A brief stop in Paris to visit friends was followed by a trip west to Normandy, to pay a visit to the Haras de Couvains. I was most interested to meet Sophie Levallois, whom I began doing business with last year when I began selling the frozen semen of the excellent Selle Francaise stallion, Diamant de Semilly. The Diamant semen is sold by the individual straw, yet it has an excellent conception rate when used deep uterine. This stallion is one of the kindest, most generous of horses and is in the top percent of the world's best sires of showjumpers. Their temperaments and characters are excellent, not at all the hot, hard to ride type that some have come to associate with some of the Selle Francais lines. Sophie mentioned how different this line is from the lines that come from Alme Z and Galoubet. I saw several Diamants last summer at Spruce Meadows and was very impressed by their type, jumping style and the correctness of their legs and feet.
I plan to offer two more stallions from the Haras de Couvains in 2014, as a source of blood, which North American showjumpers are in need of according to some experts. They are Calypso D' Herbiers (Hurlevent / Double Espoir), who features a wealth of impeccable Thoroughbred jumper blood. Calypso D' Herbiers was the winner of the Grand Prix CSIO and the Derby de La Baule 2004. He was the triple French Champion of Hunters, Dressage and CSO at four, triple French Showjumping Champion at four five and six and French vice champion at seven. He is ranked "elite" at eventing and "very good" as a Selle Francais jumping and dressage stallion.
Also available soon via frozen semen is Herald 3, a 3/4 Thoroughbred son of Heraldix xx, out of an own granddaughter of Ladykiller xx. Herald's sire, Heraldik xx, is the leading sire of event horses in the world and his Holsteiner dam, Alissa, is a direct granddaughter of the great Ladykiller xx, making Herald a 3/4 Thoroughbred of the most exceptional breeding. He is a multiple international Grand Prix winner, reactive but with a cool mind, tested at the top level.
The Selle Francais lines should be of special interest, due to their ability to impart blood through a slightly different way than strictly Throughbred crosses.
The French/German cross seems to be working very well, as evidenced by the recent success of the sires Diarado (Diamant de Semilly / Contendro) and Balou du Rouet ( Baloubet du Rouet / Continue by Contender).
I also stopped by the Haras de Hus, a showplace stud farm if ever there was one. Their dressage stallions, Don Juan de Hus and Solimon de Hus, are making names for themselves as dressage sires, but they have begun to produce showjumper stallions that we will no doubt be seeing more of in the future.