1st USA Ravel Foal Tops KWPN North American Inspections

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Gaspard de la Nuit. © 2011 Sheryl Ross

Gaspard de la Nuit, the first U.S. foal of Ravel, has been judged the top KWPN foal in North America in 2011.

The stallion, owned by Akiko Yamazaki, the owner of Ravel, and DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, California, received the top marks at the last of 11 keurings–or inspections–in North America this year.

Gaspard de la Nuit by Ravel out of a Sir Donnerhall mare, was born at DG Bar Ranch on April 28 this year.

Ravel (Contango x Hautain x Democraat) was a stallion ridden by Edward Gal of The Netherlands for owner Tim Coomans before being sold to Akiko in 2006 as a potential mount for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics. The horse was gelded as a result of problems in quarantine.

With Steffen Peters of San Diego, California as trainer and rider, Ravel now aged 13 years, competed at the 2008 Games and came third in the Grand Prix Freestyle but missed winning an individual medal by a slim margin. The pair won the 2009 World Cup, became the first American combination to sweep the CDIO at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, the same year and won two individual medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

Sandy Harper, owner of Gaspard de la Nuit's mother, Willy Arts, Akiko Yamazakimyself and an inspector. © Sheryl Ross

Gaspard de la Nuit was among 340 foals and mature horses–up almost 10 per cent from 2010–presented over two weeks at inspections in California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania in the U.S., and Mount Albert, Ontario, and Red Deer, Alberta, in Canada.

The jury included Bart Henstra and Toine Hoefs from The Netherlands and Faith Fessenden, Deborah P. Harrison and Lana Sneddon of  the U.S.

Foals are examined for correct movement, conformation and type. Mature horses are evaluated on conformation, movement and jumping (if applicable for their type) and are assessed in-hand and moving freely. Horses are able to advance to the studbook, earn predicates and compete in the DG Bar Cup for 3, 4 and 5-year-old dressage horses or Iron Spring Farm Cup 4, 5, and 6-year-old jumpers.

Willy Arts, chairman of KWPN-North America, said the keurings “create a dynamic opportunity for breeders to receive advice on the selection of mares and stallions that are likely to produce horses that meet the standards for the Grand Prix or highest level in each of the breeding directions.”

One of the main goals of the inspections was to maintain the same quality of horses in North America and The Netherlands.

KWPN in The Netherlands works closely with North America to shares information on the gene pool and large amounts of other information that otherwise would not be available.