Spring has arrived in Tucson! The trees are leafing out, the wildflowers are blooming, the temperatures are balmy (at least in the daytime), unlike the poor East Coast getting clobbered by record-breaking winter storms.
As a result, our babies are starting to shed out and I thought it might be a good time to share photos of some of our first Clintord offspring growing up here at Cross Creek Farms. The oldest USA bred youngsters are just turning two.
Disclaimer:-) It is really helpful to have a professional equine photographer, my sister Patty Hosmer of Hoofprints Photography, in the family!
CCF Coral Sea is just turning two. His dam Nouska is a grand prix winner here in the U.S. with Michelle Parker riding. Nouska is registered Dutch, sired by Julio Mariner (thoroughbred) out of a Voltaire daughter.
CCF Galactica II is a full sister to Coral Sea. She is still fuzzy, so this is a photo taken last fall when she was four months of age. Nouska is in foal again to Clintord for a late April 2015 foal.
Credence is Clintord’s first USA born foal (there are lots in Europe). Co-owned by Michelle Parker and Cameron Stoddard, out of Cameron’s good jumper mare Bonnie, he is growing up here in Tucson. Photo taken last fall at 11 months of age.
And our youngest, CCF Cloudbreak (Bolt), showing off his elasticity here at two months of age!
CCF Cloudbreak. His dam is Aida Z H, by Andiamo Z out of a Karthago daughter. She, too, is expecting another Clintord baby this coming July.
If you have a paint mare, you could have something like this Clintord son in California!
Sometimes I entertain myself by surfing the web looking for the offspring of our Holsteiner stallion Clintord I making their appearances in Europe. Last night I ran across the results of Katrinelund, the Danish Warmblood licensing event just held this month in Denmark. Clintord’s daughter Celebrity T was the champion in jumping performance for 3 year old mares. Congratulations to Celebrity T and her breeder Annette Juhl Taldorf of Stutteri Taldorf in Olgod, Denmark.
Remarks of the judges are included thanks to Brian Bech-Hansen, who made the translation for me, commenting: “Wow did I not realize how difficult it is to translate horse technical language from one language to another :-)
Efter Clintord I/Linaro/Caletto II/Calypso II, Stamme 3030
Hun er den eneste hoppe i Danmark efter Clintord I
Fløjhoppe med bla. 8,5 for teknik og kapacitet
Hun blev bla. rost for sin type, ædelhedsgrad, og at hun er en udtryksfuld og feminin hoppe, med en særdeles god skulder, overlinie, smidige og gode velafbalanceret og rummelige galop, samt at hun springer med godt overblik og rytme, med en særdeles god og smidig teknik og stor kapacitet
Out of Clintord I/Linaro/Caletto II.Calypso II, Line 3030
She is the only mare in Denmark out of Clintord I
Best mare with 8.5 for technical and capacity.
She was among other things praised for her type, thoroughbred percentage and that she is an eye catcher, a feminine mare with a good shoulder and over line, she is elastic, well balanced and has a large canter and she is jumping with a great overall control, rhythm and with a very good and elastic technique and great capacity.
It was time to catch up with my daughter and her show jumpers competing in California. Last Saturday I drove from Tucson to Del Mar near San Diego to watch Michelle ride our Holsteiner stallion Clintord I in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar. Actually I planned to leave on Friday but the wind was gusting so violently in Tucson that driving seemed an unappealing prospect. The same windy weather was whipping up a fierce wildfire in the Hidden Hills area near LA. At its peak the fire threatened some 4,000 homes and a university campus. There are also numerous horse farms in the vicinity including several top grand prix show barns. A thousand horses were evacuated to safer surroundings and fortunately by next day the hot, dry, windy weather abated and the fire was brought under control without inflicting as much damage as was threatened.
The Del Mar National Horse Show is one of a select few remaining across the country that continue to offer the pomp and circumstance that marks a true event. So many of today’s horse shows operate in a closed loop, existing only to bring in entries and crank out classes for the benefit of the participants and the venue’s bottom line. In contrast a show like Del Mar goes the extra mile to entice the public with fun and pageantry, generating an electric energy absorbed by fans and competitors alike. The stands are filled with enthusiastic spectators while the riders suffer an extra edge of nerves to suit the occasion.
Only a limited number of entrants were allowed in the big money class, so a qualifying $25,000 speed class Thursday night served to narrow the field down to 32 horse/rider combinations eligible to compete in the big ring Saturday night. Clintord acquitted himself admirably in the qualifier with a clean round (VIDEO) and a 5th place finish to secure his place in Saturday night’s order of go. For the main event we were pleased with his 4-fault effort in a class that saw only four horses produce clear rounds over an imposing course of very big jumps. Congratulations to Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy for the win, well-deserved for their gutsy ‘full-throttle’ jump-off round!
Now I’m hanging out at Michelle’s Cross Creek West training facility in nearby San Marcos while the horses take a break. After last week’s fire, the weather turned grey and drizzly. While the daily activity of a training stable took place around me – exercising the horses and coaching the students – I prowled the property seeking candids of horses and people but I spent the majority of my time with Clintord while he was turned out in the pasture, green with new spring grass and dotted with cheerful pink wildflowers.
Photo notes: The overcast skies produced a soft light that served well for the impromptu candids I was shooting. This was my first time using Nikon’s new 80-400mm lens and it was awesome! Fully zoomed in across a field, hand-held, ISO kicked up a bit to compensate – the lens captured such details as individual whiskers on a horse, barn flies frozen in motion (later to be cloned away), and sparkling bright eyes all in crisp focus. The quality of the lens and the great flexibility of its range earns it a permanent place in my shooting bag. Traveling overseas frequently as I do always creates a packing dilemma but this lens will solve a lot of my decision-making agony.
Cupiloris our try-harder boy. Last year he was a top competitor in the California five-year-old young jumper division with a host of blue ribbons and a Zone VIII Horse of the Year Award. This year in his (only) two weeks at HITS Thermal, he won all four of his six-year-old classes. Cupilor is an over-achiever and allergic to wood as this photo illustrates! He is a favorite of Michelle, who scouted him out at Branscomb Farm in Northern California. KC Branscomb imported Cupilor from Europe as a yearling, and Michelle acquired him as a three-year-old and has brought him along to his current stage of development. At his very first show at Showpark he acquired an instant fan club. Cupilor comes from sterling bloodlines and all of us at Cross Creek Farms have high hopes this talented youngster will transform into a top competitor.