Pemberton has been developing a reputation for producing world-class Hanoverian horses with a growing list of competition results and accolades being awarded to steeds from Dreamcatcher Meadows. This week, the list grew in size again.
On Monday (July 29), eight foals were inspected at Dreamcatcher Meadows by a representative of Hannoveraner Verband, the organization based in Verden, Germany, that oversees Hanoverian breeders worldwide. Westminster DMV (the letters signifying his raising at Dreamcatcher Meadows) and Wunderbar DMV were among the colts inspected by Dr. Ludwig Christmann of the Hannoveraner Verband and passed as potential future stallions worthy of breeding the highest class of Hanoverian progeny. They will undergo another inspection as three-year-olds to be approved as stallions.
This was the sixth visit by Dr. Christmann in as many years.
“We're on the right track,” said Jill Giese, who co-owns Dreamcatcher Meadows with her partner John Dingle. “(Christmann) is evaluating them against the (Hanoverian) ideal and he was very impressed when he said this is our best crop of foals to date.”
Westminster DMV was bred by sire and champion stallion Windfall CB and dam Lady of the Dance DMV through an embryo transfer, allowing the dam to remain on show at competitions while a rescue mare on the Dreamcatcher Meadows property was used as a surrogate.
“It's to make sure that you have champion genetics on both sides,” said Giese.
“Most people just take a (performing) mare and then breed them to a famous stallion. We're making sure that both parents have excellent competition results.”
Windfall CB managed to attract his own delegation on Monday, this one from Ottawa. Representatives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Musical Ride were in Pemberton to inspect the black stallion, which has won 23 grand prix and has a proven track record of siring more than 60 foals in North America. Black is the only colour of horse accepted into the Musical Ride breeding program, a tradition kept since 1938 to make the colour contrast against the RCMP's Red Serge.
“We have three stallions of our own in Ottawa, but we're always looking different blood, different stallions and better genes,” said John Phillips, breed manager for Musical Ride.
“We're looking for horses between 16.1 (16 hands, one inch) and 16.3, black with good rideability and good trainability. Our hang-up is that we have police officers on horses, 95 percent of them have never ridden before they come to us. We have one year to get them ready to be on the Musical Ride, so the character and rideability (of our horses) is very important.”
Frozen semen from Windfall would be used to artificially inseminate mares at the RCMP's national breeding farm outside of Ottawa.
Dreamcatcher Meadows is helping put Pemberton and B.C. on the map for Hanoverian breeding, whereas in the past it has been mostly European countries that produced the most desirable sires and dams. Several horses from the stable have gone on to win high-level North American titles in dressage competition, and that looks like it could continue, based on Christmann’s assessment.
“It was a good group of foals, I think the quality is good here at Dreamcatcher,” said Christmann, who travels around the world registering Hanoverian foals and was extremely impressed by the Pemberton stable’s products.
“We are registering about 100 foals a year in Canada,” he added. “There's a bigger number of breeders in Ontario but it's catching up here in British Columbia.”