicky Roux out of Officer, Victoria. Sandromia is an impressive, large-lined mare who is built uphill and shows this uphill tendency clearly in her expressive movements. An ideal model, as the dressage sport demands today. Her toughest competitor was standing right in the neighbourhood and was presented at the end of the tour on the same day. This was the likewise four-year-old Hollingrove Furst Romance by Fürstenball/Don Romantic, presented by Bruce and Debbie Williams, Warragul, Victoria.
Fortunately, 11 mares were presented in a broodmare performance test at five locations in Oakford, Western Australia, in Cairns, in Belcam Stud, Queensland, in Ashwood Park, New South Wales, and in Ellanbrae Park in Victoria. The presentation of the mares under their own rider was satisfactory, only one mare had rideability problems. Test riders were available at all events and they all did an excellent job. A bit more difficult was the training level in free jumping. There were quite a few mares that were not sufficiently prepared for this part of the test. The requirements in free jumping are determined by the horse. If we as judges have the impression that a mare has talent, this talent is definitely tested. This means that for a mark of 8.0 and better an oxer with a height of at least 125 cm must be jumped with confidence and in a good manner.
The Australian Hanoverian Association has also provided awards for the best mares in the mare performance test. The mare with the best overall result was the black mare Remi Lucretia Borgia by Lauries As/Lanthan bred and owned by Cheryl O’Brien. She convinced in all three parts of the test basic gaits, rideability and free jumping, which led to a final score of 8.03. The HHSA awards a special distinction for the best Hanoverian or Rhineland horse of the tour. I have decided to dedicate this award to this mare, as she was the youngest mare in the broodmare performance test and has produced an enormous performance. She convinced with a great overview already in free jumping, received high rideability scores of 8.5 on average and showed above average basic gaits. It is a mare that can find her way in sport in dressage or eventing, but of course she is also a valuable broodmare. Her dam Remi Lambuca by Lanthan, who goes back to a thoroughbred dam line, is one of the best producing mares in the renowned Remi Stud, run by Cheryl O’Brien. Several times her mare family was awarded as best family of the registration tour. Several offspring of this mare have already been Mare Performance Champions.
But the mare with the best marks in the dressage criteria was another one. The award for the best dressage mare in the broodmare performance test went to the five-year-old Rhineland mare S- Platinum Australia by Prestige VDL/ Rhodium. She is owned by Sheridyn Ashwood, who presented her herself at her facility Ashwood Park in New South Wales. S- Platinum Australia is a big framed mare. Especially the large croup is remarkable. With the help of this lever, she develops ground covering, always uphill movements with great rhythm in trot and canter. In addition, she impressed with an outstanding rideability, which was rewarded with a 9.0 by the test rider Lizzy Wilson-Fellows.

At Ashwood Park the best jumping mare of the tour was also shown. This was the four-year-old WG Confection by Contenda out of a thoroughbred mare by Honours List xx bred and owned by Pam McLean, Winegarden Stud. Her final score for free jumping was 8.0. She excelled with a very good technique and a great attitude. Pam McLean breeds horses mainly for eventing and in this discipline the mare should have a great future. Her sire, the Contendro/Bolero son Contenda, was a successful eventing horse himself and has already attracted attention on several occasions as the sire of good horses for this discipline.
It is remarkable that the sires of all three mares, who were awarded for their good broodmare performance test, are stationed in Australia – Lauries As in Remi Stud, Queensland, Prestige VDL in Ashwood Park, New South Wales and Contenda in Wimborne Park Stud, also New South Wales.

Another valuable award is the award for the best mare family. Six families were presented, all in Queensland, by Kaitlin Colless, Remi Stud (2 families) and Benchmark Stud (3 families). The best family was the 21-year-old mare Southern Cross Amaroo by Anamour out of Lunch Deal xx by Zephyr Zing xx with her daughters Benchmark Lucky As by Lauries As and Benchmark Rock On by Rotspon, who was shown at the Open Day of Benchmark Stud. Amaroo is a foundation mare for Janette and Kevin Lewis. She has an excellent pedigree and laid the foundation for a dynasty of successful sport horses, especially in dressage.

At Ellanbrae Park in the state of Victoria a licensing took place where the six-year-old Oldenburg black stallion Dante Quando by Dante Weltino/Fidertanz owned by Ellanbrae Park was presented and licensed. Dante Quando is a dressage stallion with great presence who won the Bundeschampionat in Germany when he was four years old. He has a high quality – regarding type and conformation, regarding the quality of his basic gaits and regarding his talent for dressage. His pedigree is endowed with high-quality Hanoverian genetics, stallions like De Niro, Weltmeyer and Akzent II. He is an absolute asset to the Hanoverian breed in Australia and deserves to be used.
Three and a half weeks I was on the road in Australia concerning Hanoverian horses – a long time. I was in six states – Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. As this report shows, I have seen truly outstanding horses in all parts of the great Australian continent. Congratulations to the Hanoverian breeders who are very committed to their breeding. The Hanoverian breed has the claim to breed horses of above-average quality for the upscale sport. The Hanoverian breeders in Australia also live up to this claim.
For the future I would like to see the number of breeders who breed eventing or show jumping horses grow. From conversations with show jumping experts, I have the impression that the importance of a targeted, pedigree-based show jumper breeding is underestimated. The thoroughbred world apparently still offers a huge reservoir of cheap young horses here. I am convinced that this will change, and that the superiority of targeted jumper breeding will also prevail in Australia. Hanoverian and Rhineland breeding also has a lot to offer in this discipline.
It would also be desirable if it were possible to hold more central events, such as mare shows, or foal shows. This is of course is very much a problem of long distances, but it is desirable that events take place which have an external effect and are a showcase for the breed.
This journey is always a great logistical challenge. It was perfectly prepared and organized. In this respect I would like to thank Janette Lewis, who pulled all the strings. A big thank you goes to my co judges Kevin Lewis and Kaitlin Colless and to all who contributed to the success of the trip, to all who hosted me and showed me how hospitable Australia is and to all who sacrificed their time to travel with me to the farms.

Dr. Lugwig Christmann

Our usual Breeder’s Evening will not be on the agenda this year because the Sydney CDI has been cancelled. All awards will be posted out to the winners.
The Committee of the HHSA would like to thank all members who participated in the tour this year. It takes a big commitment from many to pull the tour together. If you assisted in any way, we say THANK YOU.