I love homebred horses. In our Irish Event Programs, national and international, the breeder and breeding is listed. As a commentator, I always commend the breeder. Without the breeder putting the right horses on the ground, we are lost. Breeding is a real labor of love and involves a long wait. I love to see those homebreds getting into the best of hands and this 2-year-old, Redemption Storm, is beautifully handled and produced.
First Say EPI is a quite tidy, lovely quality, blood-type filly. Of note, I normally see more quality showing in the Thoroughbred x Warmblood or Irish Sport Horse cross individual when the Thoroughbred is on the dam side, as in this case. I quote the great breeder Jan Greve who stood Quidam de Ravel and Voltaire, and the Thoroughbreds Mytens, Lauries Crusader, and Julio Mariner: ”If you want to see quality in the first cross to Thoroughbred bring it through the dam line." It’s not 100 percent, but it is way over the 50/50 that you would expect as it proposes that the individual can get more "get" from the dam line. Interesting and a bit worrying for us fellas!
Nottingham IPH has refinement. He possesses a nice fine tail hair and coat and an interesting shape. He is a little in two parts—what’s in front of the shoulder and what’s behind. I’d prefer to see his near fore forwards by 6"-8” and hind feet the same apart as the front to achieve an ‘open stance.' The camera angle should be square to the girth. His stance in this photo suggests a rather straight shoulder and a straight hind leg. Interestingly, a straight shoulder often accompanies a straight hind leg. There must be a reason, but I don’t know it!
As a selector in the Gorsebridge Go for Gold Event Horse Sale, we can have over 300 horses coming at us during the selection days. A standard routine is needed which does not change. My first question is, "Has the horse quality?" By quality I mean Thoroughbred % or Thoroughbred influence. I’m convinced the Thoroughbred influence brings "forward thinking" to the individual—so important in the performance horse. I reckon a Thoroughbred looks into the distance and his horizon is way out there and knows he can get there. The horse that lacks this influence has their horizon right in front of his nose, or worse still behind him.
Has this horse quality? The answer is definitely yes. This first impression is so important. As a selector for the Goresbridge Go for Gold Event horse sale, I have an abbreviation ‘GPO’ which stands for "Good Pull Out." It means that the first look prompts the potential client the need to bring the horse out of his box for a further look.
“This is a quality sort,” Chris Ryan began when looking at this 4-year-old Thoroughbred. “The Thoroughbred is a renowned breed improver/refiner for all the sporthorse stud books, and the pure Thoroughbred has his own register. They are the elite of the species as regards to refinement.”
“This individual is all quality being full Thoroughbred,” Chris Ryan first observed about this 5-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding. “Some carry more refinement than others and this fellow is quite fine. He is short coupled. And, he is a lovely strong colour!”
Chris Ryan’s first observation about this 4-year-old Thoroughbred mare is that she looks to be a “nice quality sort. She is perhaps a fraction thick in her head-to-neck connection – it could be that her head is quite strong. I’m not so keen on those with pretty heads, even on a filly, which can be very fine and tapered like the Arabian."
Chris Ryan’s initial assessment of this 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding is that he’s a “good quality sort. Brown is a great color – a strong color in ‘nature.’ One of the first questions I ask myself when evaluating a horse is if he has refinement. We know the breed type here is Thoroughbred but I still ask the question."
Chris Ryan observed that this 3-year-old Thoroughbred gelding is “well-grown and has good refinement to match his Thoroughbred status. Has a stronger constitution than some which can stand to him. The ‘open stance’ shown here shows him to best effect. A picture paints a thousand words, as we know. It’s a bit like a model looking to impress, or it should be, as that first impression is so important."
“This is a real blood individual,” Chris Ryan first observed of this 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly. “She has a lovely big eye and ear. The eye of the horse can tell so much. Vincent O’ Brian, the legendary racehorse trainer who discovered Northern Dancer, in his biography wrote that he spends a lot of his time at the yearling sales at Kentucky, etc., studying the horse’s eye.”