By Caroline Ironside (Feb 10)
Trying to think of a heading for this article, the first thing that comes into ones head when you think of Louella Stud, is that it is a "Great British Institution", having first started in 1934 and has been at the forefront of British Breeding ever since its inception. We were very fortunate to get an interview with Lucy Gillingham, grand-daughter to the late and great Louis Massarella, a name well known throughout the horse world.
Lucy tell us "I started working at the stud in 1990 as a summer job whilst waiting for my A - level results and 20 years later I am still here! I just loved it from day one, and I still do now." The magic of this haven for horses obviously rubbed off on Lucy as she gives us indepth personal knowledge of Louella Stud.
"Billy Boy" by Salvador
Medal Winner for Great Britain
The history from this stud spans several generations and holds a great deal of information on bloodlines ranging from a whole host of breeds. We start off this interview with Lucy looking at the history of Louella Stud.
"Louella Stud was founded by my grandpa, the late Louis Massarella in 1934 when he stood his first coloured stallion, "Salvador". Salvador was a working cob stallion who used to pull an ice cream float. He was also used as transport during the war. He was later joined by the Arab stallion "Yasam".
These two stallions sired the half brother and sister Billy Boy (by Salvador) and La Princess (by Yasman) out of Louis' hackney mare Baysing Sensation. They were chosen to represent Great Britain in Belgium on the junior British team.
Unfortunately La Princess was injured coming off the boat but Billy Boy returned home an individual medal winner. Yasam also sired the Grade A mare Lollipop, bred by Louis and ridden by the late, great Ted Williams. "
"During the 50's and 60's Louis worked hand in hand with his brother Michael who was a very good horse man and very keen on showjumping. Michael stayed in the front line whilst Louis remained in the background thinking about various projects and ways to upgrade their current stock. They decided that many of the British mares were too light of bone and needed crossing with horses of substance."
"This prompted a trip to Germany in 1955 and the acquisition of the first of a long line of Hanoverians.
In 1960 the two colts "Ferdi" and "Duellist" were purchased. Ferdi was very successful as a Novice Showjumper ridden by Michael Freer, but his competition career was cut short by an accident in a horsebox where he lost the sight of his eye.
Duellist, after standing second to the famous Duft II in the championships, was destined for the state stud at Celle but was released by the director of the stud as a special favour to Louis and Michael. Duellist was later sold on to the Honourable Mrs. Kidd and became Maple Duellist. "
One of the first Hanoverians in the UK
One of the first Hanoverians in the UK
"Ferdi was retained until the age of 17 when he was headhunted by the Schockemöhle family to return to Germany. He was responsible for many top show jumping horses over the years."
As the readers will now realise, there is a great depth to the breeding lines that have made this great stud, with influences from a variety of breeds. Lucy continues with the influence of the Hanoverian breeding...
"Louella Stud has had great success with the Hanoverians, which have included the imported sires "Gandolpho" and "Luciano" - the home breeds, Wohler II - exported to Australia, the Grade A Temple Felson, and warmblood champions Adanus and Wendika.
Undoubtedly the most famous of them all is "Inschallah II", who holds a Supporters of British Breeding lifetime achievement award and is the only stallion to have ever featured in the top 5 of all three disciplines.
To name but a few of Inschallah II's successful stock, he is the sire of Dressage horses Out of the Ordinary (559 pts), Byzantine (236 pts) and Rainford Louis (299 pts), all out of Louella mares. He also sired Advanced Eventers C'est Moi (bred by Louella), Just Tallulah and Mister Brough, all out of Louella sired mares, and Grade A's City Slick, No Complaints and the brilliant Valhalla."
The late and great "Louella Inschallah II"
One cannot become more impressed with this Studfarm as you read through its history and what it has brought to British Breeding over the years.
Not just through top warmblood stallions, but also through utilising the best that Britiain has to offer....our great thoroughbreds!
Lucy continues her story...
"1975 heralded the beginning of 25 years with the National Light Horse Breeding Society, which brought with it 10 King George V Gold Cups for the supreme champion stallion, winners included "Senang Hati" 3 times, "Another Hoarwithy" twice and "Lord David S" twice. Eleven Macdonald Buchanan Trophies for the champion young horse, winners included "Contest", "Criminal Law", "Lord David S" and "Big Connaught".
This is testimony to Louis' outstanding judgement and his ability to visualise how an unfurnished colt in a trainer's yard would mature into an eye catching stallion."
"We sold on a lot of the Thoroughbreds into Ireland, these included Nad Elshiba who went on to be Dublin Show champion, Ghareeb who is proving to be a good sire of young eventers, Zero Watt, Nero Astaire, Young Freeman, Abdullah and Habs Lad to name a few."
"Lord David S"
“The Champion Sire of Young Horses” Award, BHD 1997
Thoroughbreds do not become more famous than the next, not only being awarded Leading National Hunt Sire, winning numerous British Horse Foundation Awards, siring the winner of the Burghley Young Event Horse on 5 occasions and currently ranked 8th in this years WBSFH Eventing Sire Rankings!
I am sure that it must be virtually unheard of for one stallions to do so well in quite different disciplines. I could not help but be impressed with what has been achieved by this stallion.
Lucy continues with the story of the great "Primitive Rising".
"We were so lucky to find "Primitive Rising", he was everything we were looking for in a TB and more. He was nice looking, had good conformation and had a decent race record, he won 6 races from 8 starts and boy could he move.
He was a leading National Hunt sire with offspring such as Big Fella Thanks, Moor Lane, Paperising, Suprising and Go Informal.
He was also a prolific sire of eventers, winning 8 British Horse Foundation Awards and siring the winner of the Burghley Young Event Horse on 5 occasions.
His advanced horses include Kings Temptress (4th Luhmuhlen), Cool Mountain (Gatcombe Novice Champion, 1st Bramham), Primitive Control (6th Badminton, 7th Burghley, competed for GB at the 2002 European championships), Primitive Streak (8th Bramham and Necarne), Jurassic Rising (3rd & 4th Bramham, 1st Blenheim, 5th Le Lion d'angers) and Limestone Rise (5th Chatsworth). "
8th in this years WBSFH Eventing Sire Rankings
Young Eventing Son of "Primitive Rising"