The Dressage Dossier

The discerning Diva's guide to the Dressage world

Category: Stallion Spotlight

Stallion Spotlight – Franklin

For this Stallion Spotlight, I’ve chosen Franklin.  This young stallion caught my eye through his offspring – I saw videos of three full siblings by him from a breeder in my area, and each foal was superb.  They each had a variety of strong attributes, but the consistency in quality was undeniable – which led me to my current interest in this young stallion!

The Stats

Registered name – Franklin

Breed – KWPN

Foal date – 2010

Height – 170cm

Approved for – KWPN, Oldenburger Verband and Danish Warmblood



Bloodline Info

Franklin’s Internationally recognized sire Ampére was champion stallion in Holland in 2008 and later was licensed in the Netherlands, Westphalia, Southern Germany and Holstein. Since 2012 he has provided more than 20 licensed sons.  Ampere’s sire, Rousseau, won silver at the world championship for young horses in Verden in 2003 and has been able to present the champion stallion in Holland three times in a row.

The dam’s sire Ferro won the 2000 Olympic team silver. He sired numerous top horses and is currently in twelfth place in the ranking of the world WBFSH best dressage.  In the third generation is another performer with Flemmingh.

Being line-bred on two of Holland’s major breeding magnates (Ferro and Flemmingh), Franklin’s pedigree is rich in the Dutch tradition of excellent moving and successful dressage competition horses.


Franklin was bred by Stal Gasaya in Dorst.  As a 3 year old he won both the 2013 KWPN licensing and 50 Day 2013 KWPN performance test. In the performance test, he scored a 7 for his walk, 8.5 for his trot, 9.5’s for his canter and self carriage, and 9.0’s for suppleness, rideability and dressage potential.

He then went on to win the 5 yr. old championship at the 2015 KWPN national stallion show.  Under Severo Jurado Lopez, he showed an excellent trot with plenty of push, technique, and activity.  The jury rewarded him with a 9.5.  For the walk, he received an 8 while the canter, rideability and general impression earned him 8.5’s.  A total score of 86 points and a final score of 341 points made him the champion.

Collected Comments and Offspring Impressions

Franklin remains in training at Helgstrand Dressage, and has been offered at stud for two seasons.  Franklin foals have made an impression at auction – at the Danish Warmblood Elite show several foals by Franklin made a very positive impression. The champion filly was Francisca Lightfoot sired by Franklin and with Michellino as dam sire; bred by Annette Lyngs and Torben Damsbo – however the quality of the mare should be noted as this was the second time that this Michellino dam had produced the best dressage filly foal, the first time being ten years prior.   For the colts, Plushorses Perception by Franklin (damsire Florencio I) from the breeder Laila Holm Gudmund Meyer stood out as well.

Franklin offspring have been fetching top price at Elite Auctions – an extremely well-proportioned filly by Franklin (with the Dutch dam line of Floria Antje) – Lissaus Ginger from the breeder Majbritt Lissau – was sold to Norway at a price of DKK 350,000.

Franklin x Jazz

Lord Franklin (by Franklin x Lancelot)

Miss Moneypenny (Franklin x Cocktail)

Franklin seems to really stamp his type, and has been producing foals with active hind legs and a strong top line.  He has been reliable thus far at producing incredible shoulder freedom, and is recommended for the breeder who is looking for that attribute.  He is reported to be a very sensitive, forward-thinking horse with a good character and is noted as being fine to handle in the stable.  He is short in the back as is common with the Ampere line, which could result in him being difficult to get over the back while under saddle.  He has been seen being warmed up in draw reins which would indicate that this may be the case – however a short back is a strong back.

On the negative side, some of his foals are toed out and rather fine-boned in front as commented by the judge in the Pavo Cup in Ermelo the year of his first foal crop. In addition, he himself has front legs that are not straight, and he paddles in front although that has not been noticed as something he has consistently passed to his offspring.  His weakest point is the walk – which is poor due to his sloping and short croup as evidenced by his performance test score of 7.

Semen is reported as great quality, pregnancies on the first cycle with one dose, etc. No issues reported there regardless of source.

An ideal type to try him with would be large framed mare with strong genetics (perhaps a soft type S-line or F-line as foals out of those pairings have been reported as particularly nice) longer in the croup, a bit long in the back, correct front legs with good bone, and with a super walk.  A breeder with a mare of this type who is looking to improve upon the mares shoulder freedom and wanting an attractive foal with a natural tendency to push from behind using an active hind leg, acceptable (although possibly sensitive/hot) character, and a good top line should consider him as a very interesting option.


Stallion Spotlight – Vitalis

Vitalis is a lovely stallion with an interesting history.  He came to my attention recently when perusing the 2017 Oldenburg Elite Foal Auction catalog.  I remember having been impressed with his offspring in the past, so I decided to do some research.

The Stats

Registered name – Vitalis

Breed – KWPN

Foal Date – 2007

Height – 170cm

Approved for – KWPN, Rhineland, Westfalen, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, Hanoverian Verband, all South German Registries, Bavarian

Performance Test 2010 Warendorf: Overall: 116.20, Dressage: 129.70, Jumping: 93.98

Bloodline Info – 

Vitalis’ sire Vivaldi is one of the most desired dressage sires of his generation and come from the highly appreciated Utopia line.  There are three generations Grand Prix horses in a row in Vivaldi’s pedigree.

His dam is KWPN mare Tolivia (D-Day – Argus – Aktioin – Uniform) and as three year old was the mare champion of the province Limburg in Holland.  Dam sire D-day was successful at Prix St George level and acted as a schoolmaster for many years after being gelded – his influence is strongly felt in Swedish dressage breeding. Third sire Argus competed up to 1.50m level showjumping and also at grand prix dressage, while Aktion J, who follows in the fourth generation, counts as one of the most successful dressage horses of his generation under Hungarian Gyula Dallos.

History –

Vitalis is in interesting stallion in many ways, not the least of which being that he almost was not approved for breeding by KWPN!  Originally bred by A. de Crom, Vitalis was a champion foal and was reserve champion at the Westphalian Licensing in Germany in 2009.  In 2012 he was rejected for licensing by the KWPN while owned by Willeke Bos and Eugene Reesink due to a weak hindleg and a bloodline not considered unique enough for approval.  The exact wording as quoted to Eurodressage was “Vitalis is a nice dressage horse in our opinion. The standards we demand for a breeding stallion exceed the quality of movement of a horse. In the second phase pedigree plays an important part. Many sons by Vivaldi have been offered to the stallion licensing process and it is expected that many will follow. Vitalis’ blood line is, therefore, not unique. In that case the performance of the stallion – if exceptional – can stimulate a positive verdict. Vitalis produced a good result in several stallion competition shows, but it is our opinion that especially in trot the power of the hindleg is focal point and the stallion has the tendency to go wide behind in the trot extension. Therefore we concluded that Vitalis is a nice dressage horse, which does not excel enough with his pedigree and strength of the hind leg in order to continue to the third phase of the KWPN (licensing process).”

The stallion then sold to the US based Charlotte Jorst, who rides as an amateur.  She campaigned him in the FEI 6 year old classes up to I1 in the US from 2013-2014, and in 2013 placed 13th at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden.  Vitalis was then sold to breeders Paul Schockemöhle and Lone Bøegh Henriksen who paired him with Isabel Freese, the pair went on to win the 2016 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals for German Developing Prix St Georges horses.  In addition, Vitalis’ daughter Victoria’s Secret became the 2016 World Young Horse Champion in Ermelo while he won the Intermédiaire I and was particularly distinguished as “Stallion of the Year”.

The KWPN decided against their previous ruling and in 2016 approved Vitalis for breeding.  Their motivation behind this decision was captured in a quote from in interview with Eurodressage – “he’s extremely successful in the Prix St Georges/Intermediaire I under Isabel Freese. In breeding he scores remarkably with the 5-year old World Champion. Also the champion of the last Westfalian Stallion Licensing is a son by Vitalis.”

Vitals debuted at stud in 2016 and since his Westphalian Licensing in 2009 has produced some spectacular horses.  Notable offspring include Valverde, the dressage winner of the Westphalian licensing 2016, In Rhineland in 2014, his daughter Virginia K was the winner of the elite show and at the Westphalian Week, all five of the three-year-old mare and gelding finalists were offspring of Vitalis. At an elite auction in Münster-Handorf, the four top priced horses were offspring of Vitalis with two selling for over 200.000 euros each. So far, 18 of his sons have been licensed, including Veneno who sold for 310.000 euros.  As stated above Victoria’s Secret was German National Champion in 2015, two other descendants of Vitalis also reached the final, and his daughter Vienna was at the top of the Westphalian elite mare show.  In 2016, the licensed Villeneuve won the bronze medal at the German national championships of the four-year-old stallions.

Vitalis x Sir Donnerhall I

Vitalis was ranked No. 16 on the German dressage index with an index of 157, based on only 2 foal crops.

Vitalis x Furst Piccolo

Collected Comments and Offspring Impressions –

Vitalis is heralded as a dominant, prepotent stallion who’s stamp is easily recognizable in his offspring, especially in regards to frame and size.  He passes a nice shape to the topline and a nice neck set, with flashy front leg action and uphill carriage.  Length of leg is often added, and he very reliably produces friendly foals with super temperaments suitable for both AA riders and pros, which is not surprising as he was campaigned by a (very skilled) amateur as a young stallion.

Vitalis x Furst Piccolo

He is said to pass on a walk that is inferior to the other two gaits, and while he has high hocks and longer hindlegs, he doesn’t seem to consistently pass on his tendency to go wide behind, although it seems it would be best to use him on a mare who is very correct behind with a superior walk.




Stallion Spotlight – Revolution

REVOLUTION is a lovely young stallion stationed at Helgstrand Dressage that I have been following, and due to his absolute drool-worthiness, he is the first STALLION SPOTLIGHT on DD!



The Stats – 

  • Registered name – Revolution (registered name originally Royal Marash)
  • Breed – Hanoverian
  • Foal date – 2013
  • Height – 176 cm
  • Approved for Hanoverian, Westphalian, Rhinelander, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg and all southern German breeding associations, also approved DWB
  • Accolades – Premium stallion, Hannover, 2015
    Premium stallion, DWB, 2016Soverign winner of the Performance Test, 2016
  • Purchased at auction for 1.2 million Euro, Revolution broke the record for German stallion auctions at the Hanoverian licensing in Verden Fall 2015.
  • Semen can be acquired from Helgstrand for 1.500 Euro + VAT, through Superior Equine Sires for $1,050 (+ 325 shipping for USA), or through Yancey Farms at $925 (+fees) per dose.

Bloodline Info From Helgstrand & Yancey Farms –

Revolution’s sire, the premium stallion Rocky Lee, is considered one of the best sons by the top stallion Rock Forever.  Rocky Lee is already competing at PSG and Intermediare I and his sire, Rock Forever, is a well admired Grand Prix dressage stallion and sire.
Revolution’s dam Rochelle debuts for the first time on the international tribune with this amazing son. With her thoroughbred maternal bloodline mixed with well-reputed Hanoverian blood through the stallions Wendenburg and Derneburg, she meets all pedigree criteria for a modern dam of stallions.  The dam sire Rouletto, who was successful in S dressage, is known for his offspring with high rideability at top level.  The dam sire of Rochelle is the Hannoverian Wendenburg who was a good producing stallion by the fabulous, venerable Wendekreis who consistently produced very good, willing riding horses.

Collected Comments and Impressions – 

Revolution is a very tall modern stallion.  At his licensing he appeared to be very well behaved with an excellent temperament and lovely movement.  I like to think that I am pretty picky, and can usually find something I’d like to see improved upon in many young stallions, but watching Revolution go takes my breath away – in each gait he shows such willingness and elasticity.  His canter is particularly stunning and ridiculously uphill, and hopefully the quality of it will remain when they start to work him towards collection!

Breeders seem to be most interested in pairing him with refined and compact mares who present willingness to collect and tend to throw that in their offspring, as one of the biggest concerns with these lovely, young, large moving stallions is how they will cope with the pressure and demands of collection.  Revolution seems suited to a breeder looking to add bone, height/length of leg, and willing temperament.  Judging by his first foal crop (although they are still very young), he is producing leggy, friendly offspring with good/improved bone, shoulder, and joint articulation.

I have heard varying reports of his semen quality on a breeders forum that I frequent.  Some are saying that their repro vets are stating it has good motility and a high count, and others reporting they are having trouble getting a pregnancy.  The overall consensus seems to be that it is not rocket fuel, but it is good quality with the average forward motility around 40-50%, and a range from 20-60%.

This gorgeous young stallion is on my dream roster, and watching him and his offspring develop will be an exciting process!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén