Friday, March 18, 2011

Sport Pony

by: Tim Aiton Memory Lane Ponies

Here is the little dressage stallion we home bred. This chronicles him from 2 months up to 4 years. As a 4 year old he started showing in dressage against large warm-bloods and Anglo's. He won or reserved every class he entered and went on to be the provincial Champion Dressage Pony in his division and later went on to Win Reserve Grand Champion Dressage Equine in Western Canada, missing out on Grand to a 16.2hh older Trakehener stallion. Our little home bred Memory Lane Golden D' Nile, slightly under 13.0hh as a 4 year old, competed strictly against horses or open company.

The Chestnut (right) is his sire a multiple event Champion and 2x Secretariat TB descendant. Rpsi approved for the breeding of German Riding Ponies and a home bred.

The palomino (left) is his dam, a pure Welsh Mountain pony mare.

The very light palomino filly (below) is a daughter of Golden D' Nile named Twilight
Fascination. She has shown extreme ability in dressage since birth and I think is our herd's next good one.

When Golden D' Nile was young he had this ability to break into an extended trot that just made you stop and look and he did it with ease. His current owner and trainer Kelly Carter told me when seeing him at 4 months, "Tim hang on to that one he's something," and the late great Eric Brand, when seeing him do an extended trot across his lawn said " Oh Tim your stallion has done one hell of a job on that one, he's nice!" and Eric was a man of few words and great wisdom. For myself, I recognized very early in his life, by 2 months of age that he had enough quality to replace his sire and he has done so.

Also attached are links to his 2 dressage show performances that are on video.

His scores range from high 60's low 70's up to and including 75.6. In my mind with his win as Grand Champion Model Hunter Pony in show at one of Western Canada's largest hunter shows, and his win against some established and mature GCH hunter ponies at the age of 2, and being a Reserve Grand Champion in Western Canada in Dressage at age 4 (winning against approximately 200-300 dressage horses in open competition in Canada's Western Provinces), he has finally
earned the right to be called a sport pony!

What the pictures do not show is his incredible mind like his sire and his sire before him. Because I have been involved in Golden D'Nile's pedigree since the original import of his great grandfather Set in Stone TB by Council Rock by Secretariat and his great grandmother Bric's Suede by Leather Lyon by Secretariat, I have made a few statements over the years, that I am sure have made some cringe. My statements, such as "An American Pharaoh 2x Secretariat is how I intend to but sport into my ponies." I was stating things like this since "Pharaoh" was a yearling! Did I know what I had from birth, likely not the first few days as he was a very gangly long legged colt and a bit awkward on those long legs, but yes at three months of age I watched him go on a canter tear around his pasture and like Wynn in her explanation, when he dropped his head and took these enormous long strides with incredible speed, I knew I had an athlete. His son Golden D' Nile's stride is not as hugely ground covering as his sires but he got his sires wonderful free moving shoulder and a more than adequate stride for a pony over a hand smaller than his sire.

What impressed most with Golden D' Nile was his tremendous trot - with credit to his dam, who has passed on her wonderful Welsh trot to all her foals. I must admit at this point Dressage is not my love or choice of sport. To me its like watching paint dry, but dressage has become my daughter's passion and we were just lucky enough to have some capable animals in our herd to produce a couple.

You may have already read one of my posts about my daughter Annie having aquired a small 15.0hh RPSI approved daughter of the International Dressage Champion *Variant. Well this wonderful mare is in foal to Golden D' Nile for a early May foal. She is 3/4TB and he is 1/4 TB. The mare's name is Orianna, she is a very uphill mare, extremely light on the front end and with teriffic movement. When I envision the resulting foal I get excited as their conformations complement one another so well. She'll add size and I expect the foal to grow to 14.1hh as she has thrown nothing but small when bred to large warm-bloods so I think I am safe at 14.0 or 14.1hh. She will add to D'Niles already up hill build even more, she has a tremendous long stride and great trot, which will complement him. He is tremendously sound and powerful while she is sleeker and more TB in build, yet she has an amazing hock assembly and good bone. I envision a great foal with tremendous athletic ability but only time and its birth will tell. It will likely prove me wrong and be the ugliest most disunited conformed animal yet! But my gut tells me otherwise. Ha ha! Tim

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