by Kimberly K. Egan, MHC President (first published in the February 2024 Equiery)

The 2023 competition season is over and the various governing bodies and breed associations are reporting their lists of leading horses and breeders. Several Maryland breeders and Maryland-bred horses placed well in these year-end lists.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation released Leading Breeder and Leading Sire lists for 2023, organized by discipline. Far too many Maryland breeders appeared on the lists for us to mention in this column, so we will focus on those breeders who finished inside the top ten of each category.

Maryland Combined Training Association
Maryland-bred Oldenburg Jaguar Rosette WR (Jaguar Mail x Ravissante (Riverman)), bred by Eileen Pritchard-Bryan of Jarrettsville, won a slew of awards: The Marion Shriver Abell Memorial Trophy for the Champion Novice Horse; The Federal Hill Memorial Trophy for the Champion First Year Horse; and The Fortuna Memorial Mare of the Year Trophy for the Champion Mare at the Recognized Novice Level and Above.

Carlin Keefe and her Maryland-bred Thoroughbred Point Nemo (Songandaprayer x Wood Not (Kissin Kris)) won the Wolf Run Farm Perpetual Trophy for Junior Preliminary Champion. Point Nemo was bred by Dr. & Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau.
Sarah W. Kane’s Maryland-bred Oldenburg Rolex (Riverman x Gothard’s Silver Princess) won Homebred Horse of the Year.

USEF Event Horse Breeders
Maryland breeders did exceptionally well in the Eventing category. Three of the top 10 horse breeders in the country are Marylanders, and each of these breeders have Maryland-bred horses competing at the international levels:

#2 – Elizabeth Callahan, DVM of Oxford for four of her many Maryland-bred event horses – Bonaire, Brigantine, Quantum Leap, and Quiberon – each of whom is competing at the international level. Bonaire, a 2014 Rheinland Pfalz-Saar mare by Bliss MF out of Avalon (A Fine Romance), last competed at the international level in the CCI3*-S at Chattachoochee Hills, Georgia this past October, where she finished fourth. Holsteiner Brigantine’s last international competition was the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October. Earlier in the year she had placed fifth in the CCI3*-S at the Maryland International Horse Trial at Loch Moy in July. Brigantine is by Quinar out of Rodanthe (Riverman). Quiberon, an Oldenburg stallion by Quite Easy and out of Avalon (A Fine Romance), last competed at the international level in September in the CCI4*-S at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina. He had several other international runs this year, including a second place finish in the Stable View CCI3*-S in April. Lastly, Quantum Leap, Callahan’s 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Quiet Capitol and out of Report to Sloopy (Corporate Report), finished in the top ten at both North American CCI5* events – the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day-Event and the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill – and also finished ninth in the Advanced division at American Eventing Championships in Montana. Quantum Leap finished inside the top ten at three CCI4* events: sixth at the Carolina International Horse Trial, third at the Stable View Spring Horse Trial, and third again at the The Fork at Tryon.

#3 – Cynthia Gartrell of New Windsor for four of her Maryland-bred event horses – Unforgettable aka “Muffin,” Retsami, Roulette, and Sandro’s Spinne. Roulette, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding by Rosenthal and out of Lady Logan (Cottage Boy), most recently competed at the international level in the CCI3*-S at Chattachoochee Hills, Georgia in October. A month after that, he was Champion 1.20 Meter Jumper at the Central Florida Hunter/Jumper Association’s November show. Sandro’s Spinne is a 2018 Oldenburg by Sandro’s Star and out of Lady Rosita (Rosenthal). He just finishing his second season eventing. In 2023 he won six horse trials at the novice level across Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Tennesee, and placed inside the top ten in four others. He is certainly one to watch during the 2024 season. Muffin has been competing consistently at the lower levels for the last 10 years, and Retsami’s top finish to date was third in the Preliminary Rider division at the GMHA June Horse Trial in Vermont.

#9 – Suzanne Quarles of Mt. Airy for Centerfold, Layla Q, and Spartacus Q – Spartacus Q is a Hanoverian gelding by Soleil Q and out of Laura Q, who competed at the international level this year in the CCI1* at the June GMHA Horse Trial in Vermont. He had won the 2022 CCI3*-S at Plantation Field in Pennsylvania with a different rider, and it will be fun to follow him now as he brings a new rider up the levels.

In addition, Thora Pollak’s BSF Liam won the McKenna Trophy, which goes to the highest ranked Connemara/Connemara-cross competing in Modified-Advanced FEI level eventing. BSF Liam is a 2013 Connemara/Thoroughbred cross by Ballywhim An Luan and out of Rumor Risky (Hawkster). He has been competing at the international levels since 2020 and most recently contended the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October. He placed second in the Intermediate division at the Maryland International Horse Trial earlier in the year at Loch Moy Farm.

USEF Pony Hunter Breeders
Two Marylanders took top ten spots on USEF’s Pony Hunter Breeding list.

#6 – Sally Kaul Steinmetz of Havre de Grace for Rosehaven Sonata, a 3-year-old Welsh Pony by Rosehaven Talisman and out of Land’s End Cantata (Carolina’s Red Fox). This filly took first place at eight breed shows in 2023, including Zone 3 Best Young Pony Hunter Breeding at the Washington International Horse Show and Best Pony Hunter Filly at the Upperville Colt and Horse Show. She had also won the Zone 3 Best Young Pony Hunter Breeding at the 2022 Washington International Horse Show.
In addition, Sally Steinmetz’s Maryland-bred Rosehaven Talisman, by Sleight of Hand and out of Farnley Tenby (Alra Amber Classic), came in fifth on the Welsh Pony leading sire list. Eleven of his progeny are registered with USEF.

#10 – Jason Hall of Silver Spring for HF Raising Kane, a 3-year-old Welsh Pony by Smoke Tree Dragontales and out of PM Pretty in Pink (Rollingwoods Top Drawer). Raising Kane was Champion Best Young Hunter Pony at two Stable View breed shows in South Carolina, and he was Reserve Champion Best Young Hunter Pony at the Aiken Spring Classic in April. He took first place in the Hunter Pony 3-Year-Old divisions at seven more breed shows in South Carolina during the year.

In addition, Nancy Reed’s Welsh Pony stallion Land’s End Adagio by Carolinas Red Fox and out of Llanarth Rhapsody (Twyford Signal) came in eighth on the Pony Hunter Leading Sire list. He is the sire of 46 of the Welsh Ponies and Welsh Pony crosses that appear in the USEF competition database.

USEF Hunter Breeders
#9 – Nancy Holowesko of Crosiadore Farm in Trappe, for Arabesque CF and Arya CF. Arabesque CF, a Hanoverian mare by Furstenball and out of Solar Eclipse (Sir Donnerhal), had an incredible 2023 season, winning championships at nine A-rated hunter shows, reserve championships at four others, and winning 2023 Grand Champion Large Jr Hunter 3’6’’ at the Junior Hunter Nationals in Michigan. Arabesque was the 2023 Champion Large Junior Hunter 3’6’’ at both the National Horse Show in Kentucky and the Hampton Classic in New York. She was the 2023 Champion Junior Large Hunter at the Washington International Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. She was also the Best Hunter Mare 3’6’’ at the Junior Hunter Nationals. Her 2024 season has already begun with Arabesque competing at the Wellington Equestrian Festival Premiere in Ocala, Florida, in early January. We will follow her 2024 campaign with great interest. Arya CF, an Oldenburg mare by Roubaix and out of Fiderline (Fidertanz), competes on the Hunter Circuit in California. She took first place in the Performance Hunter 3’3’’ division at the Flintridge Autumn Classic in California in September.

US Dressage Federation Year End Awards
You Don’t Know Jack, registered with The Jockey Club as Pop’s Boy, won the USDF All-Breeds Vintage Cup Reserve Champion for Training Level. You Don’t Know Jack/Pop’s Boy is a 2002 Thoroughbred by Devil His Due and out of R. Ess. V.P. (Press Card). He was bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Milton P. Higgins III.

USEF Dressage Horse Breeding Breeders
Nancy Holowesko also took 10th place on the top Dressage Horse Breeding list, for Deauville CF, Duesenberg CF, Maisie CF, and Marabella CF. Deauville CF, an Oldenburg gelding by Davos CF and out of Falyse CF (Dimaggio), was the 2023 Reserve Champion U.S Dressage Federation Three-Year-Old Materiale at Dressage at Devon in September. Duesenberg CF, an Oldenburg stallion by Dostojewski and out of Lowara (Londonderry), took first place in the 2023 Materiale Five-Year-Old Stallions & Geldings at Dressage at Devon. Oldenburg mare Maisie CF (Davos CF x Marmara (Licotus)) was the 2023 Champion 4-Year-Old Prospect at Dressage at Lexington in Virginia, in July, and 2023 Reserve Champion USDF Four-Year-Old Materiale at Dressage at Devon.
In addition Hilltop Farm’s Hanoverian stallion Denmark HTF (Desperado x Unicum-D (Negro)) finished 10th on the USEF Young Horse National Dressage Championship’s (4 Year Old) list.

USEF Hunter Breeding Breeders
#10 – Kendal Scharch of Easton for Ragnar, a 2022 Oldenburg by Ribaldi out of Orchard SCF (Couleur Rubin)), who won seven Best Young Hunter Breeding titles in 2023 as well as Champion Non-Thoroughbred Hunter Breeding at the Warrenton Horse Show in Virginia. He was Best Young Hunter Breeding at the Warrenton, Keswick, Commonwealth National, Rose Mount Farm, and Lexington Spring Premiere and Encore shows in Virginia, and at the Devon Breed Show in Pennsylvania in May. He won at the Devon Breed Show by besting a division of 69 entries. Ragnar also finished sixth in the 0-3-Year-Old division of the Leading American Performance Horse list.

In addition, High Point Hanoverians’ Hanoverian stallion Ribaldi (Rosenthal x Touch of Class (Totilas)) is third on the Hunter Breeding Leading Sire list

North American Dutch Warmblood (KPWN-NA) Year End Awards
Two Maryland-breds took home Dutch Warmblood N.A. awards for 2023.

Savvy Savanna 75 won Reserve Champion Dressage Yearling. She is by Florianus II and out of Wilhemina (Odin) and was bred by Joan Fontana of Equine Etiquette in Poolesville.

R Stetson came in eighth in the Two-Year Old Dressage Breeding rankings. He is by Goerklintgaards Shaolin and out of Zsa Zsa (By Jazz), and was bred by Lauren Kimmel of Mountain View Farm in Barnesville.