Sunday, February 21, 2010

Donna Dora

Sometimes, a great opportunity comes along. That is what happened when I was looking for horses for a lesson program at Storm Grove Stables.
I had seen this mare when looking for a horse for another student of mine back in September, and was really impressed with her (but she wasn't for sale at the time).
To make a long story short, I contacted the trainer this time, looking for a horse, and she mentioned Dora to me, saying that she was now for sale. The partners at Storm Grove were actually considering a breeding program, and this mare would certainly fit into their vision. In addition, I am always certainly looking for great training prospects for dressage, and this mare certainly fit the bill in every way.
She has super rideability, great gaits and conformation, incredible temperament, and great bloodlines--she is by Donnerschlag (Donnerhall)x Dresden (Duellglanz) which is heavy Hanoverian breeding in the very important D-line. Her foal papers are Oldenburg, and she is entered into the Main Mare Book in the Holsteiner Studbook. She was one of the top-scoring mares at her inspection with 44 bonit points over 6766667.
We will probably also look into getting her entered into the Oldenburger Horse Breeders Society North American division of Verband der Zuchter des Oldenburger Pferdes e. V. mare book (we were told it would be no problem to get her in the main mare book, and one can only hope that she achieves premium status, as well). I will also have to look into whether she could be entered into the Hanoverian mare book, since she is heavily Hanoverian in her bloodlines. I am still learning about all that, since my main focus over the past 15 years has been riding and training, not breeding. But I have always thought about getting back into breeding a baby or two if the right quality mare came along. I have always admired the Donnerhall line, so this is the chance of a lifetime.

I am also looking forward to continuing her dressage training, but the breeding comes first. I have a partnership on this mare, and we are looking for a stallion that we think will cross well on this mare. I am considering a few different stallions, but I keep coming back to Dresden Mann. He is Donnerhall as well, and I will have to ask the advice of breeders who are much more experienced with the lines than I am if this will be too close in the line, and I may need to consider a less closely related horse. But here is a link to Dresden Mann's video, so you can see why I like him....
Dresden Mann video on Youtube
I like that he is only 16.1 hands, since Dora is 16.2, and I want the resulting foal to stay between 15.3 and 16.2 if at all possible. I am not a fan of sheer size. I think the "smaller" horses are much more marketable, manageable, and are not as prone to maintenance issues. I have a 15.3 hh Dutch Warmblood gelding who did the meter-fours in Germany before being imported, jumped here in the U.S. until he was 14 or 15 years old; I "switched" him to dressage (although I still jump him lightly for fun) when he was 18, and now at 25 years old he is still sound with no "maintenance", and competitive at training/first level in Wellington. I don't think I could be saying the same if he were 17+hands.
Anyway, if anyone has any further thoughts or knowledge of Dresden Mann or his offspring, or any comments or suggestions for a possible match for Dora, I would love to have you post them!I am so much looking forward to all the possibilities with this mare!
Thanks also to Bianca Berktold for making this possible, and to Franzi Pfeiffer-Blackstone for advice, and to Storm Grove Stables (Nicole Baudo and Joy Nottage) for partnering with me in the purchase of this exquisite mare!


  1. What a pretty mare! I like her size and her conformation looks great! As a tall female rider with long legs, I think anything 16 hands and up is plenty tall for all but the tallest riders. Very exciting to see the photo and video - it'll be great fun to see how she goes and who you breed her to!

  2. Hi Emily, Thanks! As I research more about her, I am finding that she is even more important as a broodmare than I knew! My intention is to continue with her training (lightly as she carries the foal, and then in earnest after the foal is weaned), but I feel like we should continue to breed her as well, so I am now looking into embryo transfer. I know it is a bit premature, but better to be ready to make an informed decision when (if) the time comes, as I do not have any experience with ET! For now, I have to settle on a stallion with whom she will cross well with the foal she will carry herself.